Case: Ramirez v. DeCoster

2:98-cv-00186 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

Filed Date: May 18, 1998

Closed Date: 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 18, 1998, the Republic of Mexico and several individual employees filed a lawsuit against the DeCoster egg farm under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq., in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. The plaintiffs sought damages for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging racial discrimination.…

On May 18, 1998, the Republic of Mexico and several individual employees filed a lawsuit against the DeCoster egg farm under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq., in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. The plaintiffs sought damages for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging racial discrimination. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that DeCoster had purposefully recruited Mexican laborers under false pretenses, prompted them to travel a great distance to Maine, and then discriminated against them on-site in terms and conditions of employment and housing.

On August 9, 1999 the court (Judge D. Brock Hornby) ruled that the Republic of Mexico did not have standing in court. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 59 F. Supp. 2d 120, (D. Me. 1999). On March 31, 2000, the court (Judge Hornby) denied the plaintiff's motion for class certification. The court also granted DeCoster's motion for summary judgment on all claims except those for racial discrimination in housing and employment discrimination. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 194 F.R.D. 348 (D. Me. 2000). However, at the time of this class certification decision a settlement agreement was already underway between the parties. As a result, on July 7, 2000, the plaintiffs brought a motion to enforce the settlement agreement.

On October 15, 2001, the court (Judge Hornby) found that there was an enforceable agreement as of February 21, 2000, and also certified a settlement class for all claims in the amended complaint. In the settlement agreement the defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs a sum of $6 million and to consider rehiring certain former employees. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 203 F.R.D. 30 (D. Me. 2001). The case is closed.

Summary Authors

Emily Kuznick (7/25/2010)

People


Judge(s)

Cohen, David Michael (Maine)

Hornby, David Brock (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Friedman, Harold J (Maine)

Leavitt, Laurence H. (Maine)

McGivney, John J. (Massachusetts)

Morris, Sally A (Maine)

Wolf, Karen Frink (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Knowles, William C. (Maine)

O'Brien, Timothy J. (Maine)

Schreiber, Jeffrey A. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Cohen, David Michael (Maine)

Hornby, David Brock (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Friedman, Harold J (Maine)

Leavitt, Laurence H. (Maine)

McGivney, John J. (Massachusetts)

Morris, Sally A (Maine)

Wolf, Karen Frink (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Knowles, William C. (Maine)

O'Brien, Timothy J. (Maine)

Schreiber, Jeffrey A. (Massachusetts)

Somers, Thomas H. (Maine)

Stackpole, Kerin E. (Vermont)

Other Attorney(s)

Guiliani, Benjamin J. (Maine)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:98-cv-00186

Docket [PACER]

Ramirez v. Decoster

Feb. 12, 2007

Feb. 12, 2007

Docket
76

2:98-cv-00186

Order on defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Estados Unidos v. DeCoster

59 F.Supp.2d 120

Aug. 9, 1999

Aug. 9, 1999

Order/Opinion
117

2:98-cv-00186

Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

194 F.R.D. 348

March 31, 2000

March 31, 2000

Order/Opinion
122

2:98-cv-00186

Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14546

May 11, 2000

May 11, 2000

Order/Opinion
165

2:98-cv-00186

Opinion

2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21946

Sept. 18, 2000

Sept. 18, 2000

Order/Opinion
195

2:98-cv-00186

Opinion

142 F.Supp.2d 104, 2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 7259

June 1, 2001

June 1, 2001

Order/Opinion
215

2:98-cv-00186

Opinion

203 F.R.D. 30

Oct. 15, 2001

Oct. 15, 2001

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 13, 2022, 3:07 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Maine

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Private Employment Class Actions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 18, 1998

Closing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Mexican and Hispanic employees of DeCoster egg farms alleging racial discrimination

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

DeCoster, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $6,000,000.00

Content of Injunction:

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Reinstatement

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Accommodation / Leave

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Other