5th Cir. Restricts Holding of Quantum Chemical To Substantive Discrimination Cases
by Michael Fox
Two years ago, in Quantum Chemical Corp. v. Toennies, the Texas Supreme Court held that the under the TCHRA the proper standard for discrimination was whether the protected category was a 'motivating factor' rather than the stricter 'but for' test. Today, the 5th Circuit holds that Quantum Chemical is not as broad a decision as it might seem and that is in not applicable to retaliation claims brought under the TCHRA. Pineda v. United Parcel Service (12/30/03) [pdf]. It is rather unlikely that Mr. Pineda is too upset over this ruling however, as the 5th Circuit upheld his jury award over UPS, and declined the invitation to further lower his award. His initial award of $400,000 for compensatory damages had been reduced on a remittitur by the district court to $202,500 an amount the court found did not leave it with the 'perception that the verdict is clearly excessive'.