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Leopold v. Baccarat, Inc.

174 F.3d 261 (1999)

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Leopold v. Baccarat, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

174 F.3d 261 (1999)

Facts

Andree Leopold (plaintiff) was employed by Baccarat Inc. (defendant) as a fine china and crystal saleswoman for over 20 years. In 1994, at the age of 62, Leopold was terminated from her employment. Leopold subsequently filed suit in federal court, alleging that she was unlawfully discriminated against and discharged based on her age. Before trial, Leopold filed a motion in limine, seeking to exclude evidence that she made certain bigoted comments during her employment. The district court denied Leopold’s motion. As a result, Baccarat called Leopold’s supervisor, Watts, to testify about several antigay, anti-Semitic, and anti-Hispanic comments made by Leopold to her coworkers. Watts claimed that the comments, along with Leopold’s general hostility toward management, were the basis for her termination. On appeal, Leopold argued that the trial court abused its discretion by denying her motion because Watts’s testimony had minimal probative value yet was highly prejudicial and needlessly cumulative. Thus, exclusion under Federal Rule of Evidence 403 was required.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cabranes, J.)

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