Vinson v. Koch Foods of Alabama, LLC, No. 19-11999 (11th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's final judgment against plaintiff in an action brought against Koch for race and national origin discrimination under 42 U.S.C. 1981 and Title VII. In regard to plaintiff's Batson challenges, the court concluded that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case for Juror 9. Even assuming plaintiff established a prima facie case for Juror 32, Koch offered plausible non-discriminatory reasons for the strike; a company defending the decisions of a manager in a civil lawsuit would naturally not want a current union member and disgruntled worker's compensation claimant on the jury.
The court rejected plaintiff's argument that Koch counsel's violation of the order in limine so prejudiced the jury that a new trial is warranted. Rather, considering the length of the trial, the shortness of the offending remarks, the context of the "prevailing party" comment as a response to a door plaintiff opened, and the curative instructions offered, the court could not find that the district court abused its discretion by denying plaintiff's motions for mistrial and a new trial.