Civil Procedure II, Pages 798–802

Mosley v. General Motors Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1974


Tens plaintiffs sued defendant for discriminating against black and female employees or applicants.

Procedural History:

District court ordered that ten of the twelve counts be severed into ten separate causes of action, but left the class action open to allege a separate cause of action.


Were plaintiffs allowed to join their actions?


  • LexisNexis IconWestLaw LogoGoogle Scholar LogoPage 800, Top

    Rule 20(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides:

    [(1) Plaintiffs. Persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if:

    1. they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and
    2. any question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs will arise in the action.]

  • LexisNexis IconWestLaw LogoGoogle Scholar LogoPages 800–801

    Rule 20 [permits] all reasonably related claims for relief by or against different parties to be tried in a single proceeding. Absolute identity of all events is unnecessary.


  • Plaintiffs asserted a right to relief out of the same transactions or occurrences. Each was injured by the same general policy of discrimination.

  • Not all facts have to be the same, just one. Here, the discriminatory character of defendant's conduct is common, so it is immaterial whether defendants suffered different effects therefrom.


Yes, plaintiffs should have been been allowed to join their actions. District court's judgment disallowing joinder reversed and remanded.