University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Knee v. Runyon EE-PA-0239
Docket / Court 98-527 ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On March 31, 1998, eight individual plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated individuals. The Plaintiffs sued the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The ... read more >
On March 31, 1998, eight individual plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated individuals. The Plaintiffs sued the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The information on the exact issues in the case is unavailable, but the general issue in the case involved the USPS's conducting of medical examinations and making disability-related inquiries before giving out job offers to prospective employees. The Plaintiffs sought preliminary injunction enjoining the Postal Service from conducting these types of medical examinations and inquiries in connection with hiring at the Remote Encoding Center in York, PA. The case was first assigned to Judge James F. McClure Jr, then reassigned to Judge Yvette Kane, then reassigned again to Judge Christopher C. Conner.

The case started out with the parties engaging in discovery between March 1998 to June 1999. During this time, the Plaintiffs also asked the Court for class certification and preliminary injunction to enjoin USPS.

During the discovery process, in May 1999, the Defendant attempted to get the case dismissed by moving for summary judgment. On June 25, 1999, Judge Kane ruled on the parties' motions. He:
- denied the Plaintiffs' motion for class certification (he decided to reassess the matter of class certification as the case progresses).
- denied the Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction.
- denied the Defendant's motion for partial summary judgment.

The Plaintiffs appealed this decision a month later.

The Appellate Court decided on the appeal on October 8, 1999, ruling that in accordance with the agreement of the parties, the case is dismissed pursuant to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 42(b). Judge Kane ordered that the case be tried in May 2000.

The trial never happened, however, because in April 2000, Judge Kane referred the case to a Mediator for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The records do not show the details, but presumably between April and August, the parties were able to come closer to reaching a settlement.

Because Judge Kane and the parties expected a settlement soon, Judge Kane in August 2000 decided to deny without prejudice the parties' pending motions. She noted that the parties may refile the motions if the settlement falls through.

The parties finally stipulated the settlement on January 18, 2001. On February 26, 2001, Judge Kane made these decisions regarding the stipulation:
- The settlement is tentatively approved for the purpose of sending the Notice of settlement to plaintiffs and the settlement class.
- Class is certified only for the purpose of making the determination to be made pursuant to this order (the class is defined in the Settlement Agreement, but that document is unavailable to us).
- Class Counsel shall send a notice of this lawsuit to all members of the Class

Judge Kane approved the Settlement Agreement on April 27, 2001. The settlement amount for the class members is unknown from the available records. It is also unclear if and what kind of injunctive relief was awarded, but there probably was some type of injunctive relief included in the settlement. Judge Kane also awarded attorney's fees and expenses for the Plaintiff's attorneys-- $375,000 for services and $25,000 for expenses. She terminated the case with prejudice, but the case did not completely close only because the attorneys' fee payment was pending.

In December 2004, Judge Kane recused herself from the case for reasons that do not appear on the records. The case got reassigned to Judge Christopher C. Conner who then granted the Plaintiff's motion for award of attorney's fees and expenses for securing the Court's approval of the Settlement and in distributing the settlement costs to Class members. The maximum amount approved was $6,520 (plus interest, which was set to a maximum of $18,000). Judge Connor closed the case in December 2004.

Lisa Koo - 05/28/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Medical Exam / Inquiry
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action
Defendant(s) United States Postal Service
Plaintiff Description Eight individual job applicants on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated individuals. They had applied to positions at the United States Postal Service's (USPS) Remote Encoding Center in York, PA, and objected to USPS's conducting medical examinations and making disability-related inquiries before it gave out job offers to its candidates.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2004 - 2004
Filing Year 1998
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
4:98−cv−00527 (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0239-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [ECF# 140] (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0239-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Conner, Christopher C. (M.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-0001 | EE-PA-0239-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ewing, William H. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Oxholm, Carl III (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Press, Carol L. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Rosman, Lewis (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Sterbakov, Jill (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Calamoneri, Kevin A. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Donovan, Dulce (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Frye, Mary Catherine (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Mershimer, Kate L. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Stewart, Linda S. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000
Terz, Joseph J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
EE-PA-0239-9000

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