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TALLUTO v. RCA

August 21, 1989

VINCENT J. TALLUTO, Plaintiff,
v.
RCA d/b/a GE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS VCD DIVISION, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONABOY

 RICHARD P. CONABOY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Presently pending before the court is the Defendant's motion for summary judgment. *fn1" For the reasons stated below, this court will adopt the arguments presented by the Defendant and enter judgment against the Plaintiff.

 I

 Vincent J. Talluto was employed at the Defendant's manufacturing facility from December 11, 1967, until March 27, 1987. During that period, Plaintiff Talluto was employed in the positions of Draftsman/Drafter and Supervisor for Buildings and Grounds. See Doc. No. 11, Exhibits D and G. After nearly twenty years of service at the plant, the Plaintiff's employment was ended when, according to the Defendant, the position Mr. Talluto held was eliminated for economic reasons. See Doc. No. 11 at 11 citing Exhibits C and D. It is Plaintiff's contention, however, that he was terminated from his position due to age discrimination. Complaint, para. 4.

 As a result, Talluto filed an age discrimination charge with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ("PHRC") and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission ("EEOC"). After an investigation, including a fact finding conference, the PHRC issued a determination that no probable cause existed to credit Mr. Talluto's allegations of unlawful discrimination. Doc. No. 11, Exhibit A. Charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission alleging a violation of the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") were discontinued based on that federal agency's review of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission's findings. Doc. No. 11, Exhibit C.

 After pursuing the available administrative remedies before the PHRC and EEOC, Mr. Talluto filed suit in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Lackawanna County on August 24, 1988. In his complaint, the Plaintiff asserts a claim under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act for age discrimination. 43 Pa.Cons.Stat.Ann. ยง 951 et seq. Upon petition by the Defendant, this matter was removed to federal court on October 7, 1988. After filing a preliminary motion to dismiss, the Defendant has now filed a motion for summary judgment.

 II

 The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 56(c) provide that:

 
. . . (summary) judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

 "By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact". (emphasis in original). Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986).

 The Supreme Court in Anderson, supra at 248, defined a material fact as one which "might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law . . ." A determination of materiality is contingent upon the substantive law as it determines the factual disputes crucial to the establishment of the legal elements of the claim at issue. Hlinka v. Bethlehem Steel Corporation, et al., 863 F.2d 279 (3d Cir. 1988), citing Anderson, supra at 248.

 Thus, if the court finds a material issue of fact in dispute, its inquiry does not end and the motion denied. Rather, it must proceed to determine that this material issue in dispute is genuine in nature. Small v. Seldows Stationery, 617 F.2d 992, 994 (3d Cir. 1980). As stated in, Anderson, ". . . summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is genuine, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury would return a verdict for the non-moving party." Id. 477 U.S. at 248. There is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party. If evidence is "merely colorable" or "not significantly probative," however, summary judgment may be appropriate. Id. at 250. In this sense, summary judgment mirrors the standard for a directed verdict under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a), in that the inquiry under each is whether the evidence presents a sufficient ...


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