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Easton v. Asplundh Tree Experts Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

March 12, 2018

BRITTANY EASTON, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
ASPLUNDH TREE EXPERTS, CO., Defendant.

          WASHINGTON INJURY LAWYERS, PLLC BY JENNA M. LABOURR, YOUNG-JI HAM, ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF BRITTANY EASTON

          FLOYD PFLUEGER & RINGER, P.S. BY: FRANCIS S. FLOYD, ANNA K. MITCHELL, ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT ASPLUNDH TREE EXPERTS, CO.

          PRETRIAL ORDER

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. FEDERAL JURISDICTION

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, this Court has diversity jurisdiction because the Plaintiff does not share a state of citizenship with the Defendant. The alleged amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.

         II. CLAIMS AND DEFENSES

         Plaintiff Brittany Easton (“Plaintiff”) will pursue claims at trial against Defendant Asplundh Tree Experts, Co. (“Asplundh” or “Defendant”) for sex discrimination, hostile work environment, negligent hiring, and negligent supervision in violation of Washington's Law Against Discrimination, RCW 49.60, et seq.

         Defendant intends to argue that Plaintiff cannot satisfy each essential element of her claims and that Plaintiff has not suffered any damage as a result of Defendant's alleged conduct. Defendant intends to pursue the following defenses:

• Mr. Mell was not an owner, manager, partner, or corporate officer of Defendant as defined by the WLAD.
• Defendant did not know of the alleged harassment and Defendant should not have known of the alleged harassment because it was not pervasive.
• Defendant took reasonably prompt and adequate corrective action reasonably designed to end the alleged harassment.

         III. STATEMENT OF ADMITTED FACTS

         The following facts are admitted by the parties:

         1. Plaintiff, who is female, is 29 years old. She resides in Washington State.

         2. Defendant is a corporation headquartered in Pennsylvania that does business in Washington State.

         3. Defendant is a company that specializes in tree pruning vegetation and management for utilities and government agencies.

         4. The Grays Harbor Public Utilities District (the “PUD”) entered into a “time and materials” contract (“Contract”) with Defendant for Vegetation Management Services and Emergency Storm Response (the “Project”).

         5. Defendant employed Plaintiff as a flagger as of September 22, 2014.

         6. Robert Fly was the Project General Foreman and Plaintiff's and Joseph Mell's supervisor.

         7. Following the conclusion of Defendant's investigation in early September 2015, Defendant decided that there needed to be disciplinary action.

         8. On September 25, 2015, Asplundh disciplined Mr. Mell with an unpaid week's suspension and re-training on ...


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