ARTICLE: PROCESSING CIVIL RIGHTS SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND CONSUMER DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2004 DePaul Law Review
DePaul Law Review

ARTICLE: PROCESSING CIVIL RIGHTS SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND CONSUMER DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS

Spring, 2004

53 DePaul L. Rev. 989

Author

Deseriee A. Kennedy*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
On March 26, 1995, Denise Arguello and her father, Mr. Govea, stopped at a Conoco gas station. 1 While they were purchasing some items inside the station store, the cashier referred to Ms. Arguello as a "f***ing Iranian Mexican bitch," began screaming racist remarks over the store's intercom, and displayed several crude gestures. 2 Ms. Arguello and her father, too disgusted to complete their purchases, left the store. 3 When Mr. Govea attempted to reenter the store, the cashier locked them out, while again laughing and making crude gestures. 4 According to Mr. Govea, the cashier, "admitted she was discriminating against them as they spoke through the locked door." 5 Ms. Arguello and her father brought suit in a federal district court claiming the treatment they received violated 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in contracting, and a jury awarded them $ 550,000 in damages. 6 In response to a motion for judgment as a matter of law, the district court judge set aside the verdict and the plaintiffs' claims were dismissed. 7 The result in Arguello v. Conoco, Inc. is in no way atypical. Plaintiffs in consumer discrimination cases face significant substantive and procedural hurdles in articulating viable claims. This Article discusses the way in which the prevailing procedural standards undermine the ability of plaintiffs to pursue consumer discrimination claims. It raises the concern that premature dismissals of these claims unduly silence plaintiffs, hinder the ability of the Civil Rights ...
 
 
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