MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Newcomer, District Judge.
On June 20, 1977, this Court entered judgment on the liability issues in this employment discrimination case. The Court ruled in favor of the defendant, The Boeing Company, and against the plaintiff class on all claims of liability to the class or any subclass under 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. 1981 and 1985; however, the defendant was found liable under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. to class members Ferrell and Dixon who were not individually named plaintiffs in the case. In addition, the Court ruled in favor of many of the individual employment discrimination claims of named plaintiffs Croker, Travis, Dockins and Davis. Now before the Court are both plaintiffs' and defendant's petitions for attorneys' fees and costs. At this time, the Court will decide only the issue of which parties are entitled to attorneys' fees and costs and leave for a later decision what amount the parties are entitled to recover as fees and costs.
The Court will first address the question of attorneys' fees. As judgment in some parts of the case was entered pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as well as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the relevant attorney fees provisions, respectively, are 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k). Both of these statutes allow the courts, in their discretion, to award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing parties. Given that no party in this case secured a clear victory, the crucial issue at this time is who is the prevailing party.
Resolution of this issue requires the division of this case into its two component parts. First, it will be necessary to consider the cases of the individually named plaintiffs; then, the Court will direct its attention to the class action part of the case. Dividing the case in this manner permits the Court to recognize the principle that although a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case fails to establish its class action claims, it still may be entitled to recover attorneys' fees for the successful prosecution of its individual claims. Taylor v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 524 F.2d 263 (10th Cir. 1975); Palmer v. Rogers, 16 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 702, 10 E.P.D. 10, 499 (D.D.C. 1975). As the court recognized in Palmer, the fact that an individual plaintiff fails to prove its class-wide allegations of discrimination should not preclude that plaintiff, who is successful on its own claims and otherwise entitled to recover its attorneys' fees, from attorneys' fees; the opposite result would, in effect, penalize a plaintiff who, in good faith, brings a class action, a result which would be contrary to the policies of the attorneys' fees provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k) and 42 U.S.C. § 1988.
Turning, then, to the cases of the individually named plaintiffs, this Court finds that plaintiffs Croker, Travis, Dockins and Davis are entitled to recover their attorneys' fees; plaintiff Debose is not entitled to attorneys' fees, but neither is the defendant to be awarded attorneys' fees for its defense against Mr. Debose's case. To reach these results the Court must address two questions -- one is a question of law, and the other a question of discretion. As to the legal issue, in each of these individual cases the Court must determine who is the prevailing party. In Mr. Debose's case, the answer is clear; as Mr. Debose failed to establish any of his claims of employment discrimination, the Boeing Company is the prevailing party. The other individual plaintiffs' cases are not quite so easy. Although defendant Boeing was found liable to each of the other individually named plaintiffs for at least one violation of each of these plaintiffs' rights against employment discrimination, these four plaintiffs did not prove every one of the claims of discrimination which they alleged in their complaints. However, this Court still finds that these four plaintiffs are the prevailing parties in their individual cases. In Hyland v. Kenner Products Co., 13 E.P.D. 11, 427 (S.D. Ohio, 1976), the plaintiff, in a Title VII case, was awarded attorneys' fees even though it did not win on all of its claims. There the court said,
If the plaintiff asserts in one action a number of things and if the defendant denies every one of the assertions -- and that is important -- and the plaintiff turns out winning on a substantial one of the assertions, the plaintiff is described as a prevailing or a winning party. Id. at p. 6432.
See also Taylor v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 524 F.2d 263 (10th Cir. 1975); Marr v. Rife, 503 F.2d 735 (6th Cir. 1974); Palmer v. Rogers, 16 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 702, 10 E.P.D. (CCH) P10,499 (D.D.C. 1975). In order to be entitled to attorneys' fees as a prevailing party, a plaintiff need not win all of its claims; success on any of its substantial claims may entitle a plaintiff to be considered as the prevailing party. In this case, as this Court finds that each of these plaintiffs was successful on substantial claims of employment discrimination, they will be considered prevailing parties.
This brings the Court to the question of discretion. Both 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k) provide for the award of attorneys' fees in the court's discretion. While the award is left to the district court's discretion, both the Supreme Court and many of the Courts of Appeals have given the district courts some guidelines that are to be applied in deciding when to exercise that discretion. In spite of the conflict within the circuits, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has instructed that the applicable criteria to be employed when rendering this discretionary decision depends on whether the prevailing party is a plaintiff or a defendant. A prevailing private plaintiff in a discrimination suit is generally allowed attorney fees under the "private attorney general" theory endorsed by the Supreme Court in Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., 390 U.S. 400, 19 L. Ed. 2d 1263, 88 S. Ct. 964 (1968); the successful plaintiff, who is viewed as not only securing his or her own private rights but also as helping to accomplish the desired objective of eliminating discrimination, is awarded attorneys' fees in order to encourage such "private attorney general" suits which are deemed to be in the public interest. However, as the Court of Appeals found in United States Steel Corp. v. United States, 519 F.2d 359 (3d Cir. 1975),
A prevailing defendant seeking an attorney's fee does not appear before the court cloaked in a mantle of public interest. In contrast to the advantage to the public that inheres in a successful attack against discriminatory practices, as in Piggie Park, one cannot say as a general rule that substantial public policies are furthered by a successful defense against a charge of discrimination. Instead, a defendant seeking a counsel fee . . . must rely on different equitable considerations. Id. at 364.