Swift Transportation Company, Inc. (defendant) discharged its employee Fernando Pavon (plaintiff). Pavon sued Swift in state court, alleging that Swift owed him back pay. The parties settled that claim and the state court dismissed the action. Then Pavon sued Swift in federal district court for discharging him on account of his race. Swift moved for summary judgment on the discrimination claim, contending that because Pavon could have raised that claim in the state action, he was claim-precluded from bringing the claim in a subsequent federal action. The district court denied Swift's motion, and the jury returned its verdict for Pavon. Swift appealed on several grounds, including claim preclusion, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.