549 F.2d 347 (5th Cir. 1977), 75-3377, Satterwhite v. City of Greenville, Tex.

Docket Nº:75-3377.
Citation:549 F.2d 347
Party Name:Minda SATTERWHITE, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF GREENVILLE, TEXAS, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:March 24, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 347

549 F.2d 347 (5th Cir. 1977)

Minda SATTERWHITE, on behalf of herself and others similarly

situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

CITY OF GREENVILLE, TEXAS, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 75-3377.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

March 24, 1977

Larry R. Daves, Tyler, Tex., for plaintiffs-appellants.

John A. Martin, Rod Phelan, Dallas, Tex., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Before GODBOLD, SIMPSON and GEE, Circuit Judges.

GODBOLD, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff, a female, applied for the job as manager of the Greenville, Texas, airport. The city denied her the job because of a potential conflict of interest arising from her husband's being a tenant and the primary user of the airport. A man was employed for the job.

Page 348

Plaintiff filed this Tit. VII suit on behalf of herself individually and a class of present and prospective female employees of the city who are victims of its (1) discriminatory hiring policy, (2) sexually segregated job classifications, and (3) discriminatory compensation scheme. Following a hearing on the merits, the court found for the city on plaintiff's individual claim and denied her the right to proceed with a class action. We affirm the former, reverse the latter.

The trial court refused to allow the class action to proceed, "mainly upon the ground that plaintiff has failed to establish a 'nexus' because the conflict of interest issue unique to this case vitiates both the commonality of law and fact questions and the typicality of the claims and defenses." The trial court seemed to be saying that because the city has a valid affirmative defense to Satterwhite's individual claim of sex discrimination she is not representative of the class. The conflict of interest did not preclude plaintiff's membership in the class. In Huff v. N. D. Cass Company of Alabama, 485 F.2d 710 (CA5, 1973) (en banc ), this court held:

. . . a class plaintiff who otherwise meets the demands of 23(a) and (b) should not be found to be disqualified solely by an advance determination that his claim is predictably not a winning claim and that, therefore, he cannot adequately represent the class as mandated by 23(a)(4).

Id. at 714 (footnote omitted).

Rule 23(a) requires that in order for one to bring suit on behalf of a class the following...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP