judgment with this court on February 10, 1993.
The framework of the evidentiary burdens in actions under the ADEA is now well settled. The plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case by demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she (1) belongs to a protected class, i.e. is at least 40 years of age; (2) was qualified for the position; (3) was dismissed despite being qualified; and (4) ultimately was replaced by a person sufficiently younger to permit an inference of age discrimination. Gray v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1079 (3d Cir. 1992). A prima facie case creates an inference of unlawful discrimination. The burden of production then shifts to the defendant-employer who can dispel the inference by articulating a legitimate business reason for discharging the employee. Id. If the defendant meets this burden, the plaintiff then must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the articulated reasons are a pretext for discrimination. Pretext may be proved either directly by persuading the court that a discriminatory reason more likely motivated the employer or indirectly by showing that the employer's proffered reason is unworthy of credence. Id., 957 F.2d at 1078. At all times, the plaintiff-employee has the burden of persuading the trier of fact that age was a determinative, though not necessarily the sole, factor in defendant-employer's decision to take an adverse employment action against the employee. Id.
The standard for summary judgment is more easily stated than applied. Williams v. Borough of West Chester, Pa., 891 F.2d 458, 459 (3d Cir. 1989). "Summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is "genuine," that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. . . If reasonable ends could differ as to the import of the evidence. . .a verdict should not be directed. . .In essence. . .the inquiry under each standard is the same: whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Id., quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 242, 250-52, 106 S. Ct. at 2505, 2511-12, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986).
The court alluded to the Supreme Court's guidance in Liberty Lobby and the Third Circuit's counsel in Williams for a purpose. Presently before the court is: 1) Overnite's motion and brief in support of its motion for summary judgment; 2) Kiliszewski's brief in opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment; 3) Overnite's reply to the plaintiff's response to defendant's motion for summary judgment; 4) Plaintiff's rebuttal to Overnite's reply to the plaintiff's response to defendant's motion for summary judgment; 5) Overnite's surrebuttal to the plaintiff's rebuttal; 6) Plaintiff's rebuttal to Overnite's surrebuttal to the plaintiff's rebuttal.
This volume of evidence on summary judgment must be evaluated in light of Liberty Lobby's further directive that:
Our holding that the clear-and-convincing standard of proof should be taken into account in ruling on summary judgment motions does not denigrate the role of the jury. It by no means authorizes trial on affidavits. Credibility determinations, the weighing of evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge, whether he is ruling on a motion for summary judgment or for a directed verdict. The evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor. Neither do we suggest that the trial courts should act other than with caution in granting summary judgment or that the trial court may not deny summary judgment in a case where there is reason to believe that the better course would be to proceed to a full trial.