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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Posner, Circuit Judge. The districtcourt granted summary judgment for theplaintiff’s former employer in this agediscrimination in employment suit, andthe plaintiff appeals. The plaintiff, age54 when he was hired in 1997, was aninformation technology consultant withextensive experience in the health careindustry, and he was hired specificallyto service a large health care client ofthe defendant. Just a few weeks after theplaintiff was hired, the defendant lostthe client, and several months later itdecided to discontinue its health carepractice. At about the same time itinstituted a RIF (reduction in force)targeted on employees who had littleprospect for billable work in theforthcoming months, a category thatincluded the plaintiff. Accordingly hewas terminated in January of 1998 (afterhaving been employed by the defendant foronly five months) along with two otheremployees out of a total of 32 in theplaintiff’s department, of whom 27,including the three who were riffed, wereat least 40, the age at which theprotections of the federal agediscrimination law kick in.

 
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