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Puricelli v. Continental Casualty Company

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
103 F.Supp.2d 91 (1999)


Diane M. Puricelli and Charles E. Hughes (plaintiffs) were claims adjusters for Continental Insurance Company (CIC). Continental Casualty Company (defendant), doing business as CNA Insurance Company (CNA), acquired CIC and soon demoted Puricelli. CNA reassigned Hughes to a new unit, with no reduction in his pay. Puricelli and Hughes quit CNA and sued the company for unlawful age discrimination. Puricelli and Hughes claimed that CNA harassed and constructively discharged them, and alleged in their pretrial pleadings that: (1) they belonged to the protected class of older workers and were qualified claims adjusters, (2) two CNA managers made disparaging remarks about older workers, (3) CNA made operational changes and set new standards but criticized Puricelli and Hughes for noncompliance with the old standards, (4) CNA discriminated against Puricelli by demoting her, and (5) CNA discriminated against Hughes by reassigning him to a dead-end unit with no prospect for promotion. CNA pleaded that its actions against Puricelli and Hughes were nondiscriminatory, and were based solely on their poor performance. CNA rebutted Hughes' claim of being dead-ended by citing the promotion of other workers in Hughes' new unit. CNA moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kahn, J.)

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