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SINGLETON v. MELLON FINANCIAL CORPORATION

September 29, 2005.

CHARLES A. SINGLETON, Plaintiff,
v.
MELLON FINANCIAL CORPORATION, a Pennsylvania Corporation; MELLON BANK, N.A., A National Association Held by MELLON FINANCIAL CORPORATION; MARTIN G. McGUINN, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TERRENCE McVERRY, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Presently before the Court for review and disposition are the following:

• MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, with brief in support filed by Defendants Mellon Financial Corporation, Mellon Bank, N.A., and Martin G. McGuinn (Document Nos. 84 and 85, respectively);

  • Brief and Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff (Document Nos. 89 and 90);

  • Reply Brief in Further Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants (Document No. 95);

  • Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff (Document No. 100); and

  • Reply to Plaintiff's Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants (Document No. 103). After careful consideration of Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the filings in support and opposition thereto, the briefs of the parties, the relevant case law, and the record as a whole, the Court finds that there is not sufficient record evidence upon which a reasonable jury could return a verdict for Plaintiff, Charles A. Singleton, on his federal and state claims of disability and race discrimination. Therefore, the Court will grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to all federal and state claims which allege discrimination and dismiss without prejudice the Counterclaims alleged by Defendants Mellon Financial Corporation and Mellon Bank, N.A.

  BACKGROUND

  Construed in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, the record facts are as follows:

  On January 4, 1999, Defendant Martin G. McGuinn, the Chief Executive Officer of Mellon Financial Corporation and Mellon Bank, N.A., contacted Thomas Flannery of the search firm, Resources for Management, Inc. ("RFM") to search for a new Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Mellon Bank, N.A. Defendant McGuinn explicitly requested that Mr. Flannery make a special effort to locate qualified female and minority candidates. Mr. Flannery contacted Plaintiff, Charles A. Singleton, who expressed interest in the Mellon opening and faxed his resume to Mr. Flannery's office. In his resume, Plaintiff represented that he was employed at the time by the Eastman Kodak Company ("Kodak") as the Vice President of Corporate Human Resources, Director of Worldwide Compensation & Benefits. Plaintiff also represented in his cover letter to Mr. Flannery that he was then a current Kodak employee. On February 27, 1999, Plaintiff had his initial interview with Mr. Flannery, at which time he presented Mr. Flannery with a second resume. Although this resume was formatted differently, Plaintiff continued to represent himself as a "then current" employee of Kodak.

  Mr. Flannery presented a number of candidates to Mellon, but two emerged as "the strongest of the bunch" — Plaintiff and James Alef.

  Defendant McGuinn interviewed Plaintiff on March 15, 1999. After interviewing both Plaintiff and James Alef, Defendant McGuinn determined to offer Plaintiff the position of Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Mellon. Defendant McGuinn then called Plaintiff to outline an offer of employment and asked Mr. Flannery to convey the details of the offer to Plaintiff.

  As instructed, Mr. Flannery conveyed the offer to Plaintiff, who "came back and said he wanted more and different things . . . both in terms of money and replacing certain things he had at Kodak. . . ." Defs' Stmt of Material Undisputed Facts, at ¶ 23. In particular, Plaintiff represented to Mr. Flannery, inter alia, that (i) he was at that time earning $175,000 at Kodak and that was to increase to $200,000 in June 1999; (ii) he would be receiving an $80,000 bonus from Kodak that he would have to forfeit if he left Kodak; (iii) he had a $700/month car allowance from Kodak that reimbursed him for his car lease payments; (iv) he had Kodak stock options in the amount of $165,000 that he would lose if he departed Kodak; and (v) he had an interest-free loan from Kodak in the amount of $125,000 that he would have to repay upon his departure from Kodak.

  In response, on April 20, 1999, Defendant McGuinn revised his offer to Plaintiff to include reimbursement for the following losses Plaintiff alleged he would incur: (i) $165,000 — to replace Plaintiff's alleged lost gains on Kodak stock options; (ii) $125,000 — to enable Plaintiff to repay his loan from Kodak; and (iii) $80,000 — to replace Plaintiff's alleged loss of a 1998 Kodak bonus.

  On April 25, 1999, Plaintiff accepted Mellon's revised offer of employment. On June 14, 1999, Plaintiff commenced his employment with Mellon Bank, N.A. as Executive Vice President of Human Resources and at all times was an at-will employee. In this position, Plaintiff reported directly to Defendant McGuinn and was a member of Mellon's Senior Management Committee. Plaintiff was responsible for all aspects of Mellon's human resources policies, procedures and initiatives and had numerous direct reports of his own. Defendant McGuinn testified that he hired Plaintiff specifically "to undertake leadership of major changes to human resources capabilities and delivery." Defs' Stmt of Material Undisputed Facts, at ¶ 30.

  Defendant McGuinn testified that as of the fall of 1999, he was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of progress that Plaintiff was making in the Human Resources department and "ask[ed] [Plaintiff] about his review of the people and the department and what his plans were. And he had not yet really developed those plans. I asked about his progress on various initiatives, trying to impress on him the urgency that was needed." McGuinn Depo. at 13-14. Defendant McGuinn also testified that he noted that Plaintiff tended to schedule his personal appointments in the middle of the day and "he wouldn't come in beforehand or he couldn't come back to the office after it." Id. at 15.

  Mr. Flannery testified that Defendant McGuinn voiced his dissatisfaction with Plaintiff's performance to him "almost from the outset [and] certainly within three to six months of his employment because [Plaintiff] was not performing to Mr. McGuinn's standards." Flanery Depo. at 91. In December of 1999, Defendant McGuinn gave Plaintiff a favorable rating, based upon his six months performance, but noted ...


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