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Bandera v. City of Quincy

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
344 F.3d 47 (1st Cir. 2003)


Facts

Kathleen Bandera (plaintiff) brought an action in district court against the City of Quincy (City) (defendant), alleging that she was sexually harassed while employed as the executive director of the City’s Community Policing Commission. Prior to trial, the City moved in limine to exclude the testimony of Bandera’s witness, Nancy Coletta, who was a female police officer in the Quincy Police Department. The City anticipated that Coletta would testify about her own experiences of sexual harassment that she experienced at the police department. The magistrate judge denied the motion in limine. At trial, Coletta testified to (1) the harassment that Coletta herself experienced and (2) Coletta’s feelings about Bandera’s sexual-harassment allegations. Coletta testified in detail about the harassment she experienced, but did not reach the same level of detail when testifying about her feelings about Bandera’s sexual–harassment. The City objected when Coletta’s opinion testimony was offered. However, the objections either were not explained or were related to time frame. No objections were made based on improper lay-witness opinion. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Bandera and awarded her $135,000 in punitive damages. The City appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Boudin, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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