RALEIGH – A Texas judge has dismissed an age discrimination case filed by a former IBM employee, suggesting the case has been settled out of court. However, hundreds of similar claims from across the country remain pending, including from North Carolina.

Judge David Ezra in the Texan Western District Court signed a court order on Tuesday closing the case of Jonathan Langley, who filed suit in 2018 after being laid off at the age of 60 after 24 years with the company.

It is believed the two parties have agreed to settle confidentially out of court, according to tech news site The Inquirer in the U.K.

IBM declined to comment.

The decision could be a harbinger of what is to come.

Well-known employment lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan is currently representing about 150 former IBM employees who are claiming they lost their jobs because of age discrimination. She has vowed that “IBM cannot escape discrimination laws.”

Henry Gerrits from his LinkedIn page

That includes Henry Gerrits, 68, from Cary. He worked at IBM from 1985 through June of 2018, according to the lawsuit. He was told he was being laid off on March 29 of last year.

IBM operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP and employs several thousand people across North Carolina.

“His case, along with the others, is pending,” said Liss-Riordan in an email to WRAL TechWire.

She added: “We’re pleased that Jonathan Langley was able to resolve his case.”

Class-action lawsuit

In September 2018, Liss-Riordan filed a class-action lawsuit against Big Blue alleging the tech giant consistently laid off at least 20,000 employees over the age of 40 between 2012 and the present.

Since then, she said a number of her clients have “opted in to our federal lawsuit,” and a number of them are pursuing their claims through individual arbitration.

Meanwhile, Liss-Riordan is still seeking to get the word out to other IBM employees around the country who may have claims and can join our litigation.

“That effort is ongoing; based on a recent order from the court, we will need to engage in discovery to determine the contours of the class for whom we can seek notice,” she said.

“We are engaged in discovery in the various arbitrations and plan to take discovery in the court class action next as well.”

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