Chauca v. Abraham, No. 15-1777 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Second Circuit vacated the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for a jury instruction concerning punitive damages for pregnancy discrimination claims arising under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The court certified to the New York Court of Appeals the question of the appropriate standard for determining whether a defendant may be liable for damages under the NYCHRL. The Court of Appeals resolved the certified question by holding that the standard for determining damages under the NYCHRL was whether the wrongdoer has engaged in discrimination with willful or wanton negligence, or recklessness, or a conscious disregard of the rights of others or conduct so reckless as to amount to such disregard. In doing so, the Court of Appeals expressly rejected the application of the federal standard for punitive damages. Therefore, after hearing from the Court of Appeals, the court held that the district court erred in applying the test for whether punitive damages are available under substantive federal law.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on November 1, 2016.