Lopez-Erquicia v. Weyne-Roig, No. 15-2278 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Puerto Rico’s Insurance Commissioner (Defendant), claiming that Defendant eliminated her job as a director within the Office of the Insurance Commissioner on account of her political affiliation. The district court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment as Plaintiff’s federal discrimination claims for damages, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief. In so holding, the court rejected Defendant’s argument that her qualified immunity defense entitled her to summary judgment on Plaintiff’s federal damages claim. The First Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of qualified immunity and remanded for further proceedings, holding that a reasonable official in Defendant’s position could have understood the First Amendment not to protect Plaintiff against politically motivated removal from her job. Remanded for further proceedings.