Adams v. Florida Power Corp.

PETITIONER: Adams
RESPONDENT: Florida Power Corp.
LOCATION: Western States Medical Center (Now Kronos Compounding Pharmacy)

DOCKET NO.: 01-584
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

CITATION: 535 US 228 (2002)
ARGUED: Mar 20, 2002
DECIDED: Apr 01, 2002

ADVOCATES:
Alfred W. Blumrosen - for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers as amicus curiae
Archibald J. Thomas III - for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers as amicus curiae
Glen D. Nager - Argued the cause for the respondents
John Crabtree - on behalf of the Petitioners
Ruth G. Blumrosen - for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers as amicus curiae
Russell S. Bohn - for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers as amicus curiae

Facts of the case

The Florida Power Corporation (FPC) operated as a publicly-regulated electric utility monopoly until 1992, when Congress opened the industry to competition through the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Between 1992 and 1996, FPR terminated Wanda Adams and others during a series of reorganizations the company stated were necessary to maintain its competitiveness. Members of the Adams class sued FPC, claiming that FPC discriminated against them because of their age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In 1996, the District Court conditionally certified a class of former FPC employees claiming age discrimination. In 1999, the court decertified the class and ruled as a matter of law that a disparate impact theory of liability is not available to plaintiffs bringing suit under the ADEA.

Question

May disparate impact claims be brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967?

Media for Adams v. Florida Power Corp.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 20, 2002 in Adams v. Florida Power Corp.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 01, 2002 in Adams v. Florida Power Corp.

William H. Rehnquist:

I have the opinion of the Court to announce in NO. 01-584, Adams versus Florida Power Corporation.

The writ is dismissed as improperly granted.