A federal judge in the Western District of Wisconsin has denied a golf course’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an employee, who alleged that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race when he was fired.
Plaintiff Stanley Young, who was employed at by the Nakoma Golf Club from August 2002 to April 2003, alleged that the club and supervisor James Grasse had violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in the making and enforcing of contracts, including employment contracts. Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U.S. 454, 44 L. Ed. 2d 295, 95 S. Ct. 1716 (1975).
Young is seeking punitive and compensatory damages.
Shortly after the claim was fired, the defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Specifically, the defendants argued that plaintiff entered into an oral agreement to settle his discrimination claim shortly before the parties were scheduled to appear for a hearing before the Madison Equal Opportunity Commission.
The court denied the motion because the defendants “have not shown that they are entitled to dismissal of plaintiff’s claim.
“Even if I assumed that a valid oral agreement to settle plaintiff’s discrimination claim existed, it may be the case that the agreement merely constitutes an affirmative defense to liability. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(c) (accord and satisfaction is affirmative defense). If that were the case, dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) would be inappropriate. But I need not reach that question. Plaintiff’s complaint states a claim and defendants’ argument for dismissal is unpersuasive.”
Stanley Young v. Nakoma Golf Club et al.; W.D. Wis.; 05-C-174-C; 9/19/05
Attorneys of Record: (for plaintiff) Willie J. Nunnery. (for defendants) Stephen M. Compton of Thorpe, Compton & Christian, S.C., Delavan, Wis.