Judge won't give discrimination plaintiff more time to prepare to depose GSK witnesses

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 1, 2015

PHILADELPHIA – A woman who claims to have been forced to resign from her job due to both gender and age discrimination had a motion to change a scheduling order denied in federal court last week.

Gina Tilton filed litigation against Norfolk, Va.-based GlaxoSmithKline in February 2014 and later an amended complaint the following July, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA).

The suit says Tilton, now 56, was hired by GlaxoSmithKline as a Marketing Manager in February 2012 to manage its website for professionals at its corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.

While there, she reported to a supervisor, Greg Galiano. Tilton alleges when Galiano returned from a medical leave during this time period, he began to treat her in a “hostile and discriminatory manner.”

Examples of such conduct are allegedly writing Tilton up numerous times for perceived errors based on her gender and age, treating her rudely and remarking numerous times how she supposedly earned more income for her role at GlaxoSmithKline than her male colleagues in the same department.

Tilton also claims Galiano asked her if she was “brain-dead” on numerous occasions and made comments such as “at her age, she should be more careful with details.”

These incidents, the plaintiff alleges, compelled her to resign from GlaxoSmithKline in December 2013.

On Nov. 6, GlaxoSmithKline filed a sealed motion seeking summary judgment in this case, which the plaintiff and her counsel vigorously opposed.

In response, Tilton and her counsel were given permission by the court to depose nine witnesses from GlaxoSmithKline and on Feb. 2, requested the court’s permission to depose seven additional witnesses. Further, on March 2, Tilton and her counsel filed a “good cause” motion to modify the scheduling order of the litigation.

The plaintiff claims this was done in order to take those seven additional depositions and conduct further document discovery in order to properly oppose the defendant’s previous motion for summary judgment.

Meanwhile, the defendant claims it has produced all documents for which both parties mutually agreed they would produce in this matter.

Judge Norma L. Shapiro authored an opinion on the motion published April 21.

“Plaintiff states she identified the new witnesses ‘following some document review.’ Plaintiff filed her motion one day before the deposition deadline and mailed her letter approximately one month before the deadline, but document discovery concluded on Sept. 5, 2014. Plaintiff should have been aware of the identities of the new witnesses for many months,” Shapiro wrote.

Shapiro contended the plaintiff “does not provide excerpts or descriptions of the recent deposition testimony allegedly revealing that defendant has not produced relevant documents, and she does not describe the documents or explain how the documents relate to summary judgment,” omissions which Shapiro felt “undermine” the plaintiff’s “good cause” claim.

“Because plaintiff fails to demonstrate good cause to modify the scheduling order, plaintiff’s motion is denied,” Shapiro wrote.

The plaintiff is seeking the alleged actions of the defendants be declared in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADEA and the PHRA, permanent enjoinment of the defendant’s alleged conduct in the future, all withheld compensation (back pay, front pay, salary increases, bonuses, etc.) from the date of first facing alleged discrimination at GlaxoSmithKline until the date of the verdict, compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney and court costs, and any other relief the Court deems just and proper. The plaintiff also demands a jury trial in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Timothy M. Kolman, W. Charles Sipio and Wayne A. Ely, of Kolman Ely P.C. in Penndel.

The defendant is represented by of Francine Friedman Griesing, Kathryn G. Legge and Ashley Kenney Shea, of Griesing Law LLC in Philadelphia.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:14-cv-01267

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