Ten Former AAA Sales Agents Going to Trial on Age Discrimination Claims
OAKLAND, CA--July 17, 2013: On July 16, 2013, Judge Judith Craddick of the Contra Costa County (California) Superior Court issued a ruling allowing ten plaintiffs' claims of age discrimination to proceed to trial. The judge denied 11 separate motions by AAA to throw the cases out of court. Judge Craddick found that there was sufficient evidence that AAA had a corporate scheme to get rid of its older and most successful sales agents to allow the case to proceed to trial. All of the Plaintiffs are over 50 years old and had worked for AAA between 9 and 39 years. Plaintiffs claim that beginning in 2001, AAA systematically designed its compensation plan such that older agents with big books of business would be terminated.
This ruling follows nearly 3 years of litigation and 11 separate summary judgment motions. Trial is set to begin on September 23, 2013 in Department 9 of the Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Lead plaintiffs' attorney J. Gary Gwilliam stated, "Our clients have waited a long time for this trial. We look forward to having a jury hear this case as soon as possible."
A further hearing is scheduled for August 14, 2013 to allow the parties to bring new evidence on some issues left open by the judge's ruling, including whether Plaintiffs can proceed to trial on their punitive damages and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. Defendant will be allowed to further challenge Plaintiffs' disparate impact age discrimination claim, an alternative theory of recovery.
The case is Estate of Charles Robert Fitzgerald et al. v. California State Automobile Association, et al. Case No. C10-03173