On July 25, 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of a black forklift operator (plaintiff-intervenor), filed a lawsuit in the Western District Court of Tennessee under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Stein World, LLC. The EEOC sought the defendant's compliance with a prior settlement agreement, injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and other forms of affirmative relief, claiming that the defendant violated a prior settlement agreement between the parties since it harassed the plaintiff-intervenor based on his race and discharged him in retaliation of filing this suit and participating in the an EEOC-sponsored mediation.
In January 2005, the plaintiff-intervenor was hired by the defendant as a forklift operator. He was the only black forklift operator employed by the defendant. In April 2005, the plaintiff-intervenor reported to the defendant that a temporary employee had cursed him and that he was working in unsafe conditions. On May 5, 2005, his employment was terminated. On May 17, 2005, he filed a claim with the EEOC. Shortly after, he was hospitalized for pneumonia and eventually had to undergo a lung transplant. The defendants agreed to mediate the matter and on July 6, 2005, the plaintiff-intervenor and the defendant entered into a settlement agreement, where among other things, the defendant agreed to pay for the plaintiff-intervenor's medical expenses. When the plaintiff-intervenor gave the hospital bill to the defendant, they refused to pay more than $5,000, arguing that the mediator failed to include the $5,000 cap in the settlement agreement and that the plaintiff-intervenor made fraudulent misrepresentations to them by saying his medical expenses were only "a few thousand dollars."
On August 16, 2006, the defendant filed its answer and third-party complaint against the black employee involved in this suit, alleging that they never would have agreed to the prior settlement had the plaintiff-intervenor not made fraudulent misrepresentations to them.
On October 11, 2006, the District Court (Judge Jon P. McCalla) entered a default judgment against the plaintiff-intervenor, but then that order was set aside on March 7, 2007. On March 15, 2007, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint.
On March 27, 2007, the District Court (Judge Jon P. McCalla) denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the defendant's counter claim and third-party complaint. The parties then went through the discovery process.
On May 27, 2008, the District Court (Judge Jon P. McCalla) entered a consent decree where the defendant, among other things, agreed to pay the plaintiff-intervenor $15,000, and his hospital $42,426.41 for the third-party defendant's medical expenses.Perry Miska - 04/22/2014