Case: Cook v. Howard Industries

2:11-cv-00041 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: Feb. 25, 2011

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 25, 2011, four former job applicants of Howard Industries filed a lawsuit against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Represented by private counsel, plaintiffs filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and a class of non-Latino (Caucasian and African-American) applicants who were harmed by the company's alleged discriminatory practices. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Howard Industries denied their job applications on the basis…

On February 25, 2011, four former job applicants of Howard Industries filed a lawsuit against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Represented by private counsel, plaintiffs filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and a class of non-Latino (Caucasian and African-American) applicants who were harmed by the company's alleged discriminatory practices. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Howard Industries denied their job applications on the basis of their race or national origin, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.). The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

On October 5, 2012, the District Court (Judge Keith Starrett) granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The court certified the class as "All black and non-Hispanic white persons who applied for a bargaining unit position at Howard Industries' Laurel, Mississippi transformer facility between January 1, 2003, and August 25, 2008, and were not hired."

The parties reached a settlement, and the court issued a consent decree on March 11, 2013, resulting in injunctive and monetary relief. Cook v. Howard Indus., 2:11-cv-00041-KS-MTP, 2013 WL 943664 (S.D. Miss. Mar. 11, 2013). Specifically, the settlement required Howard Industries (1) to create a settlement fund of $1,300,000 to be paid to class members and (2) to offer seventy of the class members a bargaining unit position at its Laurel transformer plant. The class members who qualified for these positions "must initially choose between the Individual Settlement Benefit and the Employment Benefit, but any Qualified Class Member not selected for employment will receive an Individual Settlement Benefit." Lastly, the consent decree provided that Howard Industries pay plaintiffs' attorney fees in the amount of $457,500. The settlement agreement, not including the payment of attorney fees, was valued by the parties at $3,050,000.00.

This case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jordan Rossen (11/23/2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4302099/parties/cook-v-howard-industries-inc/


Judge(s)

Starrett, Keith (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Johnson, J. Clifton II (Mississippi)

Ross, Lisa Mishune (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carter, Danielle (District of Columbia)

Hopson, Mark Daniel (District of Columbia)

Jorgensen, Jay T. (District of Columbia)

Lopez, Cara Viglucci (District of Columbia)

Todd, Gordon Dwyer (District of Columbia)

Yoder, Richard L. (Mississippi)

Judge(s)

Starrett, Keith (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Johnson, J. Clifton II (Mississippi)

Ross, Lisa Mishune (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carter, Danielle (District of Columbia)

Hopson, Mark Daniel (District of Columbia)

Jorgensen, Jay T. (District of Columbia)

Lopez, Cara Viglucci (District of Columbia)

Todd, Gordon Dwyer (District of Columbia)

Yoder, Richard L. (Mississippi)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [Pacer]

March 11, 2013 Docket
2

First Amended Complaint

Feb. 25, 2011 Complaint
34

Memorandum Opinion and Order (Certifying Class)

Cook v. Howard Industries, Inc.

Oct. 5, 2012 Order/Opinion
38

Joint Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement

Dec. 21, 2012 Pleading / Motion / Brief
43

Order Consolidating Cases

Jan. 4, 2013 Order/Opinion
50

Order Granting Joint Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Cost Reimbursement

2013 WL 943664

March 11, 2013 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Judicial Independence, Employment Discrimination Studies Funded

Ann Nicholson

This brief article describes the Clearinghouse's award of $12,000 to build its collection of employment discrimination class actions brought by private plaintiffs. Nov. 1, 2008 https://law.wustl.edu/...

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4302099/cook-v-howard-industries-inc/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Howard Industries, Inc. ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 34643008322) filed by Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps, Seleatha McGee and Charlyn Dozier. (Attachment: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(mbs) (Entered: 02/28/2011)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Feb. 25, 2011 PACER
2

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT against Howard Industries, Inc. filed by Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps, Seleatha McGee and Charlyn Dozier.(mbs) (Main Document 2 replaced on 4/20/2011) (ALJ). (Entered: 02/28/2011)

Feb. 25, 2011 PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Howard Industries, Inc. (mbs) (Entered: 03/03/2011)

March 3, 2011 PACER
4

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Veronica Cook, Yolanda Phelps, Seleatha McGee, Charlyn Dozier Howard Industries, Inc. served on 4/19/2011, answer due 5/10/2011. (Ross, Lisa) (Entered: 04/21/2011)

April 21, 2011 PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Richard L. Yoder on behalf of All Defendants (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/04/2011)

May 4, 2011 PACER
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Richard L. Yoder, Jr on behalf of Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/05/2011)

May 5, 2011 PACER
7

MOTION for Gordon D. Todd to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/05/2011)

May 5, 2011 PACER
8

MOTION for Mark D. Hopson to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/05/2011)

May 5, 2011 PACER
9

MOTION for Danielle Carter to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/05/2011)

May 5, 2011 PACER
10

ANSWER to 2 Amended Complaint by Howard Industries, Inc..(Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/10/2011)

May 10, 2011 PACER
11

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 05/10/2011)

May 10, 2011 PACER
12

Rule 16(a) Initial Order: Telephonic Case Management Conference set for 6/29/2011 9:30 AM before Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker. Counsel for plaintiff is responsible for initiating the conference call and shall contact Judge Parker's chambers (601.544.9100) when all parties are connected. Confidential settlement memoranda are due on or before 6/24/11. (KPM) (Entered: 05/13/2011)

