Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Finlay Resigns, Catazaro and Ramasar Suspended -- Update: Catazaro and Ramasar Fired


Recommended Posts

Her assertions against the institutions of NYCB and SAB seem to be so weak  and lacking in merit that I would not be surprised if counsel for NYCB and SAF file  a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, rather than filing an answer to the complaint.

Link to comment

She could well have standing to sue the institution if its policy, practice and working environment left students vulnerable to mistreatment by their professors.  It is for precisely that reason that colleges have policies governing relationships between staff and students (either banning them outright or requiring that any such relationship be declared and the staff member involved be reclused from having any say in the student's results etc.)

Link to comment
5 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Columbia University,  where she is a current student,  has had its share of sexual misconduct and campus rape allegations.  Many dancers at NYCB have been students at Columbia.   If one of those dancers dated a Columbia professor who mistreated her in the same manner as Finlay allegedly mistreated Waterbury,  that dancer would have a case against him,  but she wouldn't have standing to sue Columbia,  and try to bolster her claim by citing alleged defects in their policy on student-instructor relations.

Are you sure about that?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/04/27/former-george-washington-student-sues-school-alleging-botched-sexual-assault-case/?utm_term=.cc4d93b9ed8e

 

https://www.nyunews.com/2018/08/26/news-ronell-reitman-sexual-assault-lawsuit/

Link to comment
7 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

All of Merson's allegations could be true regarding a lack of a policy regarding NYCB and SAB.  However what is the bearing on this case?  The plaintiff is not a student at SAB at the present time,  and she makes no claim that she began a relationship  with  defendant Finlay when she was a student there.  She makes no claim that any NYCB member "groomed" her as a minor student.  She is not now,  and never has been a member of NYCB,  so she has no standing to claim her treatment by Finlay was part of a hostile work environment. 

My guess is that it could be one piece of evidence (though not a smoking gun) to add to the impression that NYCB was willful, reckless, or negligent in fostering an environment where people could act with impunity and no expectation of discipline. 

I haven't seen anything in the complaint discussing an EEOC-style hostile workplace claim, so 

4 minutes ago, abatt said:

Her assertions against the institutions of NYCB and SAB seem to be so weak  and lacking in merit that I would not be surprised if counsel for NYCB and SAF file  a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, rather than filing an answer to the complaint.

I mean, shouldn't we expect to see a 12(b)(6) motion without necessarily taking the filing thereof as a referendum on the merits? They're not exactly non-standard motions...

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, aurora said:

Those cases have not been decided in the plaintiffs' favor.  Even if they were,  the George Washington  University  case involved two people who were students together,  and the NYU case involved a harassment case between a grad student and the head of his department.  Neither case is relevant to the Waterbury suit.

Link to comment
6 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Those cases have not been decided in the plaintiffs' favor.  Even if they were,  the George Washington  University  case involved two people who were students together,  and the NYU case involved a harassment case between a grad student and the head of his department.  Neither case is relevant to the Waterbury suit.

It is relevant to the hypothetical :

"Many dancers at NYCB have been students at Columbia.   If one of those dancers dated a Columbia professor who mistreated her in the same manner as Finlay allegedly mistreated Waterbury,  that dancer would have a case against him,  but she wouldn't have standing to sue Columbia,  and try to bolster her claim by citing alleged defects in their policy on student-instructor relations."

You didn't say have won a case.

You said she would have no standing to sue Columbia. And considering there are similar cases (no not identical, but no two cases will ever be precisely the same) in the courts at this moment, it is incorrect to say she "wouldn't have standing to sue Columbia." Which were your exact words.

Link to comment
32 minutes ago, tutu said:

I mean, shouldn't we expect to see a 12(b)(6) motion without necessarily taking the filing thereof as a referendum on the merits? They're not exactly non-standard motions...

I would, just as due diligence.

James Reichlen, author of "Balanchine and Kirstein's American Enterprise,"* posted this entry on his website:

Men Controlling Women’s Bodies is Nothing New at New York City Ballet. Just Ask George Balanchine.

I haven't read Kirstein's diaries, but I did read the Duberman bio, and the author describes a lot of "old school" behavior besides manners.

*Edited to add:  amazon shows the available date as November 1, 2018.  (Hardcover and Kindle).

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, tutu said:

My guess is that it could be one piece of evidence (though not a smoking gun) to add to the impression that NYCB was willful, reckless, or negligent in fostering an environment where people could act with impunity and no expectation of discipline. 

Ms. Waterbury  doesn't  cite a single example at SAB to bolster her assertion,  even anonymously,  and it would take more than one to establish a pattern.  Employers are limited in their ability to discipline the private behavior of their employees.

Edited by On Pointe
Clarity
Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Helene said:

I would, just as due diligence.

Any lawyer would. You see failure to state of claim motions all the time. Everybody wants to avoid the expensive and time-consuming discovery process, and a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is a standard tool.

