Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
March 21, 2022, Decided; March 21, 2022, Filed
OPINION AND ORDER ON SANCTIONS FOR SPOLIATION OF EVIDENCE
KATHARINE H. PARKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Plaintiff Robynn Europe has moved for sanctions pursuant to Rule 37(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because of Defendants' Equinox Holdings, Inc. d/b/a/ Equinox Fitness Club, Equinox East 92nd Street, Inc. ("Equinox"), Jose Taveras ("Taveras"), Christopher Maltman ("Maltman"), and Adam Gecht ("Gecht") (together, "Defendants") alleged spoliation of evidence, namely the September 2019 East 92nd Street Equinox managers' schedule (the "September 2019 Schedule"). (Pl. Motion, ECF No. 77.) Plaintiff seeks an adverse inference against Defendants, or in the alternative evidentiary preclusions and jury instructions, as a remedy for what Plaintiff characterizes as "Defendants destr[uction] [*2] [of] key documentary evidence, causing irreparable prejudice to Plaintiff." (Pl. Memo. of Law p. 4, ECF No. 77-1.) For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
A. The Litigation
On September 22, 2020, Europe filed this action asserting claims of race, sex, and disability discrimination and hostile work environment, as well as retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Europe was employed by Equinox as a fitness manager at the Equinox 92nd Street location from November 2018 until September 24, 2019. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) Taveras, Maltman, and Gecht were also employed by Equinox during this time period; Taveras as a general manager, Maltman as a fitness manager, and Gecht as a regional director. (Id. ¶¶ 7.)
Plaintiff alleges that while she was working at Equinox, between June 2019 through September 24, 2019, she made multiple complaints to Defendants that she was being subjected to a racially hostile environment, but that Defendants did not properly investigate or address these complaints. Instead, she alleges that Equinox retaliated against her for [*3] complaining by issuing two written disciplinary notices for poor "attendance and punctuality" in April and June 2019, and firing her on September 24, 2019 for the same reason. (Compl. ¶¶ 41, 56.) She contends her poor attendance was a pretext for retaliation because other managers, including Taveras, has similarly poor attendance and punctuality but were not disciplined or fired for it.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50253 *; 2022 WL 832027
ROBYNN EUROPE, Plaintiff, -against- EQUINOX HOLDINGS, INC. d/b/a EQUINOX FITNESS CLUB, EQUINOX EAST 92ND STREET, INC., JOSE TAVERAS, individually, CHRISTOPHER MALTMAN, individually, and ADAM GECHT, individually, Defendants.
schedules, sanctions, termination, attendance, spoliation, check-in, records, intent to deprive, Coworkers, destroyed, documents, notice, Defendants', discovery, parties, inferred, measures, take reasonable steps, relevant evidence, duty to preserve, retaliation, preserved, monthly, cure