NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently dismissed an employment discrimination case filed by a former worker against Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems in Slidell.
In a ruling filed Dec. 28, U,S. Magistrate Judge Janis Van Meerveld granted Textron's motion to dismiss the suit filed by former employee Charlotte Bounds. Textron held that Bounds "failed to serve them within the time period required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m)," court filings said.
The standard for dismissal under Rule 4(m) says in part, “If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed,” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) provides that the court “must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period,” the court filings said.
Bounds, who started working for Textron as a welder in April 2017, was allegedly subjected to "unwanted sexual harassment by senior welder Gordon Scott and other employees," court filings said.
Bounds alleges that she reported these incidents to Textron. However, after filing the complaints she alleges that, among other things, "she was subjected to a hostile work environment including negative performance evaluations, unwarranted criticisms regarding her job performance and being forced to work in close proximity to Scott," court filings said.
She filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in November 2017 and formally filed a complaint in court in April 2018.
However, Bounds’ counsel, Julie Knight, did not file several documents that were due during the course of litigation by July 2018, court filings said. The court reset the matter for September 2018 but, according to court documents, neither Bounds or her attorney appeared nor did they present evidence of service into the record by the various due dates.
Bounds' attorney filed a motion for extension in November 2018, which the courts granted. Knight alleged that "she had been trying to obtain a waiver of service from Trextron for the preceding 60 days and that she was under the belief that waiver would be provided," adding that she missed at least one of the dates due to illness, court filings said.