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Gibson v. Jetblue Airways Corp.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

July 16, 2019

LYNNE M. GIBSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP., Defendant.

          ORDER

          THOMAS B. SMITH United States Magistrate Judge.

         This case comes before the Court without a hearing on Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses (Doc. 52). Defendant opposes the motion (Doc. 54).

         Plaintiff Lynne M. Gibson, Ph.D. was hired by Defendant JetBlue Airways Corp. to work as a Senior Analyst, Assessment and Evaluation, working on the Assessment, Measurement, & Evaluation team at JetBlue University (Doc. 1, ¶ 9). Plaintiff complains that she was terminated on account of her age and race (Doc. 1). Defendant states that it fired Plaintiff because her “'job performance was objectively inferior to every other person on her team.'” (Id., ¶ 34). Plaintiff is currently employed as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida (Doc. 51 at 1; Doc. 53-1 at 6).

         When Defendant answered the complaint it asserted the following twelve affirmative defenses[1]

First Affirmative Defense
Defendant asserts that it has made good-faith efforts to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and thus, cannot be liable for the decision of its agents, or for punitive damages, to the extent the challenged employment decisions were contrary to its efforts to comply with anti discrimination and antiharassment statutes.
Second Affirmative Defense
To the extent that Defendant discovers evidence of wrongdoing by Plaintiff, including Plaintiff's misrepresentations to obtain leave and her improper retention of confidential and proprietary information, Defendant hereby invokes the after-acquired evidence rule to preclude an award of reinstatement or front pay/back pay past the time at which Defendant discovered the new evidence.
Third Affirmative Defense
Defendant asserts that Plaintiff's damages, if any, must be reduced, in whole or in part, because of Plaintiff's failure to mitigate damages, and further, that any interim earnings or amounts earnable with due diligence by Plaintiff reduces any entitlement to back pay. In addition, such sums may also set-off and reduce other claims for damages alleged by Plaintiff.
Fourth Affirmative Defense
Defendant asserts that it is not liable for any alleged wrongful actions taken by its employees that were taken outside the scope and course of their duties and were not authorized, condoned, or ratified by Defendant.
Fifth Affirmative Defense
Defendant avails itself of the same actor inference since the same person both hired and discharged Plaintiff, knowing her age and/or race.
Sixth Affirmative Defense
Defendant asserts that in the event of an adverse judgment, Plaintiff is not entitled to recovery of multiple damages based upon a ...

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