Discrimination claim against Wayne State Medical School is dismissed
Kathleen Fitzgerald filed a Michigan Civil Rights Act claim, alleging discrimination and retaliation, after she was fired as director of public affairs for the School of Medicine. Her primary claim on appeal was her allegation that the trial court had improperly excluded from evidence an investigator's draft report concluding that the school had in fact discriminated against her. The investigator testified that she re-wrote the draft, reversing its conclusion, after she determined that she had applied an incorrect analysis of a gender discrimination claim.
Wayne State filed a motion in limine to keep out the draft report, claiming that it was irrelevant and would be unfairly prejudicial. (No kidding.) Ms. Fitzgerald argued the report was relevant to her claim of retaliation. The trial court granted WSU's motion, holding that the jury would likely use the report for the wrong purpose--that is, to substantiate the discrimination claim. The appellate court acknowledged that the issue was one for the trial court's exercise of discretion and concluded that the lower court did not err in excluding the report from evidence. In reaching this conclusion, it pointed out that there was no proof linking the report to the terminating supervisor.