The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W. Caldwell United States District Judge
We are considering defendants' motion for summary judgment. The present case concerns an employment discrimination claim brought by the plaintiff, Mary F. Logue, against defendants, Orthopaedic Surgeons of Central Pennsylvania ("OSCP"), Craig W. Fultz, Robert J. Maurer, and Kim Deiter. Plaintiff alleges defendants discriminated against her on the basis of age and disability in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"). Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that plaintiff did not establish a prima facie case or pretext and, in the alternative, to limit the amount of backpay plaintiff may receive. Plaintiff responded, withdrawing all but her ADA and PHRA disability claims against OSCP. (doc. 32, n. 1).
OSCP is a medical practice located in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, which specializes in orthopedic surgery. Plaintiff was an x-ray technician employed by OSCP for approximately ten years. Defendant Deiter was the Practice Administrator for OSCP. Plaintiff was terminated by OSCP on August 9, 2008. The parties disagree about the events of leading up to plaintiff's termination.
In 2008, Dr. Fultz, a doctor at OSCP and one of the defendants in this action, began treating plaintiff for knee pain. On June 18, 2008, Dr. Fultz recommended that plaintiff undergo knee surgery. Dr. Fultz instructed plaintiff to schedule her surgery on a day where she was not needed in the office. Defendants assert that Deiter, who does the scheduling in the office, told plaintiff she could schedule her surgery the week of June 23, 2008 or on August 8th or 11th. According to defendants, plaintiff rejected the week of June 23rd and had not chosen between August 8th and 11th when Deiter distributed the August work schedule on July 15, 2008. Deitier, aware that plaintiff may have surgery on the afternoon of August 8th, scheduled her to work that morning.Plaintiff, however, alleges that on June 18, 2008, Deiter scheduled the surgery for August 8th and gave her the day off.
On July 16, 2008, plaintiff discovered that she was scheduled to work the morning of August 8th. Upon receiving this information, plaintiff confronted Deiter.
Deiter offered to try to find a replacement to work that day. Defendant asserts she was not able to find a replacement and plaintiff argues that Deiter never made an attempt to find a replacement. On July 30, 2008, Deiter discussed with plaintiff whether she would be able to work on August 8th. During that conversation, plaintiff said she could not work that day "and that I guess you're going to fire me." (doc. 29, ¶ 61). Deiter told plaintiff that if she did not show up for work on August 8th, she would be fired. On August 8, 2008, plaintiff did not report for work. Plaintiff was terminated by OSCP on August 9, 2008.
Plaintiff applied for unemployment benefits, which OSCP challenged on the basis of plaintiff's alleged willful misconduct. Plaintiff was denied unemployment benefits by the Unemployment Compensation Referee, who found that she committed willful misconduct. Plaintiff appealed this denial to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and the Commonwealth Court. Both the Board and the Court affirmed the factual findings and the denial of unemployment benefits. Plaintiff brought the instant suit on August 11, 2010, alleging age and disability discrimination. Plaintiff's brief in opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment notes that she "has decided only to pursue her ADA and PHRA disability claims against OSCP. All other claims are withdrawn." (doc. 31, n. 1). Since all other claims have been withdrawn, we will only examine defendants' motion for summary judgment with respect to counts VI and VII.
We will examine the motion under the well-established standard. Lawrence v. City of Philadelphia, 527 F.3d 299, 310 (3d. Cir. 2008). We "must view all evidence and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and may affirm a grant of summary judgment only if no reasonable juror could find for the non-movant." Id.
The ADA defines the term ...