University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Biondo v. City of Chicago (Chicago Firefighters vs. City of Chicago) EE-IL-0317
Docket / Court 88-cv-3773 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On April 29th, 1988 a group of white firefighters filed suit against Chicago in the District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois alleging that the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) had discriminated against them by denying or delaying promotions. The group was certified as a class in May 1990. ... read more >
On April 29th, 1988 a group of white firefighters filed suit against Chicago in the District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois alleging that the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) had discriminated against them by denying or delaying promotions. The group was certified as a class in May 1990. The complaint stemmed from the CFD's 1986 test for promotion. The test had been developed to be non-discriminatory but had disparate impact and thus the CFD elected to use segregated lists for promotion.

The district court (Judge James F. Holderman) separated the liability and damages phase of the case. On October 4th, 2000 a jury determined that the CFD had discriminated against the class. Class members who would not have been promoted were dismissed from the case on September 7th, 2001. On February 28th and May 17th, 2002 two jury trials concerning class members whose promotions were delayed or denied resulted in monetary damages for 19 class members totaling roughly $5.1 million. Chicago appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and on August 27th, 2004 the court (Judge Easterbrook, Judge Manion, and Judge Williams) vacated the awards holding that they were excessive. Plaintiffs were denied en banc review on September 21st, 2004 and their petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court on February 28th, 2005.

A trial concerning injunctive relief resulted in the promotion of a number of these plaintiffs on December 16th, 2005. Settlement negotiations ensued regarding all damages, resulting in final judgments awarding various promotions and reduced monetary damages of roughly $2 million to these plaintiffs in December 2006 and January 2007. The remaining plaintiffs, those whose promotions would have been denied had the CFD not ceased using the lists early, and Chicago engaged in settlement negotiations and on February 20th, 2009 the district court approved a damage allocation process distributing $6 million. Final judgment was entered on October 9th, 2009.

Michael Perry - 06/30/2010


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Promotion
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Chicago
Plaintiff Description White firefighters whose promotions were delayed or denied.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
02-2707 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 02/28/2005
EE-IL-0317-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:88−cv−03773 (N.D. Ill.) 03/31/2010
EE-IL-0317-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
(Denying motion to dismiss as to some plaintiffs and granting as to others) 09/07/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order and Opinion Directing Entry of Judgments 03/01/2002 (2002 WL 335317 / 2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3463) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
MEMORANDUM OPINION DIRECTING ENTRY OF JUDGMENTS 05/30/2002 (2002 WL 1160930) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION EXPLAINING THE EXCLUSION OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE CITY'S PROFFERED EXPERT WITNESS DANIEL GARCIA DURING DAMAGES TRIALS NOS. 1 and 2 05/31/2002 (2002 WL 1160948 / 2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9816) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion (Vacating Damages Award) 08/27/2004 (382 F.3d 608)
EE-IL-0317-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING CITY OF CHICAGO’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 07/23/2007 (2007 WL 2126088) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF THE GROUP B PLAINTIFFS-INTERVENORS DAMAGE ALLOCATION PROCESS 02/20/2009 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit)
EE-IL-0317-0002
Holderman, James F. (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0001 | EE-IL-0317-0003 | EE-IL-0317-0004 | EE-IL-0317-0005 | EE-IL-0317-0006 | EE-IL-0317-0007 | EE-IL-0317-9000
Manion, Daniel Anthony (Seventh Circuit)
EE-IL-0317-0002
Williams, Ann Claire (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0317-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bish, Suzanne Elaine (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Fischer, Max (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Friedman, Linda (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000 | EE-IL-0317-9001
Gilbert, Jennifer Schoen (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Hilliard, Terrance (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Leinenweber, Thomas More (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Murray, James (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Pedersen, Erika E. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Russell, Richard (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Stowell, Mary (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000 | EE-IL-0317-9001
Weinstein, Jill (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Wood, James Bryan (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Zelizer, Ethan G. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abrahams, Nadine C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Avendano, Naomi Ann (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Burke, Edward J. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Cohen, Diane S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Gagliardo, Joseph (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Hall, Robert Raymond (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Johlie, Christopher (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Kertez, Jay Michael (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Libby, Eileen (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Naber, Jennifer (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Pinelli, Vincent Dominick (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Rocks, Patrick J. Jr. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Scott, Curtrice (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Seery, David (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Soloman, Benna Ruth (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9001
Vanderwicken, Sarah (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Ward, Torrick (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000
Other Lawyers Bredemann, Ronald (Illinois)
EE-IL-0317-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -