Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Baines v. Walgreen Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 10, 2018

REGINA GWYNN BAINES, Plaintiff,
v.
WALGREEN CO., Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

          Nancy Joseph United States Magistrate Judge

         Jury trial in this case is scheduled for January 16, 2018. Before me are five outstanding motions in limine which were not resolved at the final pretrial hearing. Baines has also moved for reconsideration of my ruling denying her motion in limine No. 5. I will address each of these motions in turn.

         Evidence of Baines' Work Performance and Disciplinary Actions (Baines' Motion No. 2)

         Baines filed a motion in limine seeking an order excluding evidence of her work performance and disciplinary action taken against her during her employment with Walgreens from 2005 to 2008, including Exhibit 102 and testimony regarding Pramod Allani's sending Baines home from work or otherwise disciplining her. (Docket # 96.)

         Walgreens agrees, as a general matter, that Baines' past work performance and discipline are not relevant and evidence regarding those subjects should not be admitted at trial. (Docket # 112.) However, Walgreens argues that evidence relating to the basis for Allani's statement to Hannah Ruehs that he would not hire Baines is relevant. Specifically, Walgreens argues that a conversation occurred between Allani and Ruehs in which Ruehs asked Allani whether he would rehire Baines and Allani stated that he would not. Baines contends that this conversation did not occur; however, assuming the conversation did occur, both parties agree that Allani's motivation for not recommending Baines for rehire was not tainted by retaliation. (Docket # 96 at 2, Docket # 112 at 1.) Walgreens argues that because Baines contends this conversation never occurred, this places Allani's and Ruehs' credibility at issue and Walgreens has the right to introduce evidence supporting the basis for Allani's opinion to bolster their believability that the conversation occurred.

         The parties agree that Allani's motive is not at issue. Rather, they dispute whether the conversation occurred at all. Walgreens concedes that Baines' past work performance and discipline are not relevant in this case. Additionally, Walgreens does not contend that Allani explained to Ruehs his rationale for not recommending Baines for rehire. To allow Allani to testify that he had a negative impression of working with Baines as it related to her being a team player and servicing customers (Docket # 112 at 1-2), or that he sent her home, allows Walgreens to back door in evidence of Baines' past work performance and discipline. Walgreens does not explain how this evidence would tend to show that the contested conversation occurred. For these reasons, Baines' motion in limine No. 2 is granted.

Series of Emails from June 2008 Between Baines and Smith Regarding Baines' Transfer Request (Baines' Motion No. 3)

         Baines moves to exclude Exhibit 103 from being introduced at trial. (Docket # 97.)Exhibit 103 is a series of emails from June 2008 between Baines and Pharmacy Supervisor Smith regarding Baines' request to transfer to a Walgreens closer to her home. Baines argues that these emails are irrelevant. Walgreens argues that the motion is premature because Baines is calling Smith to testify adversely at trial and depending on Baines' questions to Smith, the emails may become relevant to show that Smith tried to facilitate her transfer request, cutting against any suggestion that Smith harbored retaliatory motive. (Docket #113.)

         I will reserve ruling on Baines' motion in limine No. 3 until trial. As I understand the posture of this case, the dispute is whether Birch and/or Ruehs retaliated against Baines.

         Thus, if Baines suggests that Smith retaliated against her, then Walgreens will be permitted to counter with evidence showing that he did not harbor a retaliatory motive towards her. If, however, Baines does not introduce evidence suggesting that Smith was retaliating against her, then Exhibit 103 is not relevant and will not be admitted.

Series of Emails from June to October 2008 Regarding Baines' Transfer Request and Walgreens' Transfer Policy (Baines' Motion No. 4)

         Baines moves to exclude Exhibit 104 and related testimony and Exhibit 120 from being introduced at trial. (Docket # 98.) Exhibit 104 consists of two parts. One part is an email exchange from June to October 2008 between Supervisor McLarty and Baines regarding Baines' request to transfer to a Walgreens in Georgia. The other part is an October 2, 2008 email exchange between Baines and Smith in which Baines says, among other things, that she saw an email that said all transfers go through Birch, and asks if this applies to her transfer; Smith does not address her question but says that “[w]e know about the transfer and everything is ok.” Exhibit 120 is Walgreens' transfer policy. Baines argues this evidence is irrelevant.

         Walgreens argues that Baines has accused former District Manager Michelle Birch of retaliating against her for her 2007 and 2009 EEOC charges by commanding that Pharmacy Manager Hannah Ruehs not hire Baines for a pharmacy technician position in Ruehs's pharmacy in July 2014. (Docket # 121.) Baines sought a transfer to a Walgreens store in Georgia after filing her 2007 charge. Walgreens argues that Exhibit 104 cuts against Baines' claim that Birch harbored any retaliatory motive against her because if she had wanted to retaliate, she could have held up approval of Baines' transfer to Georgia.

         Baines argues that Walgreens cannot establish Birch's intentions through these emails because Birch denied having anything to do with the transfer. In Exhibit 104, Baines emailed Smith stating that she saw an email stating that all transfer had to go through Birch and asking if that applied to her transfer. (Docket # 121-2 at 15.) Smith responded that “[w]e know about the transfer and everything is okay.” (Id.) At his deposition, Smith testified that Birch “may have had the final ‘final' say on [transfers]” and that Birch, as the district manager, would have been involved in an out of state transfer. (Docket # 121-3 at 3.) When asked what he meant by “[w]e know about the transfer and everything is okay, ” Smith testified that “there wasn't anything holding it up. So if the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.