United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
SAMUEL G. PUTNAM, Plaintiff,
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM, Defendant.
F. KELLY, Sr. J.
Temple University Health System (“Temple”) had
four openings for interventional radiologists in early 2013.
Plaintiff Samuel G. Putnam (“Dr. Putnam”), who
was fifty-three years old at the time, was not hired for one
of the positions, and he subsequently brought suit against
Temple for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. §§
621-634, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
(“PHRA”), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§
Putnam voluntarily withdrew his PHRA claim. (See
Doc. No. 26.) Temple now moves for summary judgment on the
ADEA claim, contending that it had a legitimate,
non-discriminatory reason for failing to hire Dr. Putnam as
an interventional radiologist. For the reasons noted below,
Temple's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.
Putnam previously worked for Temple as an interventional
radiologist from 1996 to 1999 and July 2000 to February
2001. (Def.'s Mem. of Law Support Mot. Summ.
J. 2.) During the latter timeframe he reported to Dr. Gary
Cohen (“Dr. Cohen”), who was Temple's Section
Chief of Interventional Radiology. (Id.) Dr. Putnam
resigned from Temple in February 2001 to join Fornance
Physician Services (“Fornance”), an organization
through which he provided interventional radiology services
to various hospitals that contracted with Fornance.
2012, Temple acquired the American Oncologic Hospital (d/b/a
The Hospital of the Fox Chase Cancer Center (“Fox
Chase”)), to which Fornance had been providing
interventional radiology services at the time. (Id.
at 2-3.) Following the acquisition of Fox Chase, Temple
determined that it would staff Fox Chase with its own
interventional radiologists, rather than subcontract those
services to a provider such as Fornance. (Id. at 3.)
As a result of the acquisition and work volume, Temple
decided it would need to hire two interventional radiologists
and subsequently started the recruitment process.
(Id.) During the process two interventional
radiologists resigned, resulting in four positions needing to
be filled. (Id.) Dr. Putnam did not apply for any of
the positions or reach out to anyone at Temple because he was
still hopeful that Fornance would continue providing services
at Fox Chase. (Id., Ex. A at 81.)
actively recruited and interviewed interventional radiologist
candidates throughout the fall of 2012. (Id. at 3.)
Between September and December 2012, Temple conducted initial
interviews with Drs. Mark Burshteyn, David Pryluck, Joseph
Panaro, and Emily Cuthbertson. (Id.)
January 2013, Dr. Putnam contacted Dr. Cohen and asked to
meet to discuss potential employment with Temple.
(Id. at 4.) The two met at a Starbucks on January
19, 2013, during which Dr. Putnam explained his employment
situation at Fornance. (Id.) Although Dr. Cohen left
the meeting believing that Dr. Putnam was not interested in
working at Temple, Dr. Putnam shortly after sent his cover
letter and his curriculum vitae (“CV”) to Dr.
Charles Jungreis, Temple's Chairman of the Radiology
Department. (Id.) Despite submitting his materials,
however, Dr. Putnam was unable to work for Temple because he
was subject to a restriction between Fornance and Fox Chase.
(Id.) The restriction between the two entities was
such that Fox Chase (by this time owned by Temple) could not
directly hire any physician for a period of one year
following the termination of the physician's employment
with Fornance. (Id. at 4-5.)
March 19, 2013, Fornance notified Dr. Putnam that his
employment would be terminated effective July 17, 2013.
(Id. at 5.) By letter dated March 25, 2013, Fornance
advised Fox Chase that it was waiving its rights on a limited
basis and would allow Fox Chase to solicit, recruit, or hire
Dr. Putnam. (Id.) Dr. Putnam was similarly notified
by letter dated March 27, 2013 that Fornance was waiving its
rights and that Fox Chase could recruit and hire him.
Putnam contacted Dr. Jungreis regarding employment at Temple
after receiving notification about Fornance waiving its
rights. (Id.) However, by that time Temple had
already extended employment offers to Drs. Burshteyn,
Pryluck, Panaro, and Cuthbertson. (Id.)
Nevertheless, Temple offered to interview Dr. Putnam in the
event there was a future opening, which he declined.
February 16, 2017, Dr. Putnam filed a two-count Complaint
against Temple under the ADEA (Count I) and PHRA (Count II).
(See Compl.) Dr. Putnam alleged that Temple
discriminated against him on the basis of his age in failing
to hire him because Drs. Burshteyn, Pryluck, Panaro, and
Cuthbertson were all younger candidates who were hired.
(Id. ¶¶ 15-17.) Dr. Putnam withdrew his
PHRA claim on January 17, 2018. (See Doc. No. 26.)
Temple moves for summary judgment on the ADEA claim because
it had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for not hiring
Dr. Putnam because there were no open interventional
radiologist positions at the time of his March 2013