May 13, 2011 PACER
13

NOTICE of Appearance by J. Clifton Johnson, II on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 05/18/2011)

May 18, 2011 PACER
14

INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on August 11, 2011 (KPM) (Entered: 08/11/2011)

Aug. 11, 2011 PACER
15

NOTICE of Service of Initial Disclosure by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 10/12/2011)

Oct. 12, 2011 PACER
16

NOTICE of Service of Plaintiffs' Pre-Discovery Disclosure by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 10/18/2011)

Oct. 18, 2011 PACER
17

NOTICE of Service of Interrogatories by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 10/20/2011)

Oct. 20, 2011 PACER
18

NOTICE of Service of Interrogatories by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 10/25/2011)

Oct. 25, 2011 PACER
19

ANSWER to Complaint by Howard Industries, Inc..(Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 10/31/2011)

Oct. 31, 2011 PACER
20

ORDER granting Joint Ore Tenus Motion to Consolidate Cases. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on November 1, 2011. (KM) (Entered: 11/01/2011)

Nov. 1, 2011 RECAP
21

Ore Tenus MOTION to Amend Case Management Order by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps. (KM) (Entered: 11/01/2011)

Nov. 1, 2011 PACER
22

**DISREGARD THIS ENTRY**IT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY ORDER 23 **ORDER granting 21 Ore Tenus Motion to Amend Case Management Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on November 1, 2011. (KM) Modified on 11/1/2011 (mbs). (Entered: 11/01/2011)

Nov. 1, 2011 PACER
23

Amended ORDER granting 21 Ore Tenus MOTION to Amend Case Management Order filed by Yolanda Phelps, Seleatha McGee, Charlyn Dozier, Veronica Cook. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on November 1, 2011. (KM) (Entered: 11/01/2011)

Nov. 1, 2011 PACER
24

ORDER granting Joint Ore Tenus Motion for Protective Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on November 7, 2011. (KM) (Entered: 11/07/2011)

Nov. 7, 2011 PACER
25

NOTICE of Service of Plaintiffs' First Request for Production by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 11/09/2011)

Nov. 9, 2011 PACER
26

NOTICE of Service of Request for Production by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 11/11/2011)

Nov. 11, 2011 PACER
27

Joint MOTION to Extend Class Discovery Deadline by Howard Industries, Inc. (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 12/16/2011)

Dec. 16, 2011 PACER
28

ORDER granting 27 Motion to Extend Deadlines. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker on December 16, 2011. (KM) (Entered: 12/16/2011)

Dec. 16, 2011 PACER
29

MOTION to Certify Class and for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps Responses due by 9/28/2012 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit 2 - Settlement Agreement, # 3 Exhibit 2A - Bargaining Unit Positions, # 4 Exhibit 3 - Class Notice, # 5 Exhibit 4 - Publication Notice, # 6 Exhibit 5 - Verification Form, # 7 Exhibit 6 - Trust Agreement)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 08/17/2012)

1 Exhibit 1 - Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit 2 - Settlement Agreement

View on PACER

3 Exhibit 2A - Bargaining Unit Positions

View on PACER

4 Exhibit 3 - Class Notice

View on PACER

5 Exhibit 4 - Publication Notice

View on PACER

6 Exhibit 5 - Verification Form

View on PACER

7 Exhibit 6 - Trust Agreement

View on PACER

Aug. 17, 2012 PACER
30

MEMORANDUM in Support re 29 MOTION to Certify Class and for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement filed by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Proposed Schedule for Class Settlement)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 08/17/2012)

1 Exhibit A - Proposed Schedule for Class Settlement

View on PACER

Aug. 17, 2012 PACER
31

NOTICE (Joint) Clarifying Class Action Settlement Agreement by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Stipulation and Class Action Settlement Agreement)(Johnson, J.) (Entered: 09/18/2012)

1 Exhibit A - Stipulation and Class Action Settlement Agreement

View on PACER

Sept. 18, 2012 PACER
32

MEMORANDUM in Support re 29 MOTION to Certify Class and for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement (Supplemental) filed by Veronica Cook, Charlyn Dozier, Seleatha McGee, Yolanda Phelps (Johnson, J.) (Entered: 09/26/2012)

Sept. 26, 2012 PACER
33

MOTION for Jay T. Jorgensen to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Howard Industries, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Good Standing)(Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 09/26/2012)

1 Certificate of Good Standing

View on PACER

Sept. 26, 2012 PACER
34

ORDER granting 29 Motion to Certify Class. Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on October 5, 2012. (DM) (Entered: 10/05/2012)

Oct. 5, 2012 PACER
35

NOTICE of Change of Address by Richard L. Yoder (Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 10/30/2012)

Oct. 30, 2012 PACER
36

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by Howard Industries, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Order on Motion to Withdraw Appearance)(Yoder, Richard) (Entered: 11/16/2012)

1 Exhibit Proposed Order on Motion to Withdraw Appearance

View on PACER

Nov. 16, 2012 PACER
50

ORDER granting Joint 38 Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Cost Reimbursement. Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on March 11, 2013 (dsl)

March 12, 2013 RECAP

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 25, 2011

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Four African-American applicants at Howard Industries, on behalf of themselves and a class of non-Latino (Caucasian as well as African-American) applicants who were denied jobs on the basis of their race.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Howard Industries, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $3,507,500.00

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Issues

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

White

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Other