15 F.3d 32 (2nd Cir. 1994), 629, Gierlinger v. New York State Police

Docket Nº:629, Docket 93-7485.
Citation:15 F.3d 32
Party Name:Christine M. GIERLINGER, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NEW YORK STATE POLICE, et al., Defendants, John Gleason, Individually, and in his Capacity as a Major and Troop Commander of Troop A of the New York State Police, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:January 26, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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15 F.3d 32 (2nd Cir. 1994)

Christine M. GIERLINGER, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

NEW YORK STATE POLICE, et al., Defendants,

John Gleason, Individually, and in his Capacity as a Major

and Troop Commander of Troop A of the New York

State Police, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 629, Docket 93-7485.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

January 26, 1994

Argued Nov. 9, 1993.

Michael S. Buskus, Asst. Atty. Gen., Albany, NY (Robert Abrams, Atty. Gen., Peter G. Crary, Asst. Atty. Gen., Peter H. Schiff, Deputy Sol. Gen., Albany, NY, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Willard M. Pottle, Jr., Buffalo, NY, for plaintiff-appellee.

Before: NEWMAN, Chief Judge, CARDAMONE and GOODWIN [*], Circuit Judges.

GOODWIN, Circuit Judge:

John Gleason appeals from the May 29, 1992 judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Elfvin, J.), entered against him after a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff Christine M. Gierlinger in an amount of $340,000, and from the same court's order dated April 15, 1993 that denied appellant's motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial.

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Ms. Gierlinger, a former New York state trooper, brought an employment discrimination action against the New York State Police and named as defendants State Police officials, alleging that she was fired because she is a woman, and in retaliation for filing complaints of sexual harassment. Based on the same set of facts, the plaintiff brought both a Title VII sex discrimination claim, which prior to 1991 was not triable to a jury but which carries respondeat superior liability, and a 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 damage claim that is triable to a jury, but which does not impose respondeat liability. She also alleged state law claims. The trial court submitted the commingled claims to the jury with instructions that generally stated correct legal principles, but which, on the evidentiary record before the jury, left the jury with uncertain guidance on which legal principles to apply to whatever they determined the facts to be.

The jury returned verdicts in favor of all defendants except appellant John Gleason, the now-retired former commander of the troop in which plaintiff was employed, who was sued personally and in his official capacity. The other named defendants who were exonerated by the jury held various positions of...

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