This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 07/19/2022 at 11:46:47 (UTC).

Gedeon v. Frenchko, et al.

Case Summary

On March 21, 2022, Dawn Guarino Gedeon (“Plaintiff”), represented by Dennis R. Fogarty of Davis & Young, filed a labor lawsuit against Michelle Nicole Frenchko and the Trumbull County Commissioners (collectively, “Defendants”), represented by Edmond Z. Jaber and Kathleen M. Minahan of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder, seeking damages for their alleged discrimination against the plaintiff. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, with Judge Benita Y. Pearson presiding.

In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged, “On January 4, 2021, Frenchko took office as a Trumbull County Commissioner. Frenchko entered office with a list of employees she wanted to remove from their positions, including Plaintiff.”

Plaintiff then alleged, “Defendant Frenchko has repeatedly made derisive statements regarding Italian Americans critical of Trumbull County employing so many Italians and repeatedly likening Italians to mafia types and organized crime members,” and “Plaintiff Gedeon is an Italian American.”

The plaintiff further alleged, “On social media sites, Defendant Frenchko has made comments to the effect that Trumbull County employees are ‘henchmen,’ ‘minions,’ and ‘hacks.’ She repeatedly referred to Trumbull County government as a ‘swamp’ and has referred to her staff as ‘flying monkeys’ and other derogatory comments.”

The plaintiff also alleged, “Frenchko has also used derisive and derogatory terms when making reference to Italian American employees of Trumbull County including calling them ‘greasy,’ ‘sausage makers’ and referring to some employees of the Commissioner’s office as being akin to Michael Corleone or Don Corleone from ‘The Godfather’ movie.”

Plaintiff further alleged, “As a result of the complaints from Plaintiff and others, Richard Jackson, the Director of Human Resources Department for Trumbull County, conducted an investigation and interviewed several employees regarding, including Plaintiff, regarding Frenchko’s behavior.”

The plaintiff then alleged, “As a result of these complaints and the resulting investigation, Frenchko began a campaign of harassment and retaliation against Plaintiff Gedeon and others in order to make the work environment intolerable in an obvious effort to force Plaintiff and others resign from county employment.”

Plaintiff additionally alleged, “Frenchko brought a cat to work after having been expressly told by Plaintiff Gedeon and others that Plaintiff was allergic to cats. Frenchko refused to remove the cat and continued to expose Plaintiff to the cat to such an extent that Plaintiff had to seek medical treatment as a result,” and “In retaliation for Plaintiff’s complaint about the cat exposure, Frenchko retaliated by expressly denying a basic pay raise to Plaintiff and then bragged about it on Facebook”

Plaintiff then alleged, “As a direct and proximate result of Frenchko’s hostile and abusive treatment of Plaintiff based on her Italian heritage, Plaintiff has suffered humiliation and emotional damages requiring her to seek mental health treatment.”

Plaintiff also alleged that “Frenchko had actual knowledge of Plaintiff’s mental health vulnerabilities and actively attempted to exploit these vulnerabilities and make them worse. Frenchko actually attempted to interfere with Plaintiff’s efforts to obtain mental health treatment which she undertook on her work breaks.”

Plaintiff listed three claims for relief, including the alleged discrimination based on national origin, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In the prayer for relief, the plaintiff requested an award for damages in excess of $1,000,000.00, punitive damages, court costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    4:22-CV-00441

  • Filing Date:

    03/21/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Benita Y. Pearson

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Dawn Guarino Gedeon

Defendants

Michelle Nicole Frenchko

Trumbull County Commissioners

Board of Trumbull County Commissioners

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Dennis R. Fogarty

Attorney at Davis & Young

35000 Chardon Road

Willoughby Hills, OH 44094

Defendant Attorneys

Kathleen M. Minahan

Attorney at Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder - Solon

100 Franklin'S Row, 34305 Solon Road

Solon, OH 44139

Edmond Z. Jaber

Attorney at Mazanec Raskin Ryder

34305 Solon Road

Cleveland, OH 44139

 

Court Documents

#16

(#16) Case Management Conference Plan/Order. Case is assigned to the standard track, and is not suitable for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at this time. The parties do not consent to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Magistrate Judge. Discovery shall be completed on or before 11/4/2022. Expert reports on which a party bears the burden of proof are due on or before 9/20/2022, with response reports completed no later than 10/20/2022. Counsel shall comply with LR 37.1, which outlines a process for resolution of discovery disputes. The cutoff to amend pleadings and add parties is 8/10/2022. The cutoff for filing dispositive motions is 12/9/2022, with responses filed by 1/9/2023, and replies by 1/23/2023. Written stipulations as to all uncontested facts to be presented by the dispositive motion shall be filed with the Court along with the motion. If there are no stipulations, a joint notice stating same shall be filed by the same date. These are mandatory requirements. A Telephonic Status Conference is set for 9/28/2022 at 1:30 p.m. Counsel for Plaintiff is to set up the conference call by joining the other participants and calling the Court at (330) 884-7435. Parties' attendance is welcome, but not mandatory. Counsel should notify the Court in advance of a Status Conference if the matter has settled. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 7/18/2022. (JLG) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#15

