The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAN DuBOIS, District Judge
AND NOW, this 22nd day of July, 2004, upon consideration
of Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No.
28, filed January 26, 2004), Plaintiff's Opposition to
Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 29,
filed February 10, 2004), and Defendants' Reply Memorandum of Law
in Support of Their Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment (Document
No. 31, filed February 20, 2004), plaintiff's Letter Brief (Doc.
No. 33, filed April 5, 2004), and Defendants' Supplemental
Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Renewed Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. No. 34, filed April 16, 2004), for the reasons set
forth in the following Memorandum, IT IS ORDERED that
Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a scheduling conference will be
conducted in due course. MEMORANDUM
Plaintiff Wesley N. Smith filed suit against his former
employer, Shared Medical Systems, Inc. ("Shared"), and his
managers and/or supervisors at Shared, Millard Jackson and
Charles Nash, claiming that he was terminated in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et
seq. ("Title VII") (Count I), the Americans With Disabilities
Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA") (Count II),
and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. C.S.A. § 951
et seq. ("PHRA") (Count III), based on racial, national
origin, and disability discrimination. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 4, 6, 21-24.
Presently before the Court is defendants' Renewed Motion for
Summary Judgment. The motion raises only one issue the question
of whether plaintiff's claim is barred by the applicable statute
of limitations. For the reasons set forth in the following
memorandum, the Court concludes that plaintiff has raised a
genuine issue of material fact on the issue of equitable tolling.
Accordingly, defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment is
Plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") on July 26, 2002, alleging that defendants
discriminated against him on the basis of his race, national
origin, and disabilities. Defs.' Renewed Mot. for Summ. J.
("Defs.' Mot.") at 4 & Ex. B (Charge of Discrimination filed by
Wesley Smith). The EEOC dismissed plaintiff's claims on August
15, 2002 because they were not timely filed. Id. at Ex. C (EEOC
Dismissal and Notice of Rights Form).
Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint in this Court on
November 8, 2002. After retaining counsel, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on September 15,
2003. In the Amended Complaint, plaintiff asserted claims for
racial, national origin, and disability discrimination under
Title VII, the ADA, and the PHRA.
Before any discovery, defendants moved for summary judgment on
the ground that plaintiff's claims were barred because he had not
filed a timely charge with the EEOC. In response, plaintiff
argued that medical impairments prevented him from timely filing
a charge with the EEOC and these ailments should equitably toll
the statute of limitations. By Order dated August 28, 2003, the
Court denied defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment without
prejudice to defendants' right to file a second motion for
summary judgment after completion of relevant discovery.
Based on the parties' suggestions at the preliminary pretrial
conference on September 10, 2003, the Court ordered that
discovery should proceed solely on the issue of the timeliness of
plaintiff's claims. After completing discovery on this issue,
defendants filed the Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment
presently before the Court.
A. STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
"[I]f the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,
and admissions on file, together with 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[,]"
summary judgment should be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The
Supreme Court describes the summary judgment determination as
"the threshold inquiry of determining whether there is the need
for a trial whether, in other words, there are any genuine
factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in
favor of either party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). Therefore, "a motion for summary judgment
must be granted unless the party opposing the motion can adduce
evidence which, ...