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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ind. Decisions - One Indiana case from 7th Circuit today [More]

In Coolidge v. Indianapolis (SD Ind., Judge Barker), an 8-page opinion, Judge Williams writes:

This appeal arises out of Kelly Coolidge’s second lawsuit charging her former employer, the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, also known as the Crime Lab, with sexual harassment and retaliation. She won the first lawsuit— which is not before us on appeal—when a jury concluded that the Crime Lab stood by while her supervisor, David Willoughby, sexually harassed her with coarse propositions and unwelcome fondling. (The jury awarded $300,000 in damages but the parties settled in exchange for the defendants’ dropping their appeal.) She didn’t win the present suit. She sued Indianapolis and Marion County claiming that Willoughby continued harassing her after his retirement by leaving behind pornography where she would find it, and that the city retaliated against her for filing the first lawsuit and EEOC complaints by refusing to promote her and by reprimanding and then firing her. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and Coolidge appealed. Because the pornography did not create a hostile work environment, and because she cannot make out a prima facie case of retaliation, we affirm.
[More] Howard Bashman of How Appealing quotes this line from the opinion: "Crime Lab employees frequently worked with corpses, so pornography depicting necrophilia might not have the same shocking overtones there as it would in another setting."

See also today's Decision of the Day entry on the ruling.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 16, 2007 12:37 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions