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Case: Hodczak v. Latrobe Specialty Steel Company

2:08-cv-00649 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: May 13, 2008

Closed Date: 2012

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Case Summary

On May 13, 2008, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania against Latrobe Specialty Steel Company. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated claiming that Latrobe violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621. The plaintiffs alleged that Latrobe engaged in practices that discriminated against its older work force in conducting termination…

On May 13, 2008, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania against Latrobe Specialty Steel Company. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated claiming that Latrobe violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621.

The plaintiffs alleged that Latrobe engaged in practices that discriminated against its older work force in conducting terminations and forced retirements over an extended period time. The four plaintiffs named in the complaint are all over the age of fifty and had worked at Latrobe for a number of years. They were all terminated after sending and receiving inappropriate material on their Latrobe email accounts, and were replaced by younger employees. The plaintiffs claimed that they suffered disparate treatment under the ADEA in that Latrobe's stated justifications for terminating the plaintiffs were a pretext for willful age discrimination, as well as disparate impact under the ADEA, because Latrobe favored younger employees and targeted older ones in deciding who would be terminated following the discovery of the emails. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the second claim regarding disparate impact on June 17, 2008.

The court denied the defendant's motions for summary judgment on March 31, 2009, and April 23, 2009. The court then granted the defendant's motions to exclude any claims under the ADEA that accrued before May 17, 2007.

Latrobe contended that it was entitled to summary judgment because the plaintiffs were unable to show any evidence that age was a determinative factor in its decision to terminate their employment. Latrobe conceded that the plaintiffs established a prima facie case of discrimination, but maintained that their decision to terminate the plaintiffs was based on their violations of Latrobe policy. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that "but for" their ages, Latrobe would not have terminated their employment for sending sexually explicit and pornographic emails. Additionally, the plaintiffs admitted that they sent the emails and could not dispute that doing so violated Latrobe's policies.

On December 29, 2010, the Court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted and dismissed the collective action claims. 761 F.Supp.2d 261 (W.D. Penn. 2010). The plaintiffs appealed this order.

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the Western District of Pennsylvania's holding on November 17, 2011. The Third Circuit held that a reasonable jury could not find that the plaintiffs would not have been fired but for their ages. Additionally, given the conduct in which the plaintiffs engaged and the lack of sufficient evidence suggesting an atmosphere of age discrimination at Latrobe, there was no basis for a finding that Latrobe's proffered rationale was a pretext for age discrimination. 451 F. App'x 238 (3d Cir. 2011). The plaintiffs were subsequently taxed $21,863.88 in favor of the defendant.

Summary Authors

Anna Jones (10/25/2015)

Carol Chen (7/4/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4932667/parties/hodczak-v-latrobe-specialty-steel-company/


Judge(s)

Fisher, D. Michael (Pennsylvania)

Hay, Amy R. (Pennsylvania)

McVerry, Terrence F. (Pennsylvania)

Roth, Jane Richards (Delaware)

Vanaskie, Thomas Ignatius (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fabian, Rudy A. (Pennsylvania)

Fox, Bruce C. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Evans, Melissa L. (Pennsylvania)

Giotto, Thomas S. (Pennsylvania)

Hornak, Mark Raymond (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Fisher, D. Michael (Pennsylvania)

Hay, Amy R. (Pennsylvania)

McVerry, Terrence F. (Pennsylvania)

Roth, Jane Richards (Delaware)

Vanaskie, Thomas Ignatius (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fabian, Rudy A. (Pennsylvania)

Fox, Bruce C. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Evans, Melissa L. (Pennsylvania)

Giotto, Thomas S. (Pennsylvania)

Hornak, Mark Raymond (Pennsylvania)

McLaughlin, Erin J. (Pennsylvania)

Quinn, Joseph M. (California)

Tuite, Jaime S. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:08-cv-00649

Docket [PACER]

