This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: dent over the years constituted a sufficient
basis on which a reasonable jury could find that Smith was subjected to a racially hostile
work environment. This finding was not unreasonable given the standard of review in this
case, which states that a post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law should not
be granted unless there is a "complete absence of proof on a material issue in the action."
See Morales v. American Honda Motor Co., 151 F.3d 500, 506 (6 th Cir. 1998). By
reversing the lower court's decision and granting Adcom its post-verdict motion for
judgment as a matter of law, this Court fails to draw "all reasonable favorable inferences
in favor of the nonmovant. See id. Accordingly, I disagree with the majority's decision to
grant judgment to the defendant in this case on the basis that Smith did not provide 109 sufficient evidence under the "totality of the circumstances." I think the test is for a jury
to find that his termination was racially motivated. I would at least give him a new trial.
The majority also holds that Smith's remark in the presence of Bobby Guy [*33] that he
"was going to kill a bunch of M--F ers", which he does not deny making, constituted a
threat against the company and a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for firing him. The
majority concludes that because Smith failed to prove that his threat did not actually
motivate his discharge or was pretext, he was not entitled to a decision in his favor on
Adcom's post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law.
Pretext is established by evidence showing that the legitimate reason claimed by the
defendant for a particular action is not the true reason, but instead is a pretext for
discrimination. See St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 515, 113 S. Ct. 2742,
125 L. Ed. 2d 407 (1993). The plaintiff may demonstrate pretext by showing that (1)
the defendant's proffered reason had no basis in fact, (2) the proffered reason did not
View Full Document
- Spring '08