Posts tagged "Esler"

Esler v. Sylvia-Reardon, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-032-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11899   MARIE ESLER  vs.  MARY SYLVIA-REARDON & another.[1]       Suffolk.     November 3, 2015. – March 9, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Family & Medical Leave Act.  Employment, Retaliation, Termination.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 11, 2010.   The case was tried before Linda E. Giles, J., and a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, for a new trial was heard by her.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Herbert L. Holtz (Thomas A. Reed with him) for the defendants. Jonathan J. Margolis for the plaintiff. Meghan Hayes Slack & Chetan Tiwari, for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     BOTSFORD, J.  Only one count of the plaintiff Marie Esler’s eight-count complaint against her former employer, defendant Massachusetts General Hospital (hospital), and her former supervisor, defendant Mary Sylvia-Reardon, survived for purposes of trial.[2]  In answer to special questions, a jury returned a verdict in Esler’s favor on her claim that the hospital terminated her employment in retaliation for her exercise of the right to take medical leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq. (2012), and awarded her damages consisting of $ 567,500 in back pay and $ 672,686 in front pay.  The defendants thereafter filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (judgment n.o.v.)[3] or, in the alternative, for a new trial.  See Mass. R. Civ. P. 50 (b), as amended, 428 Mass. 1402 (1998).  The trial judge allowed the motion for judgment n.o.v. but took no specific action on the defendants’ alternative request for a new trial.[4]  The judge also ruled that the issue of front pay should not have been submitted to the jury, and she concluded that there was insufficient evidence to provide for such an award in this case.  In a decision issued pursuant to its rule 1:28, the Appeals Court reversed the entry of judgment for the defendants on the motion for judgment n.o.v. and affirmed the judge’s order with respect to front pay.  The case is now before us for further appellate review.  Like the Appeals Court, we reverse the allowance of the defendants’ motion […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 9, 2016 at 8:37 pm

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