CNN Faces Repeat of Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 15, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If at first you don't succeed, add more plaintiffs?

That's apparently part of the strategy in re-filing a class action against CNN for racial discrimination. Atlanta lawyer Daniel R. Meachum sued the broadcast company earlier this year, only to have a federal judge dismiss it.

Meachum says he has 30 more plaintiffs to add to the original 175. But the judge didn't say it was about the numbers.

Conclusory Claims

U.S. District Judge William Duffey Jr. said the complaint was "fraught with conclusory claims, unsupported by factual allegations sufficient to support the inferences claimed by Plaintiffs."

Former CNN employees Celeslie Henley and Ernest Colbert Jr. said the company had a "pattern and practice" of racial discrimination. They said people "of color" faced discrimination in performance evaluations, compensation, promotions, and terminations.

After the judge dismissed his case, Meachum said, more people contacted him about discrimination at CNN.

"We are drafting a new complaint, line by line, addressing the issues that he outlined for us," he said.

Survive a Motion

Meachum told Fox News that he expects to get further with the case this time.

"With the information that we have, and will get during discovery, I think we will be able to survive a motion for summary judgment," he said. "At that point, I think we will be victorious."

The judge, however, dismissed the original complaint with a discouraging word. It would be "unnecessary," he said, to allow the plaintiffs to file a further amended complaint.

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