Farparan v. Autozoners, LLC, et al., 2020 WL 4596927 (U.S.D.C. Aug. 20, 2020)

The impact of potential individual liability on removal of action to federal court.

The plaintiff filed a complaint in state court alleging violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and naming his employer and certain individual supervisors. After a year of discovery, including the plaintiff’s deposition, the employer sought to remove the claim to federal court based upon diversity grounds, arguing that the individual defendants were fraudulently joined since no viable claim or cause of action existed against them. In granting the plaintiff’s motion for remand, Judge Shipp concluded that the NJLAD recognizes individual liability for persons who aid or abet the alleged discriminatory conduct and that the court could not determine, as a matter of law, that the individual defendants were not liable to the plaintiff.


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