Atwater v. Driscoll, No. 12-1920 (1st Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff was a teacher in the Manchester-Essex Regional School District until he was informed by the District Superintendent's intention to terminate his employment for inappropriate sexual conduct toward a student. Plaintiff sought review of the Superintendent's action. An arbitrator affirmed Plaintiff's dismissal. Plaintiff then filed suit in Massachusetts superior court challenging his dismissal and seeking to vacate the arbitrator's decision. Three weeks later, Plaintiff filed this complaint in federal court alleging state and federal law violations. The next day, Plaintiff amended his state-court complaint so it contained the exact same claims as his federal-court complaint. The state court rejected Plaintiff's claims and affirmed the arbitrator's decision. Later, the federal district court granted summary judgment against Plaintiff, finding that Plaintiff's claims were barred by res judicata. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that none of the reasons presented by Plaintiff why res judicata did not bar his federal claims from adjudication in federal court were persuasive.