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Keogh v. Concentra Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 16, 2017

KEVIN KEOGH, D.O., Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff Dr. Kevin Keogh filed this action alleging discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. against his employer, defendant Concentra. The matter is presently before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment.

         The court held oral argument on defendant's motion on August 23, 2017. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.


         1. Dr. Keogh's Employment at Concentra

         Concentra provides occupational healthcare services dedicated to the treatment of workplace injuries and the performance of employment-related healthcare services, such as drug screenings and pre-employment physicals. Dr. Keogh began his employment as a physician for Concentra in 1993 when he sold his medical practice to Concentra. Dr. Keogh worked as a Staff Physician, first in the I-96 Center in Novi and later in the Livonia Center. In 2001, Concentra promoted Dr. Keogh to Center Medical Director (CMD) for the Livonia Center. As CMD, Dr. Keogh's responsibilities included patient care as well as leadership/management. CMD's reported directly to the Area Medical Director (AMD). Concentra's core operational principles are found in its Site Playbook. The Site Playbook establishes standardized processes to ensure that an individual has the same experience in all Concentra locations.

         In 2010 Dr. Keogh had his first back surgery, a laminectomy for herniated discs at levels L4 and L5. He had a second laminectomy for the same discs in 2012, developed an infection and underwent a subsequent fusion. Dr. Keogh returned to work in February of 2013. Dr. Keogh contends he had difficulty sitting, going from sitting to standing, and walking for long periods due to his surgeries. As a result of pain and other limitations, Dr. Keogh maintains that he got fatigued after working for more than 6 hours.

         2. Events Leading to Dr. Keogh's Demotion

         In mid-2013, Dr. Thomas became the AMD who directly supervised Dr. Keogh as the CMD of the Livonia Center. In 2014, Dr. Thomas developed concerns about Dr. Keogh's performance and addressed performance and behavioral problems related to his leadership. On February 14, 2014, Dr. Thomas noted that Dr. Keogh made fun of the Playbook. On February 26, 2014, Dr. Thomas met with Dr. Keogh about his attendance at the mandatory quarterly staff meeting. Dr. Keogh said he would “think about” attending. On March 4, 2014, Dr. Keogh told Dr. Thomas he would not attend the mandatory quarterly meeting because “if it's not about medicine I don't have anything to do with it.” (Ex. 15, Dr. Thomas' Counseling Notes).

         At the March 4, 2014 meeting, where the Site Playbook was rolled out to staff at the Livonia Center, Dr. Keogh spent the first 70 minutes of the 90 minute meeting working in another room. When asked to sign his pledge agreeing to adhere to the principles of the Site Playbook, Dr. Keogh signed the name “Wiley E. Coyote.”

         Dr. Thomas informed Dr. Cobb, a Regional Medical Director, of Dr. Keogh's insubordination. Dr. Cobb forwarded the information to Dr. Yaldo, Concentra's Vice President of Medical Operations, Dr. Cobb expressed her support “of making a move to separate Dr. Keogh” to Senior HR Consultant Thomas Tschirhart.

         Concentra placed Dr. Keogh on a PIP on March 11, 2014 for unsatisfactory performance:

(1) Openly mocking Concentra's policies and procedures;
(2) Not consistently completing charts in a timely fashion;
(3) Not participating in the management of the Livonia Center staff;
(4) Consistently arriving late for meetings;
(5) Engaging in rude and disrespectful behavior in meetings, such as addressing the group with “Hi Ladies and Genitals”;
(6) Failing to take Livonia Center performance metrics seriously; and
(7) Not taking responsibility for center readiness audits (“CAT Audits”).

         The PIP required Dr. Keogh to correct his deficiencies and meet expectations within 30 days. While on the PIP, Dr. Keogh refused to see a patient for a physical exam because the patient arrived 15 minutes before closing and Dr. Keogh did not want to delay the end of his shift. This conduct was in contravention of Concentra's policy of requiring that all patients arriving at a clinic before closing are seen. Also while on the PIP, Dr. Keogh arrived ...

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