WASHINGTON -- Attorneys for lead Plaintiffs in the Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., class action lawsuit, stated that they "welcome the U.S. Supreme Court's limited review of the sex discrimination case and are confident that the Court will agree that the women of Wal-Mart are entitled to their day in court." The Supreme Court has announced that it will conduct limited review of an April 2010 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granting class certification of the case.
"We welcome the Supreme Court's limited review of the class certification decision in this case. As that decision was based on a vast body of evidence, we are confident that the decision to certify the class was sound," said Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel Joseph M. Sellers, partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, Washington, D.C. "We believe the Court will reach the same decision after reviewing the record before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where class certification was granted in June 2004."
The Supreme Court rejected review of a host of other issues raised by Wal-Mart.
The Plaintiffs' brief filed last month in opposition to Wal-Mart's Petition for a writ of certiorari -- Supreme Court review -- argued that the Ninth Circuit ruling upholding the class was proper. It highlighted that Wal-Mart ignored the compelling facts that led the trial court -- in a detailed 84-page opinion -- to conclude that there was significant evidence of company-wide pay and promotion discrimination. The evidence also showed that Wal-Mart lagged far behind its competitors in its promotion of women and long knew of the discrimination against its female employees but failed to act. It is the largest civil rights class action in history, and Wal-Mart has lost the class action issue four times in lower court rulings.
"After ten years of litigation, we are eager to have the Court finally resolve the procedural issues that Wal-Mart has raised in its effort to delay the trial of this case," said Plaintiffs' lead counsel Brad Seligman, of the Impact Fund, Berkeley, Calif.