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Sex- and race-based harrassment and retaliation suit dismissed

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals summarily dismissed a claim brought by Christine Ladd against the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, claiming that Ladd had not met her burden of proof.  Ladd was a six-year employee of Grand Trunk who had been promoted twice by the company.  She was fired after she accused a supervisory employee of calling her a "black bitch" and, after her complaint, of injuring her by moving a truck without warning her.  Although their claims were admittedly contradictory and inconsistent, several co-workers to some extent collaborated the supervisor's claim that Ladd wasn't in the truck bed when he moved it, and on that basis, Ladd was fired for making a "false report".

The Court held that Ladd's case could be summarily dismissed without a jury weighing the facts and credibility of the witnesses.  Ladd had maintained that the alleged "false" report was a factual issue that should have been heard by a jury and that firing her on the basis of her report was disproportionate retaliation for her complaints about the supervisory employee.

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