751 F.2d 53 (1st Cir. 1984), 84-1585, Cazzola v. Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.

Docket Nº:84-1585.
Citation:751 F.2d 53
Party Name:Olga K. CAZZOLA, Plaintiff, Appellee, v. CODMAN & SHURTLEFF, INC., Defendant, Appellant.
Case Date:December 28, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 53

751 F.2d 53 (1st Cir. 1984)

Olga K. CAZZOLA, Plaintiff, Appellee,


CODMAN & SHURTLEFF, INC., Defendant, Appellant.

No. 84-1585.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

December 28, 1984

Argued Nov. 7, 1984.

Rehearings and Rehearings En Banc Denied Jan. 28 and March 14, 1985.

Page 54

James E. Farrell, Jr., New Brunswick, N.J., with whom Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., Vedder, Price, Kaufman, Kammholz & Day, Washington, D.C., Edward P. Leibensperger and Nutter, McClennen & Fish, Boston, Mass., were on brief for defendant, appellant.

Paul A. Manoff, Boston, Mass., with whom Levine & Manoff, Boston, Mass., was on brief for plaintiff, appellee.

Before COFFIN and BREYER, Circuit Judges, and WYZANSKI, [*] Senior District Judge.

COFFIN, Circuit Judge.

Appellee Olga Cazzola charged appellant Codman & Shurtleff, Inc. (Codman) with violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. Secs. 621-34. After a two-day trial, the jury ruled for Cazzola, finding that Codman wilfully violated the Act by constructively discharging her in September 1980. Codman appeals the district court's refusal to grant its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or for a new trial. After a careful review of the testimony in what we believe to be a close case, we feel constrained to affirm the decision below.

Our review of a denial of judgment n.o.v. is a narrow one. "Such a motion should be granted only upon a determination that the evidence could lead reasonable men to but one conclusion, a determination made without evaluating the credibility of witnesses or the weight of the evidence at trial." Hubbard v. Faros Fisheries, Inc., 626 F.2d 196, 199 (1st Cir.1980). In an age discrimination case, the inquiry "is whether the plaintiff has produced evidence from which a trier of fact might reasonably conclude that the employer intended to discriminate in reaching the decision at issue." Elliott v. Group Medical & Surgical Service, 714 F.2d 556, 562 (5th Cir.1983). Review of a motion for new trial is similarly limited, and a denial will be reversed only for an abuse of discretion. Austin v. Unarco Industries, Inc., 705 F.2d 1 (1st Cir.1983).

We can not say on this record that no jury could reach the conclusion that Codman discriminated against Cazzola on the basis of her age. Until Congress increased the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70 as of January 1, 1979, Codman required its employees to retire at age 65...

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