(#15) Initial Disclosures filed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#14

(#14) Notice of Service of Defendants' First Set of Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents and Requests for Admissions to Plaintiff filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 07/07/2022)

#13

(#13) Stipulation and Order approving the parties' #12 Stipulation Regarding Inadvertent Disclosure of Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product Protection, or Other Applicable Privilege. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 6/30/2022. (JLG) (Entered: 06/30/2022)

#12

(#12) Stipulation Regarding Inadvertent Disclosure of Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product Protection or Other Applicable Privilege filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 06/27/2022)

#11

(#11) Report of Parties' Planning Meeting (Discovery Plan) - parties do not consent to this case being assigned to the magistrate judge, filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 06/27/2022)

10 #4

Attachment No. 4

10 #3

Attachment No. 3

10 #2

Attachment No. 2

10 #1

Attachment No. 1

10 #10

Main Document

#6

(#6) Attorney Appearance by Kathleen M. Minahan filed by on behalf of Michelle Nicole Frenchko, Trumbull County Commissioners. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 03/29/2022)

#5

Minutes of proceedings [non-document] before Judge Benita Y. Pearson. Telephonic Case Management Conference held on 7/18/2022. Present were Attorney Dennis R. Fogarty as counsel for Plaintiff and Attorney Kathleen M. Minahan as counsel for Defendants. Also present was Plaintiff Dawn Guarino Gedeon; Defendant Michelle Nicole Frenchko; and Trumbull County Commissioners Mauro Cantalamessa and Frank Fuda as representatives for Defendants. The parties discussed the case background, status and needs of discovery, suitability for alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"), and case consolidation. Counsel for Plaintiff advised the Court of a potential violation of the Gag Order (ECF No. #5 ). Within 7 days of the date of this Order, Counsel for Defendants is ordered to show cause why the Gag Order has not been violated. A Telephonic Status Conference is scheduled for 9/28/2022 at 1:30 p.m. A separate Case Management Conference Order will issue. (Court Reporter: None); Time: 38 minutes. (JLG) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#4

(#4) Waiver of Service Returned Executed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. Trumbull County Commissioners waiver sent on 3/22/2022, answer due 5/23/2022 filed on behalf of Dawn Guarino Gedeon (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

#3

(#3) Waiver of Service Returned Executed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. Michelle Nicole Frenchko waiver sent on 3/22/2022, answer due 5/23/2022 filed on behalf of Dawn Guarino Gedeon (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

#2

(#2) Magistrate Consent Form issued. No summons issued or provided. (G,M) (Entered: 03/21/2022)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #1

Main Document

10 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 07/18/2022
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  • Docket(#16) Case Management Conference Plan/Order. Case is assigned to the standard track, and is not suitable for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at this time. The parties do not consent to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Magistrate Judge. Discovery shall be completed on or before 11/4/2022. Expert reports on which a party bears the burden of proof are due on or before 9/20/2022, with response reports completed no later than 10/20/2022. Counsel shall comply with LR 37.1, which outlines a process for resolution of discovery disputes. The cutoff to amend pleadings and add parties is 8/10/2022. The cutoff for filing dispositive motions is 12/9/2022, with responses filed by 1/9/2023, and replies by 1/23/2023. Written stipulations as to all uncontested facts to be presented by the dispositive motion shall be filed with the Court along with the motion. If there are no stipulations, a joint notice stating same shall be filed by the same date. These are mandatory requirements. A Telephonic Status Conference is set for 9/28/2022 at 1:30 p.m. Counsel for Plaintiff is to set up the conference call by joining the other participants and calling the Court at (330) 884-7435. Parties' attendance is welcome, but not mandatory. Counsel should notify the Court in advance of a Status Conference if the matter has settled. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 7/18/2022. (JLG) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
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  • DocketMinutes of proceedings [non-document] before Judge Benita Y. Pearson. Telephonic Case Management Conference held on 7/18/2022. Present were Attorney Dennis R. Fogarty as counsel for Plaintiff and Attorney Kathleen M. Minahan as counsel for Defendants. Also present was Plaintiff Dawn Guarino Gedeon; Defendant Michelle Nicole Frenchko; and Trumbull County Commissioners Mauro Cantalamessa and Frank Fuda as representatives for Defendants. The parties discussed the case background, status and needs of discovery, suitability for alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"), and case consolidation. Counsel for Plaintiff advised the Court of a potential violation of the Gag Order (ECF No. #5 ). Within 7 days of the date of this Order, Counsel for Defendants is ordered to show cause why the Gag Order has not been violated. A Telephonic Status Conference is scheduled for 9/28/2022 at 1:30 p.m. A separate Case Management Conference Order will issue. (Court Reporter: None); Time: 38 minutes. (JLG) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
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  • Docket(#15) Initial Disclosures filed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/07/2022
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  • Docket(#14) Notice of Service of Defendants' First Set of Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents and Requests for Admissions to Plaintiff filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 07/07/2022)

