University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. KOHLER CO dba STERLING PLUMBING GROUP, INC. EE-AR-0028
Docket / Court LR-C-99-486 ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On July 8, 1999, the Memphis and Little Rock offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit under Title VII against Kohler Company (doing business as Sterling Plumbing Group, Inc.) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The EEOC alleged that the ... read more >
On July 8, 1999, the Memphis and Little Rock offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit under Title VII against Kohler Company (doing business as Sterling Plumbing Group, Inc.) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The EEOC alleged that the defendants had violated the rights of the complainant by discriminating against him on the basis of his race and by retaliating against him when he complained of the alleged discrimination.

After attempts to settle the case failed, the parties went to trial on February 20, 2001. After 4 days at trial, the jury issued its verdict. The jury found that the defendants had not violated the complainant's rights by discriminating against him, but that the defendants had violated the complainant's rights by retaliating against him when he complained of discrimination. They awarded the complainant $40,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages, with interest at the rate of 6.052% until the money was paid. The jury also awarded the EEOC their litigation costs.

On March 12, 2001, the defendant filed in the district court a motion for judgment as a matter of law, or, in the alternative, motions for a new trial and for remittitur. On March 27, 2002, the district court granted the defendants' motion for judgment as a matter of law, overturning the portion of the jury verdict that ruled for the plaintiff and finding that the defendants had not violated the complainant's rights by retaliating against him.

On May 28, 2002, the EEOC appealed the district court's decision to overturn the jury verdict. On September 22, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's issuance of judgment as a matter of law, reinstated the jury verdict, and remanded the case back to the district court to carry out the jury verdict. E.E.O.C. v. Kohler Co., 335 F.3d 766 (8th Cir. 2003).

Kristen Sagar - 03/17/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discipline
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Kohler Company
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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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)
02-2447 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 05/24/2002
EE-AR-0028-9001 PDF | Detail
4:99-cv-00486-JMM (E.D. Ark.) 12/14/2004
EE-AR-0028-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [re: Summary Judgment] 02/16/2001 (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0028-0001 PDF | Detail
Judgment 03/05/2001 (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0028-0002 PDF | Detail
Judgment as a Matter of Law 03/27/2002 (E.D. Ark.)
EE-AR-0028-0003 PDF | Detail
Appellate Opinion [Reversing Judgment] 09/12/2003 (335 F.3d 766)
EE-AR-0028-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
EEOC Press Release 01/05/2005
EE-AR-0028-0004 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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