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Delancey v. Excel

January 12, 2007

JOHN DELANCEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TAYLOR EXCEL AND TAYLOR PACKING COMPANY, INC., AND CARGILL MEAT SOLUTIONS CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS

Pending before the Court is Defendants', Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation and Taylor Packing Co., Inc. (incorrectly named as Taylor Excel and Taylor Packing Company, Inc.)(hereinafter, collectively referred to as "CMSC") Motion for Summary Judgment ("the Motion") (doc. 21) filed on October 2, 2006.

For the following reasons, the Motion (doc. 21) will be granted in part and denied in part.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff John Delancey ("Plaintiff" or "Delancey") commenced this action by filing a complaint (doc. 1) on November 22, 2005. CMSC filed an answer (doc. 3) on March 13, 2006.

In Count I of the complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was discriminated against in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. In Count II of the complaint, Plaintiff claims he was discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. In Count III of the complaint, Plaintiff claims he was retaliated against in violation of the ADEA and ADA. In Count IV of the complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was discriminated against in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. C. S. § 955(a).

Following the close of discovery, CMSC filed the instant Motion, which was fully briefed by the parties. The Motion is therefore ripe for our review.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED .R. CIV. .P. 56(c); see also Turner v. Schering-Plough Corp., 901 F.2d 335, 340 (3d Cir. 1990). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of showing "there is no genuine issue for trial." Young v. Quinlan, 960 F.2d 351,357 (3d Cir. 1992). Summary judgment should not be granted when there is a disagreement about the facts or the proper inferences which a fact finder could draw from them. See Peterson v. Lehigh Valley Dist. Council, 676 F.2d 81, 84 (3d Cir. 1982).

Initially, the moving party has a burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This may be met by the moving party pointing out to the court that there is an absence of evidence to support an essential element as to which the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 325.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that, where such a motion is made and properly supported, the non-moving party must then show by affidavits, pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The United States Supreme Court has commented that this requirement is tantamount to the non-moving party making a sufficient showing as to the essential elements of their case that a reasonable jury could find in its favor. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23.

It is important to note that "the non-moving party cannot rely upon conclusory allegations in its pleadings or in memoranda and briefs to establish a genuine issue of material fact." Pastore v. Bell Tel. Co. of Pa., 24 F.3d 508, 511 (3d Cir. 1994) (citation omitted). However, all inferences "should be drawn in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and where the non-moving party's evidence contradicts the movant's, then the non-movant's must be taken as true." Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of N. Am., Inc., 974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 912 (1993) (citations omitted).

Still, "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). "As to materiality, the substantive law will identify which facts are material." Id. at 248. A dispute is considered to be genuine only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The facts in this matter as well as the inferences they raise are almost entirely disputed between the parties. The essence of Plaintiff's claim is that CMSC took adverse employment actions against him based upon his alleged disability as well as his age. Plaintiff was born on February 28, 1953 and at all times relevant hereto was fifty-one years of age. Plaintiff has been an employee of CMSC's Wyalusing, Pennsylvania meat processing plant since on or about March 15, 1976. (Rec. Docs. 23 at ΒΆ1; 40 at ΒΆ1). CMSC and its predecessors in interest, ...


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