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Cochenour v. Cameron Savings & Loan, F.A.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
160 F.3d 1187 (1998)


After Debera Cochenour (plaintiff) was fired from her position with Cameron Savings and Loan Association (defendant), Ms. Cochenour sued, arguing that Cameron fired her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Missouri Human Rights Act. Cameron contended that it fired Ms. Cochenour and another employee, Ms. McDonald, because it discovered both employees were spreading rumors about its customers’ sexual orientations. Ms. Cochenour maintained that Cameron’s stated reason for firing her was pretextual and that, in fact, she was terminated due to her age and her health problems. A jury returned a verdict in favor of Cameron and denied Ms. Cochenour’s motion for a new trial. Ms. Cochenour appealed the trial court’s ruling to exclude certain evidence. Namely, evidence that, just after being fired, Ms. McDonald received a job offer from Cameron’s attorney, who happened to be the same attorney who had given legal advice to Cameron regarding its decision to terminate both employees. Ms. Cochenour argued that the jury could have inferred from the job offer that Cameron never had any real intention of depriving Ms. McDonald of employment and that its stated reason for firing Ms. Cochenour was therefore pretextual.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Arnold, J.)

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