Friday, January 15, 2016

11th Circuit Reverse Judge Middlebrooks on Age Discrimination Claim!


It's a shop-worn tale:  guy works for decades for insurance company, inadvertently gets old, conveniently gets replaced by younger employee, sues for age discrimination.

But Judge Middlebrooks granted sj to the insurance company.

Here's what the 11th wrote in reversing:
Robert Liebman began working for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”) as a sales representative in 1985. When MetLife fired him in 2013, he brought this action, making an age discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 623(a)(1), as well as a retirement benefits interference claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1140. Now before us on appeal, Liebman contests the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of MetLife. He argues that the district court erred in holding that he failed to establish a prima facie case under the ADEA because the person who replaced him at MetLife was also over the age of forty. Liebman also argues that the district court erred in finding that he was not qualified for his position, which is a fact necessary to make a prima facie case under both the ADEA and ERISA. Finally, Liebman asserts that in granting MetLife’s motion for summary judgment, the district court improperly weighed evidence and failed to draw all inferences in the light most favorable to him. After careful review and with the benefit of oral argument, we reverse and remand.
Good luck below!

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