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N.A.A.C.P. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
978 F.2d 287 (7th Cir. 1992)


Facts

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the NAACP Milwaukee Branch, and its members (plaintiffs) sued the American Family Mutual Insurance Company, alleging that its practice of redlining (i.e., refusing to insure or charging higher premiums for people living in certain zones) violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-19 (Title VIII), federal laws prohibiting racial discrimination in contracts and real property purchasing, Wisconsin’s Fair Housing Act, and state insurance laws. The complaint described the practice and concluded with five “claims” that the practice violated one of the listed laws. The district judge dismissed the Title VIII and state insurance code claims. Partial final judgment was entered pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 54(b). The judge treated each legal theory as a distinct claim and suggested that disputes over the dismissed theories could be reviewed on appeal in time for trial. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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