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.