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Trial Summary

Trial Summary

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Published by: The Dallas Morning News on Oct 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/28/2014

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______________________________________________________________________________________JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER
PAGE 1
 
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASDALLAS DIVISIONBRUTON STEPHENS, SR., §§Plaintiff, §§v. § No. 3:10-CV-0191-O§CITY OF DALLAS, §§Defendant. §
JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER
 
Summary of the Claims and Defenses of Each Party
 
Plaintiff 
1.
 
Plaintiff suffered adverse employment actions during his employment with the City of Dallas because he made good faith reports of workplace and criminal misconduct,including theft by City of Dallas employees, and good faith reports of discrimination andretaliation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the City of Dallas and itsemployees and policymakers, the Dallas Police Department, and local news media.2.
 
The materially adverse employment actions include assigning Plaintiff to clean theparking lot, removing him from “lead technician” duties, and terminating Plaintiff’semployment with the City of Dallas under the guise of a reduction in force effectiveOctober 1, 2009.3.
 
Plaintiff engaged in speech involving a matter of public concern when he reportedworkplace and criminal misconduct, including reports of theft by City of Dallas
Case 3:10-cv-00191-O-BD Document 91 Filed 10/19/12 Page 1 of 22 PageID 2801
 
______________________________________________________________________________________JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER
PAGE 2
 
employees, and made allegations of discrimination and retaliation to the EqualEmployment Opportunity Commission, the City of Dallas and its employees andpolicymakers, the Dallas Police Department, and local news outlets.4.
 
Plaintiff’s interest in commenting on matters of public concern outweighs Defendant’sinterest in promoting efficiency.5.
 
Plaintiff suffered adverse employment actions, including being assigned to clean theparking lot, removing him from “lead technician” duties, and terminating Plaintiff’semployment with the City of Dallas under the guise of a reduction in force effectiveOctober 1, 2009, as a result of his protected speech, in violation of the United StatesConstitution and 42 U.S.C. §1983.6.
 
Plaintiff suffered adverse employment actions as a result of reporting to an appropriatelaw enforcement authority, in good faith, violations of law by the City of Dallas and byCity of Dallas employees. The City of Dallas thereby violated the Texas WhistleblowerAct,
T
EX
.
 
G
OV
.
 
C
ODE
§ 554.001 et seq.7.
 
Plaintiff suffered adverse employment actions, including being assigned to clean theparking lot, removing him from “lead technician” duties, and terminating Plaintiff’semployment with the City of Dallas under the guise of a reduction in force effectiveOctober 1, 2009, as a result of his protected activities, in violation of Title VII of theCivil Rights Act of 1964.8.
 
Plaintiff exhausted administrative remedies and filed suit within the appropriate statute of limitation or filing deadline for each cause of action at issue in this litigation.
Case 3:10-cv-00191-O-BD Document 91 Filed 10/19/12 Page 2 of 22 PageID 2802
 
______________________________________________________________________________________JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER
PAGE 3
 
9.
 
Plaintiff is entitled to compensation for his mental anguish and emotional distress andrelated medical expenses, his lost wages, attorney’s fees, exemplary damages, pre andpost-judgment interest, and costs of court.
Defendant
 Defendant denies all of Plaintiff’s claims, and denies that Plaintiff suffered aconstitutional injury. Defendant further contends that Plaintiff’s alleged injury did not resultdirectly and only from a City custom having the force of official policy, of which the City’spolicymaker was deliberately indifferent to a known or obvious risk of deprivation of Plaintiff’sconstitutional rights.Defendant denies that it retaliated against Plaintiff or that Plaintiff suffered the allegedmaterially adverse actions. Following Plaintiff’s report of an allegation of theft, the Cityreviewed Plaintiff’s allegations, conducted an investigation and took appropriate measures inaccordance with its findings. Defendant denies that it retaliated against Plaintiff for making anallegation of theft against his co-worker. There is no evidence that Defendant took any adverseaction against Plaintiff because he made an allegation of theft. The evidence revealed thatDefendant took all of Plaintiff’s complaints seriously and addressed them in the appropriatemanner.It is Defendant’s contention that Plaintiff did not initiate a grievance regarding the noticeof layoff that he received. Therefore, his cause of action pursuant to the Texas WhistleblowerAct, Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 554.001
et seq.
is barred. It is also Defendant’s contention that Plaintiff did not file his lawsuit within 90 days of receiving notice that his position had been selected forlayoff, barring his cause of action due to the statute of limitations. Alternatively, if the Courtand/or the jury decide that Plaintiff initiated a grievance regarding his layoff, it is Defendant’s
Case 3:10-cv-00191-O-BD Document 91 Filed 10/19/12 Page 3 of 22 PageID 2803

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