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  • 06/30/2022
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  • Docket(#13) Stipulation and Order approving the parties' #12 Stipulation Regarding Inadvertent Disclosure of Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product Protection, or Other Applicable Privilege. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 6/30/2022. (JLG) (Entered: 06/30/2022)

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  • 06/27/2022
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  • Docket(#12) Stipulation Regarding Inadvertent Disclosure of Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product Protection or Other Applicable Privilege filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 06/27/2022)

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  • 06/27/2022
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  • Docket(#11) Report of Parties' Planning Meeting (Discovery Plan) - parties do not consent to this case being assigned to the magistrate judge, filed by Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, Michelle Nicole Frenchko. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 06/27/2022)

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  • 06/06/2022
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  • Docket(#10) Case Management Conference Scheduling Order with Telephonic Case Management Conference to be held on 7/18/2022 at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Benita Y. Pearson. Counsel for Plaintiff shall set up the conference call and contact Chambers directly at (330) 884-7435, with all participants on the line. The Court requires personal participation of parties at the Case Management Conference, even when the conference is telephonic. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 6/6/2022. (Attachments: #1 Attachment No. 1, #2 Attachment No. 2, #3 Attachment No. 3, #4 Attachment No. 4, #5 Attachment No. 5) (JLG) (Entered: 06/06/2022)

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  • 06/01/2022
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  • Docket(#9) Notice of Service of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents to Defendants filed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 06/01/2022)

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  • 05/20/2022
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  • Docket(#8) Answer to #1 Complaint, with Jury Demand filed by Michelle Nicole Frenchko, Board of Trumbull County Commissioners (misidentified as Trumbull County Commissioners). (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 05/20/2022)

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1 More Docket Entries
  • 03/29/2022
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  • Docket(#6) Attorney Appearance by Kathleen M. Minahan filed by on behalf of Michelle Nicole Frenchko, Trumbull County Commissioners. (Minahan, Kathleen) (Entered: 03/29/2022)

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  • 03/28/2022
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  • Docket(#5) Order The Court hereby orders all parties to cease and desist from issuing public comment, either directly or indirectly, regarding matters touching upon the above-referenced case. The parties may engage in appropriate workplace communications that do not regard this litigation. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 03/28/2022. (D,Ju) (Entered: 03/28/2022)

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  • 03/28/2022
  • DocketMinutes of proceedings [non-document] before Judge Benita Y. Pearson. Telephonic Status Conference held on 3/28/2022. Present were Attorney Dennis R. Fogarty as counsel for Plaintiff; and Attorney Kathleen M. Minahan as counsel for Defendants. The parties discussed the issuance of a Gag Order as a tool to prevent further problematic public comment on the instant matter. A separate Gag Order will issue. (Court Reporter: Mary Uphold); Time: 14 minutes. (D,Ju) (Entered: 03/28/2022)

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  • 03/25/2022
  • DocketOrder [non-document] A Telephonic Status Conference is set for Monday, March 28, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. before Judge Benita Y. Pearson. Attendance by Lead Counsel for all parties is mandatory. Lead Counsel for Plaintiff is to set up the conference call by joining the other participants and calling the Court at (330) 884-7435. Parties attendance is welcome, but not mandatory. Judge Benita Y. Pearson on 03/25/2022. (D,Ju) (Entered: 03/25/2022)

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  • 03/23/2022
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  • Docket(#4) Waiver of Service Returned Executed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. Trumbull County Commissioners waiver sent on 3/22/2022, answer due 5/23/2022 filed on behalf of Dawn Guarino Gedeon (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

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  • 03/23/2022
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  • Docket(#3) Waiver of Service Returned Executed by Dawn Guarino Gedeon. Michelle Nicole Frenchko waiver sent on 3/22/2022, answer due 5/23/2022 filed on behalf of Dawn Guarino Gedeon (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

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  • 03/21/2022
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  • Docket(#2) Magistrate Consent Form issued. No summons issued or provided. (G,M) (Entered: 03/21/2022)

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  • 03/21/2022
  • DocketRandom Assignment of Magistrate Judge pursuant to Local Rule 3.1. In the event of a referral, case will be assigned to Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson. (G,M) (Entered: 03/21/2022)

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  • 03/21/2022
  • DocketJudge Benita Y. Pearson assigned to case. (G,M) (Entered: 03/21/2022)

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  • 03/21/2022
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  • Docket(#1) Complaint with jury demand against Michelle Nicole Frenchko and Trumbull County Commissioners. Filing fee paid $ 402, Receipt number AOHNDC-11330409. Filed by Dawn Gedeon. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Fogarty, Dennis) (Entered: 03/21/2022)

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