ETA: @abatt has corrected to the state rule (CPLR 3211) (instead of the federal rule, 12(b)(6)), so I've updated this post accordingly.

Edited by tutu
Link to comment
10 minutes ago, tutu said:

My guess is that it could be one piece of evidence (though not a smoking gun) to add to the impression that NYCB was willful, reckless, or negligent in fostering an environment where people could act with impunity and no expectation of discipline. 

I haven't seen anything in the complaint discussing an EEOC-style hostile workplace claim, so 

I mean, shouldn't we expect to see a 12(b)(6) motion without necessarily taking the filing thereof as a referendum on the merits? They're not exactly non-standard motions...

It would be under CPLR 3211, not 12(b)(6), because this is a state court action. 

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, abatt said:

It would be under CPLR 3211, not 12(b)(6), because this is a state court action. 

True. Thanks for the catch, abatt.

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, whether filed under the state or federal rule, remains a pretty standard tool.

Edited by tutu
Link to comment
7 minutes ago, aurora said:

It is relevant to the hypothetical you brought up:

"Many dancers at NYCB have been students at Columbia.   If one of those dancers dated a Columbia professor who mistreated her in the same manner as Finlay allegedly mistreated Waterbury,  that dancer would have a case against him,  but she wouldn't have standing to sue Columbia,  and try to bolster her claim by citing alleged defects in their policy on student-instructor relations."

 

You didn't say have won a case.

You said she would have no standing to sue Columbia. And considering there are similar cases (no not identical, but no two cases will ever be precisely the same) in the courts at this moment, it is incorrect to say she "wouldn't have standing to sue Columbia." Which were your exact words.

"Many dancers at NYCB have been students at Columbia - my apologies for the past tense evidently not being clear.  If an adult former Columbia student dated a Columbia professor and it ended badly,  it does not follow that Columbia University is at fault.

Link to comment

A complaint is just the intro. If it gets to this point, discovery will be the meat of the matter.

After a scathing expose in "Sports Illustrated," about sexual harassment in the organization, the Dallas Mavericks launched an independent investigation -- independent, not internal third-party -- and issued a report yesterday.  From the footnotes, the investigative team was:

Quote

The lead investigators were Evan Krutoy and Anne Milgram. Krutoy was an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for more than twenty years, during which time he handled thousands of cases including high-profile homicide and sex crimes cases and also served as the Acting Deputy Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit. Milgram is a former New Jersey Attorney General, where she served as the state’s chief law enforcement officer. Milgram also worked as a state prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where she was the Special Litigation Counsel for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes. The following individuals served as members of the Investigative Team: Jamie Gottlieb Furia, Joseph Fischetti, Rebecca Ryan, Alexander Strohmeyer, Natalie Dallavalle, Craig Dashiell, Cruz de Leon, and Angelique Loffredo.

The-Report-of-the-Independent-Investigation-of-Dallas-Basketball-Limited_9-19-2018.pdf

I would expect Merson to follow similar paths of inquiry into the NYCB and SAB organization, to establish policy, complaint history, how those complaints were handled, authority to act, etc.

Link to comment
5 minutes ago, Helene said:

A complaint is just the intro. If it gets to this point, discovery will be the meat of the matter.

After a scathing expose in "Sports Illustrated," about sexual harassment in the organization, the Dallas Mavericks launched an independent investigation -- independent, not internal third-party -- and issued a report yesterday.  From the footnotes, the investigative team was:

The-Report-of-the-Independent-Investigation-of-Dallas-Basketball-Limited_9-19-2018.pdf

I would expect Merson to follow similar paths of inquiry into the NYCB and SAB organization, to establish policy, complaint history, how those complaints were handled, authority to act, etc.

That was an investigation of a hostile workplace environment case,  where the behavior of some male employees toward female employees was flagrant and outrageous.  Why and how could Merson launch a similar investigation at NYCB when Ms. Waterbury never worked there?  NYCB might have an obligation to disclose this information to AGMA,  but not to all comers.

It is notable that even though Mavericks owner Mark Cuban worked in the same offices and should have been aware of what was going on,  (he admitted as much and made a $10,000,000 donation to women's organizations - a nuisance amount given his vast wealth)  he was exonerated by the investigation. 

Link to comment
10 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Why and how could Merson launch a similar investigation at NYCB when Ms. Waterbury never worked there?  NYCB might have an obligation to disclose this information to AGMA,  but not to all comers.

Discovery is not an investigation. 

If I were he, and was trying to make a case about the environment that in which The Powers That Be knew about, but never disciplined bad behavior properly and sent a message that the men were above the law, I'd ask for records of all complaints and disciplinary actions at both institutions, to see if there was a gender pattern, a pattern of discouraging complaints, whether the women and girls at both or either organization were justified in feeling that their complaints wouldn't be taken seriously and/or would result in backlash or retribution, whether there were policies in place, what the training was, etc. etc. etc.

