By Bernard Vaughn
NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A federal judge dismissed a
discrimination lawsuit by a former contract attorney at Quinn
Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan who accused the firm of giving her
less lucrative assignments because she is black.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan granted
summary judgment to the firm in the case filed by Kisshia
Simmons-Grant, who had said non-black colleagues received better
assignments even though she was as qualified or more qualified
Simmons-Grant, who worked at the firm's New York office from
2006 to 2010, relied in part in her case on statistical data
about pay comparisons for black and non-black attorneys at the
But the judge ruled that Simmons-Grant failed to show proof
to support a claim that she individually was a victim of
discrimination. The decision was issued on Jan. 3.
"Individual private plaintiffs must prove that they were,
individually, the victims of intentional discrimination," Swain
Swain also deemed Simmons-Grant's retaliation claim "wholly
inadequate ... as to whether Quinn intentionally subjected her
to an intolerable work environment."
The lawsuit was filed in October 2011. It claimed violations
of federal, state and local civil rights laws and sought lost
past and future earnings and compensation for mental anguish, as
well as punitive damages and attorneys' fees.
The attorney for Quinn Emanuel, Lawrence Sandak of Proskauer
Rose in Newark, New Jersey, declined to comment.
Simmons-Grant's attorney, James Halter of Liddle & Robinson
in New York, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The case is Simmons-Grant v. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart &
Sullivan, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,
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