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Action for Wrongful Dismissal by Police Chief, and Insurance and Employment Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 30, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Deutsch v. Jordan, No. 09-8042, involved an action bringing federal civil-rights and state-law claims against the City of Laramie, Wyoming, based on plaintiff's termination as police chief.  The court affirmed in part the denial of summary judgment for defendant, holding that 1) not only was speech alleging that the police chief misused city funds ordinarily speech on a matter of public concern, but so, too, was speech defending against such allegations; and 2) the court of appeals could not rule in defendant's favor without reversing the district court's determination that there was a factual dispute regarding her state of mind.

In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Fisher, No. 09-6108, an action seeking a declaration of nonliability on defendant's claim for uninsured motorist benefits, the court affirmed summary judgment for plaintiff-insurer, holding that the perpetrator of a crime used the insured vehicle, in essence, as a means to transport himself to the scene of his assault of defendant.

In Jones v. Okla. City Pub. Sch., No. 09-6108, an action alleging discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the court reversed summary judgment for defendants where, although the district court found that plaintiff produced sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of discrimination and submitted evidence to show that defendant's proffered explanations for her demotion were pretextual, it then engaged in a "pretext plus" analysis in rendering its decision erroneously granting summary judgment on the ground that no reasonable juror could find that defendant had committed age discrimination.

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