Sept. 26, 2012

Sept. 26, 2012

Docket
645

2:08-cv-00649

Collective Action Complaint

May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

Complaint
10

2:08-cv-00649

Defendant's Brief in Support of Partial Motion to Dismiss

June 4, 2008

June 4, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief
9

2:08-cv-00649

Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss

June 4, 2008

June 4, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief
14

2:08-cv-00649

Plaintiffs' Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Count II of Plaintiffs' Complaint

June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief
15

2:08-cv-00649

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on All Collective Action Claims

Hodzak v. Latrobe Specialty Steel Company

June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief
57

2:08-cv-00649

Report and Recommendation

Jan. 23, 2009

Jan. 23, 2009

Magistrate Report/Recommendation
64

2:08-cv-00649

Report and Recommendation

March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

Magistrate Report/Recommendation
67

2:08-cv-00649

Order

March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

Order/Opinion
68

2:08-cv-00649

Order

March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4932667/hodczak-v-latrobe-specialty-steel-company/

Last updated Nov. 29, 2022, 3:22 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
57

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that Plaintiff's motion to deny summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f) on all of Plaintiff Hodczak's claims 41 be granted; that defendant's motion for summary judgment on all of plaintiff Hodczak 39;s claims 19 , in fact, be denied; that defendant's motion for summaryjudgment on all collective action claims 15 be treated as a motion to dismiss and be granted; and that plaintiff's motion to deny defendant's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56(f) on all collective action claims 42 be denied. Objections to R&R due by 2/9/2009. Signed by Magistrate Judge Amy Reynolds Hay on 1/23/2009. (dgg)

Jan. 23, 2009

Jan. 23, 2009

RECAP
64

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that plaintiffs' motion to deny summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.56(f)on all collective action claims 15 be granted, and that defendant's motion for summary judgment on all collective action claims 42 , in fact, be denied. Objections to R&R due by 3/19/2009. Response to objections due 3/26/2009. Signed by Magistrate Judge Amy Reynolds Hay on 3/9/2009. (dgg)

March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

RECAP
67

ORDER adopting as the Opinion of the District Court the 64 Report and Recommendation of March 9, 2009. Plaintiffs' motion to deny summary judgment on all Collective Action Claims 42 is GRANTED and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on all Collective Actions 15 is DENIED. Signed by Judge Terrence F. McVerry on 03/31/09. (bsc)

March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

RECAP
68

ORDER adopting in part 57 Report and Recommendations. Plaintiffs' motion to deny summary judgment on all of plaintiff Hodczak's claims 41 is GRANTED and defendant's motion for summary judgment on all of plaintiff Hodczak's claims 19 is DENIED. Signed by Judge Terrence F. McVerry on 03/31/09. (bsc)

March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

RECAP
117

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER re 112 PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTION Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(A) to Memorandum Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion toCompel Production of Hans Sacts's Hard Drive and Defendant's Digital Camera filed by DOUGLAS M. HODCZAK, THOMAS J. MAGDIC, JAMES M. CROSSAN, JOSEPH A. LITVIK. Plaintiffs' objections are denied. Signed by Judge Terrence F. McVerry on 3/9/2010. (cdb) Modified on 3/10/2010 (jsp).

March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

RECAP
168

MEMORANDUM ORDER denying Defendant's Objections to Magistrate Judge's ruling 160 , as explained therein. Signed by Judge Terrence F. McVerry on 10-5-10. (mh, )

Oct. 5, 2010

Oct. 5, 2010

RECAP
187

MEMORANDUM AND OPINION re 132 MOTION for Summary Judgment by LATROBE SPECIALTY STEEL COMPANY. Signed by Judge Terrence F. McVerry on 12/29/2010. (kly)

Dec. 29, 2010

Dec. 29, 2010

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 13, 2008

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs, all over fifty, are former employees of Latrobe.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Latrobe Specialty Steel Company, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination-area:

Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff

Discipline

Discrimination-basis:

Age discrimination