The Richmond Register

June 17, 2013

Federal court dismisses second plaintiff in discrimination suit

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — The claims brought by a second plaintiff in a racial discrimination lawsuit against GR Spring & Stamping were dismissed by a federal judge in late May.

Qareeb Hayden brought the original civil complaint March 27 in Madison Circuit Court. He alleged that while hired through a temp agency to work at the plant, he was subjected to verbal and work duty-related discrimination because of his race from February to September 2012.

Johnetta Williams was added as a plaintiff April 22, and she also alleged that she faced verbal racial slurs and vandalism to her car while working at GR Spring & Stamping from October to November 2011.

Both plaintiffs stated they were the only black workers at the plant on Berea Road during their periods of employment through the temp agency, according to their complaints.

The case was moved in late April to U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Senior U.S. Judge Joseph Hood ruled May 30 that Williams’ claim must be dismissed because in her July 2012 bankruptcy filing she failed to disclose the potential employment discrimination claim.

However, when attorneys representing GR Spring & Stamping filed a motion asking that Williams be dismissed as a party in the lawsuit, Williams immediately amended her sworn bankruptcy schedules to indicate her discrimination claim is an asset, according to Hood.

“In this case, there is no question that Williams made absolutely no effort, successful or otherwise, to amend her bankruptcy schedules until May 16, 2013, six days after (the) Defendant filed its motion to dismiss her as a party...” Hood wrote. “Unfortunately, under Sixth Circuit precedent, this effort is too little, too late.”

Williams could not disprove she acted in bad faith when she omitted her employment discrimination claim from her bankruptcy filings, the judge’s opinion stated.

Although Williams was removed as a party in the lawsuit, Hayden’s claims against the plant still stand.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com

or 624-6694.