United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Stewart Cercone United States District Judge.
Shawn Burns (“Burns” or “Plaintiff”)
filed a five (5) count Complaint alleging: (1) racial
discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq. (the “Title VII”)
(Counts I & II); (2) racial discrimination and
retaliation in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Rights
Act, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 925 et seq. (the
“PHRA”) (Counts III & IV); and (3) racial
discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866,
as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“§ 1981”)
against Defendant, P.F. Chang's Chinese Bistro, Inc.
(“P.F. Chang's” or “Defendant”).
P.F. Chang's has filed a motion for summary judgment,
Burns has responded and the motion is now before the Court.
to the Local Rules of the United States District Court for
the Western District of Pennsylvania, P.F. Chang's filed
a Concise Statement of Material Facts (“Defendant's
CSMF”) in support of its motion for summary judgment.
See LCvR 56(B)(1). Plaintiff's responses to
Defendant's CSMF, however, are inappropriate. A party
opposing a motion for summary judgment must file:
A separately filed concise statement, which responds to each
numbered paragraph in the moving party's Concise
Statement of Material Facts by
a. admitting or denying whether each fact contained in the
moving party's Concise Statement of Material Facts is
undisputed and/or material;
b. setting forth the basis for the denial if any fact
contained in the moving party's Concise Statement of
Material Facts is not admitted in its entirety (as to whether
it is undisputed or material) with appropriate reference to
the record . . .; and
c. setting forth in separately numbered paragraphs any other
material facts that are allegedly at issue, and/or that the
opposing party asserts are necessary for the Court to
determine the motion for summary judgment[.]
See LCvR 56(C)(1)(emphasis added).
Burns responds either “True” or
“False” to each enumerated paragraph in
Defendant's CSMF, he fails to reference the record for
all but one (1) of his denials of Defendant's factual
averments or in support of his counter allegations. Courts in
this district have strictly applied Local Rule 56 and deemed
uncontroverted facts to be admitted. Cuevas v. U.S.,
C.A. No. 09-43J, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42115 *5 (W.D. Pa.
Apr. 29, 2010) (“Plaintiff's response to
Defendant's Motion does not contain any basis for any . .
. denial of a fact and also fails to reference the record for
each such denial. . . . [I]t is not for the Court to sort
through the entire record to determine the basis of an
alleged disputed fact. As Plaintiff has failed to comply with
our local rules, Defendant's Statement of Facts as set
forth in [its concise Statement of Material Facts] are
admitted as true and correct.”). Local Rule 56.1(E)
sets forth the consequences for failure to comply with L.R.
56.1(C) as follows:
alleged material facts set forth in the moving party's
Concise Statement of Material Facts or in the opposing
party's Response to Defendant's Concise Statement of
Material Facts, which are claimed to be undisputed, will for
the purposes of deciding the motion for summary judgment be
deemed admitted unless specifically denied or otherwise
controverted by a separate concise statement of the opposing
See LCvR 56.1(E). Consequently, in accordance with
our Local Rules, all factual averments contained in the
Defendant's CSMF that are not controverted with proper
citations to the record will be deemed admitted for purposes
of summary judgment. Holman v. Hogue, 2013 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 42770 at *3 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 15, 2013) (citation
Statement of the Case
around July of 2012, Burns applied for and was offered
employment with P.F Chang's as a Pantry Chef.
Defendant's CSMF ¶¶ 1 & 3. When Burns
commenced his employment, he was provided with a copy of P.F.
Chang's Employee Handbook (the “Handbook”)
which contained an Equal Employment Opportunity policy
affirming that P.F. Chang's provided equal employment
opportunities (including hiring and promotion) to all
employees and applicants for employment without regard to
race. Defendant's CSMF ¶¶ 4 & 5. The
Handbook also ...