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Kuznyetsov v. West Penn Allegheny Health System

September 28, 2010

ANDREW KUZNYETSOV, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WEST PENN ALLEGHENY HEALTH SYSTEM, INC. ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM ORDER OF COURT

Defendants filed a partial Motion for Summary Judgment and Involuntary Dismissal of Certain Plaintiffs. (Docket No. 255). Therein, Defendants seek summary judgment as to certain Plaintiffs pursuant to Rule 56(c) because they have either failed to meet the class requirements and dismissal of other certain Plaintiffs pursuant to Rule 41(b) because they have failed to prosecute their claims. Id. During the pendency of this motion, I have entered two orders allowing the dismissal of certain Plaintiffs which were previously part of the Motion. (Docket Nos. 291 and 300). This order addresses the remaining Plaintiffs that are the subject of the Motion.

I. Motion to Strike

In opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiffs move to strike the declarations of Joe Oestreicher as well as the declarations submitted by six West Penn Allegheny Health System Human Resource Managers. (Docket No. 284, pp. 3-5 and Docket No. 301). After review of the same, I find that the declarations are based on personal knowledge. Furthermore, I find that Plaintiffs' remaining arguments go to the weight and/or credibility of Mr. Oesteicher and the other declarants, but do not serve as a basis for striking them. As a result, said Motion (Docket No. 301) is denied.

II. Motion for Summary Judgment - Rule 56

Summary judgment may only be granted 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 judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Rule 56 mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against the party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

In considering a motion for summary judgment, this Court must examine the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. International Raw Materials, Ltd. v. Stauffer Chemical Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the evidence creates no genuine issue of material fact. Chipollini v. Spencer Gifts, Inc., 814 F.2d 893, 896 (3d Cir. 1987). The dispute 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 (1986). A fact is material when it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Id. Where the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the party moving for summary judgment may meet its burden by showing that the evidentiary materials of record, if reduced to admissible evidence, would be insufficient to carry the non-movant's burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.

Once the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party, who must go beyond its pleadings, and designate specific facts by the use of affidavits, depositions, admissions, or answers to interrogatories showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324. Summary judgment must therefore be granted "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." White v. Westinghouse Electric Co., 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988), quoting, Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.

A. Request for Additional Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(f)

Plaintiffs submit that summary judgment is not warranted at this time because additional discovery is required. (Docket No. 284, pp. 5-11). As a result, Plaintiffs request additional discovery pursuant to Rule 56(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 56(f) provides as follows:

(f) When Affidavits Are Unavailable. If a party opposing the motion shows by affidavit that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may:

(1) deny the motion;

(2) order a continuance to enable affidavits to be obtained, depositions to be taken, or other discovery to be undertaken; or

(3) issue any other just order.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 56(f). In support of their request, Plaintiffs submit the affidavit of Justin Cordello. ...


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