Court Dismisses “Aiding and Abetting” Discrimination Claim

In Escobar v. Tutor Perini Corp. 2019 NY Slip Op 31020(U), 152524/2018 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. April 8, 2019) (J. Freed), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s discrimination claims, advanced under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws under an “aiding and abetting” theory.

The court wrote:

To be held liable as an aider and abettor under the NYCHRL, plaintiffs must allege that RailWorks “actually participate[d] in the conduct giving rise to a discrimination claim …. ” Id. at 158 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In opposition to the motion to dismiss, counsel claims that RailWorks enabled TPC, in essence, to continue to employ Lovaglio, as part of an arrangement with Lovaglio and TPC, and that this continued employment led to further harassment of Sandra. Plaintiffs also allege that Rail Works employed Lovaglio despite knowing his history at TPC. Nonetheless, the complaint identifies TPC, not RailWorks, as the party who arranged for Lovaglio to be hired by RailWorks after his termination. As a result, plaintiffs failed to plead facts that RailWorks “bore the requisite discriminatory intent, and that it compel[led] or coerce[d] the alleged discriminatory employment decisions.”