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BOYSZA v. THOMPSON

September 22, 2005.

BETH LYNN BOYSZA,
v.
JOHN W. THOMPSON, individually and in his capacity as Superintendent of the City of Pittsburgh Public Schools and the PITTSBURGH BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION and the CITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL DISTRICT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TERRENCE McVERRY, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Presently before the Court are the following:

(1) MOTION IN LIMINE TO LIMIT PLAINTIFF'S EVIDENCE OF COMPARATORS filed by Defendants (Document No. 87), and the response in opposition filed by Plaintiff (Document No. 98);

  (2) MOTION IN LIMINE TO PERMIT TESTIMONY FROM DEFENDANTS REGARDING PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS CLAIM filed by Defendants (Document No. 88) and the response in opposition filed by Plaintiff (Document No. 99);

  (3) MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY FROM PLAINTIFF REGARDING "DISCHARGE" AND TO LIMIT DAMAGES filed by Defendants (Document No. 93) and the response in opposition filed by Plaintiff (Document No. 100); and

  (4) MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF PLAINTIFF'S HARASSMENT COMPLAINT filed by Defendants (Document No. 94) and the response in opposition filed by Plaintiff (Document No. 102).

  The Motions will be addressed seriatim. MOTION IN LIMINE TO LIMIT PLAINTIFF'S EVIDENCE OF COMPARATORS

  Defendants seek to limit evidence presented by Plaintiff regarding "comparators to those individuals who are arguably similarly situated to Plaintiff." Defendants argue that testimony which pertains to discipline of other School District employees for conduct other than cheating is not relevant to Plaintiff's Equal Protection claim.

  Plaintiff responds that she intends to call three potential categories of "comparators": (i) other teachers accused of cheating; (ii) other School District personnel disciplined for conduct other than cheating; and (iii) during the damages phase, other School District personnel who experienced retaliation.

  Defendants' motion will be granted to the extent that Plaintiff will be limited to presenting evidence of other teachers who have been accused of cheating and/or accused of using inappropriate testing methods, i.e., those individuals who are arguably similarly situated to Plaintiff.

  Plaintiff will, however, be allowed to present a limited amount of evidence which reflects that the discipline imposed upon Plaintiff "was of extraordinary length" and "unprecedented."

  Further, during the damages phase of the trial, the Court is inclined to permit Plaintiff to offer evidence which reflects an alleged "pattern of abuse and retaliation against School District personnel . . . who speak out." However, the Court will reserve its decision on that issue until the damages phase of the trial.

  For these reasons, the Motion in Limine will be granted in part and denied in part. MOTION IN LIMINE TO PERMIT TESTIMONY FROM DEFENDANTS REGARDING PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS CLAIM

  Defendants request that they be permitted to introduce testimony and evidence which pertains to Plaintiff's procedural due process claim, despite the fact that partial summary judgment previously has been granted on this claim. As both parties know, Defendants filed a Motion for Reconsideration in which they requested the Court to vacate its prior decision and grant judgment in favor of Defendants as a matter of law. For the first time, Defendants raised the legal argument that Plaintiff ...


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