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Kathleen M. Pitzer v. Ringgold Area School District

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


September 1, 2011

KATHLEEN M. PITZER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RINGGOLD AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Bissoon

ORDER

Defendant Ringold Area School District's Motion (Doc. 24) for reconsideration or clarification will be denied as presented, although the Motion will be construed as a request for judgment on the pleadings regarding Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages under the PHRA.*fn1

By Order dated August 22, 2011, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims for punitive damages under Title VII and the ADEA. See Doc. 23 at 1. Otherwise, the undersigned ruled on Defendant's arguments for dismissal, and Plaintiff's responses thereto, in the same manner in which they were presented. Accordingly, Defendant's request for reconsideration or clarification is denied.

In a footnote to Defendant's supporting brief, however, Defendant asserts that punitive damages are unavailable against it under the PHRA. See Def.'s Br. (Doc. 25) at 3 n.1. Defendant admits that this argument was not asserted in Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, though, to be fair, punitive damages under the PHRA are not expressly requested in the Complaint.

See Doc. 1 at Count III. In any event, Defendant states its intention to seek judgment on the pleadings regarding punitive damages under the PHRA. See Def.'s Br. at 3 n.1.

In light of the relevant legal precedent,*fn2 the Court sees little benefit to delaying adjudication of Plaintiff's putative claim for punitive damages under the PHRA.*fn3 Thus, Defendant's request for reconsideration/clarification is construed as a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Plaintiff may respond to that Motion by September 12, 2011. Should Plaintiff fail to timely respond, the Court will assume that she acquiesces to the dismissal of any claim for punitive damages under the PHRA.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Cathy Bissoon United States Magistrate Judge

cc (via ECF email notification): All Counsel of Record


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