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Nootbaar v. Alderwoods Oklahoma Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

August 5, 2019

MARTHA K. NOOTBAAR, Plaintiff,
v.
ALDERWOODS OKLAHOMA, INC., d/b/a RESTHAVEN FUNERAL HOME, Defendant.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI Chief United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses [Doc. No. 11]. Defendants have responded [Doc. No. 16] and Plaintiff has replied [Doc. No. 19]. The matter is fully briefed and at issue.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brought the present action pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act, Okla. Stat. tit. 25, §§ 1101-1901. Plaintiff alleges she was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated because of her disability. She moves to strike Defendant's Affirmative Defenses Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, and 11 as legally insufficient pursuant to Rule 12(f), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which state:

2. Plaintiff's claims are barred in whole or in part by regulation and/or statute.
3. Plaintiffs' claims are barred in whole or in part by the following doctrines: estoppel (legal and equitable), illegality, fraud, and unclean hands.
6. Plaintiff's claims may be barred by the doctrine of after-acquired evidence.
7. Plaintiff's claims may be barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statute of limitations.
10. Any claim for punitive damages is barred because of the provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution and the Constitution of the United States as set out more specifically below:
a. Any claim for punitive damages in this case would amount to a denial of substantive due process and procedural due process in violation of the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, because damages might be imposed based upon a burden of proof which does not rise to the level of clear, cogent or convincing evidence.
b. Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages violates Defendants' rights to access to the courts guaranteed by the Seventh and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, since the threat of an award of unlimited punitive damages chills Defendant's exercise of rights to free access to the courts and violates Article II, Section II-6 of the Oklahoma Constitution requiring that all courts shall be open.
c. Any claim for punitive damages violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution in that the standard for determining the requisite mental state of the defendant or imposition of punitive damages is void for vagueness. There are no objective guidelines on which the finder of fact may base its award, and the tests or standards for which punitive damages are awarded differ from state to state such that a specific act or omission of a given defendant may or may not result in the imposition of punitive damages, and may result in different amounts of punitive damages, depending upon the state in which the suit is filed, thereby resulting in disparate treatment of similarly situated defendants because of economic advantage or disadvantage and, thus deny Defendant due process and equal protection of the law.
d. Any award of punitive damages in this case would be excessive and disproportionate to the award of compensatory damages thus violating principles of due process and equal protection of the laws.
e. Any award of punitive damages in this case would constitute an excessive fine in violation of Article II, Section ...

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