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Burns v. Thiokol Chemical Corporation

United States Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit
483 F.2d 300 (1973)


Facts

Claxton Burns (plaintiff) was terminated from his employment with Thiokol Chemical Corporation (Thiokol) (defendant) after working there for 14 years. Alleging racial discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Burns sued Thiokol in a federal district court. Burns propounded interrogatories to Thiokol in which he requested, inter alia, (1) the names, ages, genders, educational histories, and employment histories of all white employees at Thiokol’s plant since 1960; (2) a list of all permanent and temporary employment vacancies at the plant since 1960 and 1964, respectively, and background information about the applicants and hirees for such positions; and (3) job descriptions of non–bargaining unit jobs at the plant. Thiokol objected to the interrogatories, contending that they requested irrelevant material and were unduly burdensome to respond to. The district court sustained Thiokol’s objection. The court later decided the matter in favor of Thiokol, holding that Burns was not terminated on account of race. Burns appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brown, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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