August 23, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 8/24/10

The Tenth Circuit on Monday issued three published opinions and five unpublished opinions.


In Deutsch v. Jordan, the Court affirmed in part and granted in part the district court’s denial of summary judgment to Petitioner. Respondent brought civil rights and state law claims against Petitioner after being fired as police chief, alleging his termination was in retaliation to his testimony during a defamation lawsuit brought against a private citizen. The Court affirmed the district court by finding that Respondent’s testimony was on a matter of public concern, and therefore protected. However, the Court granted the motion in part as the Court lacked jurisdiction to review the determination that Petitioner fired Respondent “because she believed he had lied during his defamation-suit testimony.”

In Jones v. Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for Respondent. Petitioner brought an age discrimination claim against Respondent for her termination. While the district court found Petitioner had established sufficient evidence for a prima facie case of discrimination and evidence to show Respondent’s proffered reasons were pretextual, the court granted summary judgment by finding that no reasonable juror could find for Petitioner. However, the Court found that the district court applied the improper “pretext plus” analysis in its review. The Supreme Court, along with the Tenth Circuit, has “rejected the so-called ‘pretext plus’ standard that required plaintiffs using the McDonnell Douglas framework to both show pretext and produce ‘additional evidence of discrimination’ in order to avoid summary judgment;” therefore, “‘once a plaintiff presents evidence sufficient to create a genuine factual dispute regarding the veracity of a defendant’s nondiscriminatory reason, we presume the jury could infer that the employer acted for a discriminatory reason and must deny summary judgment.'”

In State Farm Mutual Ins. Co. v. Fisher, the Court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgement for Respondents. Petitioner claimed she was entitled to uninsured motorist benefits from Respondents, however the district court was correct in denying her claim. The vehicle in question was not the cause of Petitioner’s son’s death; rather, the vehicle was used as a means of transportation to the point at which the occupant vacated the vehicle and assaulted Petitioner’s son. This “use” of the vehicle is insufficient to grant uninsured motorist benefits.


Lee, Sr. v. State of Utah

Rockwell Acquisitions, Inc. v. Dress for Less, Inc.

Saleh v. Dunbar

United States v. Warren

Stouffer, II v. Whetsel

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind