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Daniels v. Potomac Elec. Power Co.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

September 25, 2014

RANDY E. DANIELS, APPELLANT,
v.
POTOMAC ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, APPELLEE

Submitted December 17, 2013.

Page 140

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CAB-5710-10). (Hon. Gregory Jackson, Trial Judge).

David A. Branch for appellant.

Susanne Harris Carnell, with whom Jill D. Flack was on the brief, for appellee.

Before THOMPSON and MCLEESE, Associate Judges, and RUIZ, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 141

Ruiz, Senior Judge:

Appellant Randy E. Daniels brought suit on July 29, 2010, in the District of Columbia Superior Court, complaining of injury resulting from the allegedly unlawful actions of his former employer, appellee Potomac Electric Power Company (" PEPCO" ). Appellant alleged that appellee engaged in race, age, and disability discrimination (Count I) and retaliation (Count II), and created a hostile work environment based on race (Count III), all in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act (" DCHRA" ), D.C. Code § 2-1401, et seq. (2012 Repl.); intentionally inflicted emotional distress on appellant (Count IV); and failed to provide appellant with a safe working environment (Count V). Appellant's complaint was based on actions alleged to have taken place between 2002 and July 29, 2010.

On October 12, 2011, the trial court granted appellee's motion to dismiss the claims of age discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and failure to provide a safe working environment.[1] The trial court also dismissed as time-barred by the DCHRA's one-year statute of limitations the race and

Page 142

disability discrimination and retaliation claims based on discrete acts occurring prior to July 29, 2009, rejecting appellant's argument that the running of the statute of limitations period had been tolled by appellee's lulling actions. The trial court otherwise denied appellee's motion to dismiss. Discovery proceeded on the remaining counts of race and disability discrimination and retaliation for acts occurring between July 29, 2009, and July 29, 2010. When appellee did not respond to five requests for discovery related to overtime, job assignments, and job equipment, appellant moved the trial court to compel discovery. On August 29, 2012, the trial court denied the motion to compel discovery on the grounds that the requests were not sufficiently precise and the subject matter of the requests was irrelevant to the remaining claims. On December 11, 2012, the trial court granted appellee's motion for summary judgment.

Appellant challenges the trial court's refusal to consider evidence of lulling, the trial court's denial of the motion to compel discovery, and the trial court's grant of summary judgment to appellee. We reverse and remand the case to the trial court to consider evidence of lulling, to compel discovery, and, after consideration of this ...


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