United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Stewart Dalzell, J.
Before us in this discrimination action are the parties’ motions for partial summary judgment on the following stipulated question:
Where an employee alleges a physical injury, exacerbation of an injury, or exacerbation of any condition that qualifies as a “disability” under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) as a result of an employer’s conduct alleged to be in violation of that Act, do the ADA's provisions extend to encompass a damages remedy for the alleged injury or exacerbation?
Jt. Stip. for PSJ. For the reasons elaborated below, we hold that the ADA does not provide a remedy for alleged injuries or exacerbation of such injuries resulting from conduct in violation of the ADA. We will therefore grant Verizon's motion for partial summary judgment as to Count IV and its prayer for relief, insofar as Aponik seeks damages for the bodily injury he alleges Verizon’s action caused.
I. Standard Of Review
In general, summary judgment is warranted if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of proving no genuine issue of material fact exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 n. 10 (1986).
Ordinarily, a factual dispute is “genuine” if it turns on “evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986). A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Id. at 248.
But here the parties have, as noted, stipulated to the question before us, which is a matter of law involving interpretation of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. Accordingly, there are no genuine issues of material fact before us, only a dispute over the reach of that remedial statute.
The standard for a motion for partial summary judgment is identical to the standard for summary judgment motions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
When both parties move for summary judgment, our task is no different. As our Court of Appeals has cautioned,
Cross-motions are no more than a claim by each side that it alone is entitled to summary judgment, and the making of such inherently contradictory claims does not constitute an agreement that if one is rejected the other is necessarily justified or that the losing party waives judicial consideration and determination whether genuine issues of material fact exist. If any such issue exists it must be disposed of by a plenary trial and not on summary judgment.
Rains v. Cascade Industries, Inc., 402 F.2d 241, 245 (3d Cir. 1968). Each party, as a movant for summary judgment, bears the burden of establishing that no genuine issue of material fact exists and that it is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. 10A Charles Alan Wright and Arthur R.
Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, § 2720 (3d ed. 2014). Because we consider cross-motions before us, “[t]he fact that one party fails to satisfy that burden on his own Rule 56 motion does not automatically indicate that the opposing party has satisfied his burden ...