by Michael Fox
It is somewhat unusual to read a case where the sole issue is a claim under the ADEA and there is no mention of the age of either the individual hired or the plaintiff. Since the primary liability issue raised by the defendant challenging an adverse jury finding was whether the plaintiff was qualified, it was not important to the decision, but still funny not to find it. Aside from that oddity, Potence v. Hazelton Area School District (3rd Cir. 2/2/04) [pdf] is primarily educational as to the evidence sufficient to support a jury verdict. Here, stories of why Potence was not hired which changed over time (including one refuted by a postal receipt) plus what the court calls "ageist" comments by an individual with influence in the hiring decision is enough. And of course, as frequently happens, the amount owed was doubled as the violation was found to be willful.