Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

LAWRENCE v. O'NEIL BUICK

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania


July 28, 2004.

LIONEL S. LAWRENCE, Plaintiff,
v.
O'NEIL BUICK, INC., Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LAWRENCE F. STENGEL, District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment in this civil rights action. For the reasons discussed below, defendant's motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

  Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, his former employer, asserting claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, and the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act (PHRA), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 951, et seq. Specifically, plaintiff claimed that he was sexually harassed while he was employed by defendant and that he was fired because of his race. On October 10, 2003, the court granted defendant's motion to dismiss as to plaintiff's claim for sexual harassment but denied the motion to dismiss as to plaintiff's race discrimination claim. On June 17, 2004, defendant filed this motion for summary judgment.

  II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) states that summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admission 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." "[T]his 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." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).

  In deciding whether an issue of material fact exists, all inferences must be drawn against the moving party. U.S. v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962). In order to stave off a summary judgment motion, however, the non-moving party may not rest on the bare allegations contained in his or her pleadings. After the moving party has satisfied its burden of identifying evidence which demonstrates an absence of a genuine issue of material fact, Childers v. Joseph, 842 F.2d 689, 694 (3d Cir. 1988), the non-moving party is required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) to go beyond the pleadings by way of affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or the like in order to demonstrate specific material facts which give rise to a genuine issue. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986).

  III. DISCUSSION

  Although defendant raises multiple arguments in support of its motion for summary judgment, its argument that plaintiff cannot adduce sufficient facts beyond the mere allegations of his pleadings which would enable this matter to proceed to trial is both persuasive and dispositive.

  Title VII and the PHRA both prohibit an employer from engaging in race discrimination against an employee. Pursuant to McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination. To do so, he must offer sufficient evidence that he was: (1) a member of a protected class; (2) qualified for the position he sought; and (3) non-members of the protected class were treated more favorably. Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., 228 F.3d 313, 318-19 (3d Cir. 2000) (citation omitted). If a plaintiff under Title VII establishes a prima facie case, the employer must come forward with a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment decision. Id. at 319 (citing Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 254-56 (1981)). If the employer proffers a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its actions, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the proffered reason was merely a pretext for unlawful discrimination. Id. (citing Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products Inc., 530 U.S. 2097 (2000)).

  In this case, defendant argues that even assuming plaintiff has established a prima facie case, defendant had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for firing plaintiff. Through the affidavits of three of plaintiff's co-workers, defendant shows that plaintiff was fired after repeatedly threatening to kill a fellow employee and informing another employee that he had a pistol in his vehicle. In his response to defendant's motion for summary judgment, however, plaintiff does not produce any evidence, by way of affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or the like, which demonstrates that defendant's proffered reason for its action was merely a pretext for unlawful discrimination. Therefore, since there is no issue of material fact regarding defendant's reason for firing plaintiff, the court is constrained to grant defendant's motion for summary judgment.

  IV. CONCLUSION

  Based on the foregoing, the court grants defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff's claims are dismissed. An appropriate order follows. ORDER

  AND NOW, this day of July, 2004, upon consideration of defendant's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiff's response, it is hereby ORDERED that said motion is GRANTED. This case is CLOSED.

20040728

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.