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Roadman v. Select Specialty Hospital

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 30, 2018

DONNA ROADMAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
SELECT SPECIALTY HOSPITAL and RONALD LEWIS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KIM R. GIBSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Pending before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery. (ECF No. 45.) All parties have filed briefs (ECF No. 45, 46) and participated in oral argument (ECF No. 53) on this Motion, and it is ripe for disposition.

         This case arises from Plaintiff Donna Roadman's ("Roadman") allegations that Defendant Ronald Lewis ("Lewis") sexually harassed her at her workplace, Defendant Select Specialty Hospital ("Select"). See Roadman v. Select Specialty Hospital, No. 3:16-cv-246, 2018 WL 557922, at *1 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 23, 2018) (Gibson, J.); Roadman v. Select Specialty Hospital, 3:16-cv-246, 2017 WL 4236581 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 22, 2017) (Gibson, J.). Roadman asks this Court to order Lewis and Select to respond to a number of discovery requests. Based on the statements made by Roadman's counsel at the oral argument on July 26, 2018, some of these outstanding discovery disputes have been resolved. However, to the extent these discovery disputes have not been resolved by counsel for the parties, the Court concludes that Defendants have fully met their discovery obligations by responding to all relevant requests within the scope of discovery provided for by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

         Accordingly, for the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (ECF No. 45) is DENIED.

         II. Jurisdiction & Venue

         The Court has jurisdiction over Roadman's federal claim under Title VII pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) because the alleged events giving rise to Roadman's claims occurred in Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 30 ¶ 2.)

         III. Factual Background[1]

         Defendant Select, a specialty care hospital offering rehabilitative care and long term acute care, hired Roadman as a registered nurse to work at its Johnstown location on July 7, 2015. (ECF No. 30 ¶¶ 6-8.) During the first week of her employment, Roadman did orientation. (Id. ¶ 10.) During the second week of Roadman's employment, Roadman was introduced to Lewis, a registered nurse who had worked for Select for several years prior to Roadman's employment. (Id. ¶¶ 11-12.) Select assigned Lewis to train Roadman for her new position. (Id. ¶ 13.)

         Before beginning her training, a number of other employees made comments to Roadman concerning Lewis's behavior. (Id. ¶ 14.) These comments included: (1) a nurse named Jamie telling Roadman to "be careful" around Lewis because "he hit on her/' (2) Jamie suggesting "being mean" to Lewis so that he would not harass or continue to harass her, (3) a respiratory therapist informing Roadman that Lewis liked her and wanted to date her, and (4) another respiratory therapist joking in front of Lewis and Roadman, therein "implying knowledge" of Lewis's intentions, that Roadman would never go out with Lewis. (Id. ¶ 14.)

         Thereafter, the Amended Complaint alleges that, with approval and knowledge of Select, Lewis created and maintained a hostile work environment for Roadman because of her gender by engaging in the following behavior: (1) demanding dates, intimating that Roadman should sleep with him, touching Roadman's buttocks, and touching Roadman's cheeks; (2) calling Roadman "babe" and "hun" and commenting on Roadman's appearance by stating Roadman was "cute," "pretty," or "sexy" on "diverse dates"; (3) texting Roadman on her cell phone number that he acquired for purposes of orientation and calling Roadman "babe" or "hun" in those messages; (4) scolding, degrading, and belittling Roadman concerning her nursing skills and job performance when Roadman refused his unwelcome advances; (5) grabbing Roadman by the waist and grinding his crotch into her buttocks to the point where Roadman "felt Mr. Lewis's erect penis against her" on one occasion in the medicine room; and (6) "by other such actions too numerous to list in their entirety." (Id. ¶ 15.) Roadman also alleges that Lewis's references to Roadman as "babe" and "hun" and the touching of Roadman's buttocks and cheeks "regularly occurred in front of staff and were open and notorious to the other employees of Select." (Id. ¶ 16.)

         Roadman reported this behavior to her scheduler, Renee Lightcap ("Lightcap") and requested to be trained by someone other than Lewis. (Id. ¶ 17.) Lightcap complied, and Ronald Lindros ("Lindros") completed Roadman's remaining week of orientation. (Id. ¶ 18.) Roadman completed her orientation with Lindros, but she was scheduled to work at the same time as Lewis for several days. (Id. ¶ 19.) Roadman called off work on these days to avoid working with Lewis. (Id. ¶ 20.)

         After returning from vacation, Roadman's supervisor, Danielle Smorto ("Smorto"), telephoned Roadman and "asked her what happened." (Id. ¶ 21.) Roadman reported the alleged harassment to Smorto by telephone and sent a follow-up e-mail. (Id. ¶¶ 23-23.) Smorto told Roadman that she would investigate the situation, instructed Roadman not to discuss the matters with anyone, and changed the weekend work schedule so that Roadman and Lewis would not be working together. (Id. ¶¶ 25-27.)

         Approximately one week after speaking with Smorto regarding the alleged harassment, Smorto called Roadman into a meeting with Smorto and Matt Gost ("Gost"), a human resources employee. (Id. ¶ 28.) At this meeting, Smorto and Gost told Roadman that they had "investigated her complaints with Mr. Lewis, exclusively" and that Lewis had denied her accusations. (Id. ¶¶ 29-30.) Roadman then informed Smorto and Gost that she could not work with Lewis, requested that she not be scheduled with Lewis, and advised them that she had received inappropriate text messages from Lewis. (Id. ¶¶ 31-32.)

         After this meeting, Roadman also discussed the matter with Barb Foster ("Foster") - whose position, if any, with Select is not set forth in the Amended Complaint-and stated that she did not want to work with Lewis. (Id. ¶ 33.) Roadman provided copies of the above-referenced text messages to Foster and told her that Jamie Cotterman-presumably the same nurse who told Roadman to "be[] mean" to Lewis so he would not harass her-could corroborate her concerns. (Id. ¶¶ 34-35.) The Complaint alleges that Select was aware of Roadman's concerns regarding Lewis because, on several occasions, Roadman called off work when she was scheduled to work with Lewis and still received pay. (Id. ¶ 36.)

         Roadman had an additional meeting with Human Resources, during which she was informed of the effort to schedule her and Lewis for different shifts, but that Human Resources could not "guarantee" that she and Lewis would not be scheduled together. (Id. ¶¶ 37-38.) At this second meeting, Human Resources "threatened the Plaintiff that if either her [sic] or Mr. Lewis said anything else or filed a complaint either one would be fired." (Id. ¶ 39.)

         The Amended Complaint alleges that this threat made it intolerable for Roadman to continue her employment because she believed that she was being "shunned into silence" and that she "could have been victimized later by Mr. Lewis or his friends." (Id. ¶ 40.) At no time did Human Resources discuss or offer Roadman the opportunity to transfer to a different Select facility. (Id. ¶ 41.) Roadman resigned on August 26, 2016.[2] (Id. ¶ 42.)

         IV. Procedural History

         Following this Court's disposition of Defendants' two motions to dismiss, the remaining claims in this case are (1) a hostile work environment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Select, (2) a "negligence/negligent supervision" claim against Select, and (3) a battery claim against Lewis. See Roadman v. Select Specialty Hospital, No. 3:16-cv-246, 2018 WL 557922, at *6 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 23, 2018) (Gibson, J.). By Memorandum ...


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