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McCray v. Maryland Dept. of Transportation

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

January 30, 2014

Marie M. McCRAY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, MARYLAND TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION, Defendant-Appellee.

Argued: Dec. 10, 2013.

Page 481

ARGUED:

John Henry Morris, Jr., Law Office of John H. Morris, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant.

Jennifer L. Katz, Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland, Eric S. Hartwig, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Before KING, GREGORY, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded by published opinion. Judge GREGORY wrote the opinion, in which Judge KING and Judge FLOYD joined.

GREGORY, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Marie McCray worked for the Maryland Transit Administration (" MTA" ), a subsidiary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (" MDOT" ), for nearly four decades before her position was terminated because of budget cuts. McCray brought this action in federal district court alleging various forms of discrimination. The district court dismissed McCray's suit on legislative immunity grounds before any meaningful discovery could be conducted. We find that McCray's complaint alleges discriminatory conduct that occurred before any legislative activity. Because McCray's case was dismissed before she had the opportunity to discover evidence necessary to her claims, we conclude that this dismissal was premature under Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. However, we find that McCray's age discrimination and disability discrimination claims are barred by sovereign immunity. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand.

I.

Marie McCray began working for the Maryland Transit Authority, a precursor of the MTA, in 1971.[1] Her principal duty was to assemble an annual rider usage report for trains and buses. For three decades, she worked without incident and received no complaints from supervisors.

Page 482

McCray was diagnosed with diabetes in 1995, but the illness had no effect on her job performance until 2007. In June of that year, co-workers discovered her after she fainted on the floor near her desk. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and treated for low blood ...


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