Schools’ Attorneys Seek Dismissal of Lunch Lady’s Lawsuit: ‘Schmuck’ Unlikely To Be Directed at Females
Saying a lawsuit brought by a New Canaan Public Schools lunch lady fails to establish that she was treated differently from male counterparts, worked in a hostile environment or suffered emotional distress under the district’s food services director, attorneys for the Board of Education are seeking to have the case dismissed. Attorneys with Stamford-based Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP, led by Catherine Nietzel, said in documents filed Monday with U.S. District Court that the plaintiff, Antonia Torcasio, also failed to show that the town had been negligent in its supervision of Food Services Director Bruce Gluck. Specifically, Torcasio—a 12-year employee, out on unpaid sick leave since October 2013—and her attorney, Richard Pate of Westport, fall short of the legal standards required for matters such as hostile work environment or gender-based discrimination. In a 29-page memo that accompanies the motion to dismiss, attorneys for the Board of Ed and Gluck pick apart Torcasio’s complaint point-by-point. [The memo can be found in PDF form at the end of this article.]
For example, regarding Torcasio’s claim that she heard Gluck “refer to female members of the BOE, mothers of students and female staff members, including the school principal, as ‘[b-tches],’ ‘morons’ and ‘schmucks,’ ” and using “the words ‘[b-tch]’ and some form of the word ‘[f-word]’ when referring to female employees,’ ” the attorneys say that only the alleged reference to female workers as ‘[b-tches]’ could evidence discrimination.