United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff Clive Baron
alleges that his former employer, Abbott Laboratories,
retaliated against him in violation of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621,
et seq., the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992
(“FCRA”), Fla. Stat. §§ 760. 01, et
seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
(“PHRA”), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 951,
et seq., when it did not reinstate him because he
had opposed perceived age discrimination and filed a law suit
in this Court in which he asserted claims of age
discrimination under the ADEA, FCRA, and PHRA. Clive
Baron v. Abbott Laboratories, Civil Action No. 14-4706
(“Baron I”). After consideration of
Abbott's Motion for Summary Judgment in Baron I,
this Court entered judgment in favor of Abbott and against
Baron by Memorandum and Order dated February 17, 2016. 2016
WL 660883 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 17, 2016).
before the Court is Abbott's Motion to Dismiss the single
claim of retaliation in the Complaint under the doctrine of
res judicata. For the reasons that follow, the Court
denies Abbott's Motion.
Clive Baron was employed by defendant Abbott Laboratories
(“Abbott”) from March 2010 until he was
terminated by Abbott on December 31, 2013. Compl.
¶¶ 7, 25. At the time of his termination, Baron was
60 years old. Compl. ¶ ¶ 1, 25.
14, 2014, Baron filed a complaint with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), alleging that
Abbott had discriminated against him based on his age when he
was not considered for a supervisor's position and when
it eliminated his position and assigned his responsibilities
to younger employees. Compl. ¶¶ 20, 27, 30-31, 36.
August 12, 2014, Baron filed a Complaint in Baron I
(the “Baron I Complaint”) in this Court,
alleging claims of age discrimination by Abbott under the
ADEA, FCRA, and PHRA. Compl. ¶ 37.
learned through discovery in Baron I that, in
December 2014, Abbott planned to create a new position with
the same with the same responsibilities as Baron's prior
position, and that, in February 2015, Abbott hired Richard
Lanchantin to fill this position. Compl. ¶¶ 40-41,
31, 2015, Abbott filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in
Baron I. In support of that Motion, Abbott argued
that Baron could not establish a prima facie case of
age discrimination because he had been replaced by
Lanchantin, who was 59 years old. Baron I Def.
Statement of Facts ¶¶ 55-56; Baron I Def.
Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 6, 8; Baron I Def. Reply
Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 6. In response, Baron argued that he was
replaced prior to Lanchantin's hire by two employees who
were 6 years and 21 years younger than Baron. Baron
I Plff. Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. 1, 5-7 (Baron I
Document No. 21, filed Aug. 28, 2015). With respect to
Abbott's hiring of Lanchantin, Baron stated that
Then, when Mr. Baron's former position was reinstated
about a year after it was temporarily eliminated, Mr. Baron
was not even considered for it because he had opposed the age
discrimination to which he was subjected and participated in
enforcement proceedings to vindicate his rights under the
[ADEA, FCRA, and PHRA].
The retaliation to which Mr. Baron was subjected only
recently came to light on July 22, 2015, when David Champagne
was deposed for a second time after [Abbott Laboratories]
concealed the fact that another individual, Richard
Lanchantin, was hired into Mr. Baron's identical position
in early 2015. Accordingly, Plaintiff will be moving to amend
his Complaint to include this retaliation claim.
Baron I Plff. Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. 2. In his Sur
Reply, Baron argued that Lanchantin was not his replacement;
rather, Lanchantin's hire was evidence that Abbott
“was careful in its orchestration of its defense
against Baron's claims . . . and retaliated against Baron
for opposing the age discrimination to which he was
subjected.” Baron I Plff. Sur-Reply 4-5
(Baron I Document No. 27, filed Oct. 8, 2015). Baron
never amended the Baron I Complaint to include a
claim of retaliation.
Memorandum and Order dated February 17, 2016, the Court
granted Abbott's Motion for Summary Judgment and entered
judgment in favor of Abbott and against Baron in Baron
I. The Court concluded “that no reasonable jury
could find that [the employees who were 6 and 21 years
younger than Baron] ‘replaced' Baron because [they
did not] take over Baron's job responsibilities.”
Baron I, 2016 WL 660883 at *5. The Court also found
that “the employee who replaced Baron was Lanchantin in
May 2015” and that the “one-year age gap”
between Baron's age at the time of termination and
Lanchantin's age at the time of promotion ...