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Knighten v. Allstate Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

February 5, 2018

JACKIE KNIGHTEN, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DEGIUSTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses [Doc. No. 11]. Defendant has responded [Doc. No. 14] and Plaintiff has replied [Doc. No. 15]. The matter is fully briefed and at issue.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brought the present action alleging discrimination based on disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Oklahoma Antidiscrimination Act (OADA). Plaintiff also asserted claims for interference with her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Defendant timely removed the action to this Court and subsequently filed its answer to the complaint [Doc. No. 10]. Plaintiff argues that the affirmative defenses set forth in paragraphs 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, and 14 should be stricken for noncompliance with Rule 8, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as interpreted in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Mot. at 2. The defenses at issue allege:

2. Plaintiff's claims are barred to the extent that she has failed to exhaust her administrative remedies regarding some or all of the allegations and claims contained in the Petition.
3. Plaintiff's claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrines of estoppel, waiver or laches.
9. Allstate has not engaged in any conduct sufficient to justify an award of punitive, exemplary, or liquidated damages and Plaintiff s claim for punitive damages fails as a result of Allstate's good faith efforts to comply with federal and state law.
10. Plaintiff's claims for punitive damages violate and they are, therefore, barred by, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and the corresponding provisions of the Constitution of Oklahoma, on grounds including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) It is a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution to impose punitive damages, which are penal in nature, against a civil defendant upon the plaintiffs satisfying a burden of proof which is less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof required in criminal cases;
(b) The procedures pursuant to which punitive damages are awarded fail to provide a reasonable limit on the amount of the award against a defendant, which thereby violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution;
(c) The procedures pursuant to which punitive damages are awarded fail to provide specific standards for the amount of the award of punitive damages which thereby violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution;
(d) The procedures pursuant to which punitive damages are awarded result in the imposition of different penalties for the same or similar acts, and thus violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution;
(e) The procedures pursuant to which punitive damages are awarded permit the imposition of punitive damages in excess of the maximum criminal or quasi-criminal fine for the same or similar conduct, which thereby infringes upon the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution;
(f) The procedures pursuant to which punitive damages are awarded permit the imposition of excessive fines in violation of the Eighth ...

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