Cuban was not fully exonerated, and was called out especially in the case of Hyde.  There were two offices, and he worked primarily in a different office than the executives who purportedly were in charge.  

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, Helene said:

Discovery is not an investigation. 

If I were he, and was trying to make a case about the environment that in which The Powers That Be knew about, but never disciplined bad behavior properly and sent a message that the men were above the law, I'd ask for records of all complaints and disciplinary actions at both institutions, to see if there was a gender pattern, a pattern of discouraging complaints, whether the women and girls at both or either organization were justified in feeling that their complaints wouldn't be taken seriously and/or would result in backlash or retribution, whether there were policies in place, what the training was, etc. etc. etc.

My point is that he could ask,  but NYCB and SAB could refuse to comply.  He would have to persuade a judge that he had a right to this data.  Even if they did so voluntarily  (highly unlikely),  discovery can be expensive and time-consuming.  The cost would not be covered by contingency fees.  Ms. Waterbury  could find herself on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars and still lose the case.

Edited by On Pointe
Clarity
Link to comment
44 minutes ago, Helene said:

Discovery is not an investigation. 

If I were he, and was trying to make a case about the environment that in which The Powers That Be knew about, but never disciplined bad behavior properly and sent a message that the men were above the law, I'd ask for records of all complaints 

Cuban was not fully exonerated, and was called out especially in the case of Hyde.  There were two offices, and he worked primarily in a different office than the executives who purportedly were in charge.  

Cuban suffered no consequences from the investigation.  

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Steichen. A little over the top. He claims that Balanchine (completely is implied) destroyed Farrell's career.

From a review of Farrell's autobiography:

It was true that she (Farrell) didn’t have to sleep with Balanchine to be cast in his ballets, but that didn’t mean that the person she chose to sleep with instead would be cast in his ballets. Mejia did not have a large repertory, but what he had he began losing. Finally one evening when Mejia was not given a role that he felt was his due—Symphony in C, third movement—Farrell issued an ultimatum: if Mejia didn’t dance in Symphony in C that night, they would both quit. To her utter astonishment, Balanchine took her up on it. Not only was Mejia not added to the casting sheet for Symphony in C, but Farrell, who was to have danced the second movement, was stricken from it, and as she was sitting in her dressing room preparing for the evening’s performance the wardrobe mistress, weeping, came to take her tutu away. Her resignation had been accepted.

She seems not to have believed it at first. She told The New York Times that Balanchine was being bad, and that was what the problem was: “All of a sudden he’s acting unadmirably and I can’t dance for him when he’s acting that way.”10 She also went—with Mejia—to the theater one night to use a studio to practice in. They were turned away. Eventually it dawned on her. “I was a dancer without a job, and I felt as homeless as any bag lady.”

 

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, Rick said:

... “I was a dancer without a job, and I felt as homeless as any bag lady.”

Did Balanchine really destroy Farrell's career as Steichen seems to imply? Didn't she afterwards dance with Bejart for several years, then come back to City Ballet where she originated roles in Mozartiana and Davidsbundlertanze?

Link to comment
3 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Did Balanchine really destroy Farrell's career as Steichen seems to imply? Didn't she afterwards dance with Bejart for several years, then come back to City Ballet where she originated roles in Mozartiana and Davidsbundlertanze?

Destroyed overall, perhaps no.

But it doesn't negate the fact he tried to, simply because she married someone who wasn't him.

 

The fact she was able to find other, lesser, work, doesn't change the fact his behavior towards her was wrong.

 

 

Link to comment

The question is really whether having to go to Bejart ruined her career, because accepting Farrell back to NYCB and resurrecting her career was entirely Balanchine's decision, which reinforces Steichen's assertion of control.  And, only National Ballet of Canada -- guest stint -- was willing to hire her of all the companies in North America; the Balanchine and/or neo-classical companies in the US treated her as radioactive.

While her years at Bejart were much mourned, it's arguable that having to dance for Bejart=career killer is a very NYCB- and US-centric argument.  On the other hand, one could argue that it was a crying shame that someone who was trained as a cardiac surgeon was doing the equivalent of appendectomies.  Not that the latter isn't important/critical, but that it doesn't require the same specialization.

Link to comment

Regarding the Steichen...I wish I had known about Holly Howard when we had a thread/discussion going back and forth about just how courtly, romantic, and idealizing Balanchine’s relations to women really were....

Edited by Drew
Link to comment

Farrell's return certainly disrupted the careers of other dancers,  who had been performing her former roles in her absence,  and now found themselves second cast.  Peter Martins became her partner instead of Kay Mazzo's.  Balanchine resumed favoring her over others.  Not everyone was happy about her return.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...