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MCCRAY v. CORRY MFG. CO.

December 2, 1994

HELEN McCRAY, Plaintiff
v.
CORRY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SEAN J. MCLAUGHLIN

 McLAUGHLIN, J.

 Pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment of Defendant, Corry Manufacturing Company. Plaintiff, Helen McCray, initiated the present action on January 3, 1994, alleging that Defendant discriminated against her under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. Jurisdiction is based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

 I. BACKGROUND

 On October 29, 1992, Plaintiff commenced an administrative proceeding against Defendant by filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In the charge, Plaintiff alleged discrimination on the basis of age with respect to the termination of her employment at Corry Manufacturing Company on January 9, 1992. (Complaint, P 23; Amended Affidavit ("Amend. Aff.") of Taft, P 4 and Ex. C.)

 After conducting an administrative investigation of the matter, the EEOC issued a determination letter on August 31, 1993, concluding that there was no reasonable cause to believe that Defendant had violated ADEA. (Complaint, P 24; Amend. Aff. of Taft, P 5 and Ex. D.) The EEOC's letter contained the following directive:

 
This determination concludes the processing of the subject charge. The Charging Party may pursue this matter by filing a private suit against the Respondent as set forth in the enclosed Information Sheet. (Amend. Aff. of Taft, P 5 and Ex. D at p. 2).

 Included with the determination letter was a notice from the EEOC entitled "Filing Suit in Federal District Court," which advised Plaintiff that she had ninety days within which to commence a civil action under ADEA. (Complaint, P 24; Amend. Aff. of Taft, P 5 and Ex. D.) This notice provided in relevant part:

 
FILING SUIT IN FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT
 
This determination becomes effective upon receipt. Some or all of Charging Party's allegations of illegal employment discrimination have been dismissed. If Charging Party wishes to pursue this matter(s), Charging Party must file a private lawsuit against the respondent named in the charge in U.S. District Court under the applicable statute(s), as set forth below. The determination letter and this notice will be the only notice of the Charging Party's right to sue by the Commission.
 
* * *
 
PRIVATE SUIT RIGHTS UNDER
 
TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED (TITLE VII), THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967 (ADEA), and THE AMERICAN WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990 (ADA).
 
ADEA charges with a date of alleged violation of November 21, 1991 or later, all Title VII charges, and all ADA charges: Charging Party has 90 days from the effective date of this determination to file suit in court. Once this 90 day period is over, Charging Party's right to sue will be lost. (Emphasis in original.)

 On September 27, 1993, Plaintiff filed a written request with the EEOC seeking reconsideration of the determination. (Complaint, P 25; Amend. Aff. of Taft, P 6 and Ex. E.) Plaintiff was notified by the EEOC in a letter dated October 7, 1993 that her request for reconsideration was denied and that she had the right to file a lawsuit in federal court within ninety days of her receipt of the determination dated August 31, 1993. (Complaint, P 26; Amend. Aff. of Taft, P 7 and Ex. F.) This Notice of Denial specifically provided:

 
If you wish to continue to pursue your allegations, you have the right to file a civil law suit in the appropriate U.S. District Court in accordance with the instructions which were included in your original letter of determination. (Emphasis added.)

 As noted above, Plaintiff filed her Complaint on January 3, 1994, 125 days after the EEOC's August 31, 1993 determination letter. Defendant contends that summary judgment is appropriate based upon Plaintiff's failure to file her Complaint within ninety days after receipt of the EEOC's original determination letter and right-to-sue notice.

 II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

 Entry of summary judgment is proper "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." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A dispute regarding a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that "a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986).

 The moving party, of course, has the initial burden of demonstrating that no genuine issue of material fact exists. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). Thereafter, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to demonstrate that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324; FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e). All inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 8 L. Ed. 2d 176, 82 S. Ct. 993 (1962).

 The Court finds that Defendant has demonstrated that no genuine issue of material fact exists. The issue properly before the Court, therefore, is purely one of law - namely, whether Plaintiff's failure to file her Complaint within ninety days of the August 31, 1993 ...


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