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Van v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

August 22, 2019, Decided; August 22, 2019, Filed

Case No. 14-cv-8708

Opinion

 [*259]  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court are Plaintiffs' motion for class certification [318], Defendant's motion to exclude the testimony, reports, and opinions of Dr. Louise Fitzgerald [352], and Plaintiffs' motion to bar the testimony and expert reports of Dr. Liza Gold, M.D. and Dr. Gregory Mitchell, PhD. [370]. For [**3]  the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiffs' motion for class certification [318]. The Court grants in part and denies in part Defendant's motion to exclude the testimony, reports, and opinions of Dr. Louise Fitzgerald [352], and grants in part and denies in part Plaintiffs' motion to bar the testimony and expert report of Dr. Liza Gold and Dr. Gregory Mitchell, PhD. [370]. This case is set for further status hearing on September 12, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.

I. Background

Plaintiffs are women who currently are employed or who were employed at one of the two Chicago-area Ford Motor Company facilities (the "Plants")-the Chicago Assembly Plant ("Assembly Plant") and the Chicago Stamping Plant ("Stamping Plant"). Plaintiffs seek to represent a class of all present and former female employees who worked at the Assembly Plant or the Stamping Plant between February 14, 2012 and present. The evidence before the Court-if credited at trial-indicates that named Plaintiffs and other putative class members have been subjected to a pervasively sexual, hostile, intimidating and abusive work environment at Defendant's Plants. Female employees at the Plants have been forced to work in an environment [**4]  containing sexually explicit graffiti, carvings, and drawings. [323, at 33.] Pornographic images have been displayed in lockers and common areas of the Plants. [Id. at 30-33.] Supervisors and team leaders view pornography at their computers. [Id. at 31.] Pornographic and sexual images and videos are shown to women or are passed among male employees (both hourly and salaried) in the presence of women. [Id.] Male employees have taken pictures of their genitalia on their mobile phones and shown the pictures to female employees. [Id.] Male employees also have texted offensive, graphic and/or sexually explicit requests to female employees. [Id.

In addition to these egregious allegations, Plaintiffs have presented evidence that certain Plaintiffs and putative class members  [*260]  have been subjected to unwelcome physical contact, including rape. Named Plaintiff Jeanette Gardener provided the following account of an interaction with superintendent Myron Alexander in an EEOC charge of discrimination:

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332 F.R.D. 249 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143071 **; 104 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1284; 2019 WL 3976370

CHRISTIE VAN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.

Prior History: Van v. Ford Motor Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40012 (N.D. Ill., Mar. 28, 2016)

CORE TERMS

harassment, Plants, Plaintiffs', putative class member, sexual harassment, class certification, sexual, named plaintiff, Conciliation, expert testimony, allegations, class member, misconduct, class action, employees, reliable, certify, argues, predominance, class-wide, exposed, hostile work environment, common question, commonality, adequacy, methodology, discipline, complaints, Stamping, female