United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
S. CARMODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 57), and Plaintiff's
Motion for Order to Review Factual Evidence, (ECF No.
61). The parties have consented to proceed in this Court for
all further proceedings, including trial and an order of
final judgment. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). By Order of
Reference, the Honorable Paul L. Maloney referred this case
to the undersigned. For the reasons discussed herein, both
motions are granted and this matter is
15, 2016, Plaintiff initiated the present action against
Defendant TPUSA, Inc. alleging that she had been subjected to
unlawful discrimination. (ECF No. 1). On November 28, 2016,
Plaintiff amended her complaint to assert three distinct
claims: (1) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (2) Race
Discrimination; and (3) Retaliation. (ECF No. 26).
First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following.
Plaintiff, an African-American woman, began working for
Defendant in July 2014. During the course of Plaintiff's
employment, “members of her management team made
racially derogatory comments.” Plaintiff complained
about these comments after which “Defendant's
discriminatory practices escalated.” Plaintiff was
subsequently denied a promotion “on the basis of her
race.” As a result of this “wrongful treatment,
” Plaintiff “began to develop physical and mental
pathologies” limiting her ability to work.
Plaintiff's requests for accommodation of these
limitations were refused. In June 2015, Defendant terminated
Plaintiff's employment based upon “falsified
evidence of unprofessional conduct.”
April 28, 2017, the Honorable Paul L. Maloney dismissed
Plaintiff's ADA claim for failure to state a claim on
which relief may be granted. (ECF No. 33). On December 29,
2017, Defendant moved for summary judgment on the ground that
Plaintiff's action is untimely. The same day, Plaintiff
moved for an order to “review factual evidence.”
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment ''shall'' be granted ''if
the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.'' Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party moving
for summary judgment can satisfy its burden by demonstrating
''that the respondent, having had sufficient
opportunity for discovery, has no evidence to support an
essential element of his or her case.'' Minadeo
v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 761 (6th Cir. 2005). Once
the moving party demonstrates that ''there is an
absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case, '' the non-moving party ''must identify
specific facts that can be established by admissible
evidence, which demonstrate a genuine issue for
trial.'' Amini v. Oberlin College, 440 F.3d
350, 357 (6th Cir. 2006).
the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party, the party opposing the summary
judgment motion ''must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.'' Amini, 440 F.3d at 357. The
existence of a mere ''scintilla of evidence''
in support of the non-moving party's position is
insufficient. Daniels v. Woodside, 396 F.3d 730,
734-35 (6th Cir. 2005). The non-moving party ''may
not rest upon [his] mere allegations, '' but must
instead present ''significant probative
evidence'' establishing that ''there is a
genuine issue for trial.'' Pack v. Damon
Corp., 434 F.3d 810, 813-14 (6th Cir. 2006).
the non-moving party cannot defeat a properly supported
motion for summary judgment by ''simply arguing that
it relies solely or in part upon credibility
determinations.'' Fogerty v. MGM Group Holdings
Corp., Inc., 379 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2004). Rather,
the non-moving party ''must be able to point to some
facts which may or will entitle him to judgment, or refute
the proof of the moving party in some material portion, and.
. .may not merely recite the incantation, 'Credibility,
' and have a trial on the hope that a jury may disbelieve
factually uncontested proof.'' Id. at
353-54. In sum, summary judgment is appropriate
''against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.'' Daniels, 396
F.3d at 735.
moving party without the burden of proof need only show that
the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial, a moving
party with the burden of proof faces a
''substantially higher hurdle.'' Arnett
v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002). Where the
moving party has the burden, ''his showing must be
sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of
fact could find other than for the moving party.''
Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th
Cir. 1986). The Sixth Circuit has emphasized that the party
with the burden of proof ''must show the record
contains evidence satisfying the burden of persuasion and
that the evidence is so powerful that no reasonable jury
would be free to disbelieve it.'' Arnett,
281 F.3d at 561. Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of
the party with the burden of persuasion ''is
inappropriate when the evidence is susceptible of different
interpretations or inferences by the trier of fact.''
Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 553 (1999).
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REVIEW FACTUAL EVIDENCE
motion, Plaintiff requests that the Court review the
arguments therein and attached materials which, according to
Plaintiff, establish that she timely initiated the present
action. Plaintiff's motion is granted in so far as the
Court will consider this particular pleading as part of
Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion for
summary judgment. As discussed below, however, the arguments
and evidence contained in this pleading are insufficient to
defeat Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
only two claims remaining in this matter are Counts II and
III of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Count II
concerns Plaintiff's Race Discrimination claim and Count
III concerns Plaintiff's Retaliation claim. Defendant
argues that it is entitled to relief on the ground that
Plaintiff did not timely assert these claims. To properly
analyze this, it is ...