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United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
March 26, 2009, Decided
[*40] STAHL, Circuit Judge. Laurie Chadwick brought a claim of sex discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., [*41] against WellPoint, Inc. and Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. (collectively, "WellPoint"), after she was denied a promotion. 2 She alleged that her employer failed to promote her because of a sex-based stereotype that women who are mothers, particularly of young children, neglect their jobs in favor of their presumed childcare responsibilities. Having carefully reviewed the record, we are convinced that the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of WellPoint and [**2] therefore reverse and remand for further proceedings. As to the second issue presented on appeal, we find that the district court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the expert testimony proffered by Chadwick.
It is elementary that ] at summary judgment a court must view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the same. See, e.g., Flowers v. Fiore, 359 F.3d 24, 29 (1st Cir. 2004). We emphasize this basic rule here because the district court's grant of summary judgment was due in part to a misapplication of this rule. Thus, we relate the factual basis for Chadwick's claim against WellPoint with this dictate in mind. 3
Chadwick was a long-time employee of WellPoint, [**3] an insurance company, in its Maine office. She was hired by WellPoint in 1997, and was promoted in 1999 to the position of "Recovery Specialist II," which involved the pursuit of overpayment claims and claims for reimbursement from third parties. In 2006, encouraged by her supervisor, she applied for a promotion to a management position entitled "Recovery Specialist Lead" or "Team Lead." In this position, the successful candidate would be responsible for the recovery function for the region encompassing Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Because Chadwick was already performing several of the responsibilities of the Team Lead position and based on her supervisor's comments, Chadwick believed she was the frontrunner for the position. In addition, on her most recent performance evaluation in 2005, she had received excellent reviews, scoring a 4.40 out of a possible 5.00 points.
There were two finalists for the Team Lead position, Chadwick and another in-house candidate, Donna Ouelette. While Chadwick had held the Recovery Specialist II position for seven years, Ouelette had only been promoted to that position about a year earlier. In addition, Ouelette had scored lower than Chadwick, [**4] though satisfactorily, on her most recent performance review, receiving a 3.84 out of a possible 5.0 points.
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561 F.3d 38 *; 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 6426 **; 105 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1457; 92 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P43,508; 51 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 693
LAURIE CHADWICK, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. WELLPOINT, INC.; ANTHEM HEALTH PLANS OF MAINE, INC., Defendants, Appellees.
Prior History: [**1] APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE. Hon. D. Brock Hornby, U.S. District Judge.
Chadwick v. Wellpoint, Inc., 550 F. Supp. 2d 140, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36328 (D. Me., 2008)
Disposition: The court reversed the entry of summary judgment, affirmed the exclusion of the expert testimony, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.
stereotype, promotion, woman, district court, sex-based, summary judgment, sex, interview, sex discrimination, kids, circumstantial evidence, expert testimony, younger child, decisionmaker, caregiving, childcare, presumed, plate, words
Civil Procedure, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Evidentiary Considerations, Labor & Employment Law, Title VII Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, General Overview, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Gender & Sex Discrimination, Gender Stereotypes, Employment Practices, Sex-Plus Discrimination, Evidence, Circumstantial & Direct Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens, Discrimination, Actionable Discrimination, Disparate Treatment, Burdens of Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Expert Witnesses, Helpfulness, Abuse of Discretion