Federal Court Dismisses Age Discrimination, Contract, and Misrepresentation Claims Against KM&M Client; Plaintiff's Counsel Sanctioned
In a sweeping decision issued on February 21, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted summary judgment dismissing age discrimination, breach of contract, and misrepresentation claims brought against KM&M's client, a major telecommunications service provider. The plaintiff in Gambello v. Time Warner Communications was terminated at age 56 in the course of a restructuring initiated by a new senior executive team, and many of his functions were assumed by a newly hired 31-year-old. He alleged in his lawsuit that he was terminated because of his age and that his termination violated promises of job security he allegedly received when he was hired three years earlier. The Court dismissed all of plaintiff's claims, finding that plaintiff had adduced insufficient evidence of age discrimination to warrant a trial and that his contract and misrepresentation claims were both unsupported by the facts and deficient as a matter of law. Notably, the Court also granted KM&M's motion seeking the imposition of sanctions upon plaintiff's counsel under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, finding that certain aspects of the breach of contract claims were frivolous.