United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
CORONE REID, et al.
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL INC., et al.
Corone Reid and Donny Odey have sued under 42 U.S.C. §
1981 for racial discrimination in the termination of their
employment. Before the court is the motion of defendants
Temple University Hospital, Inc. (“TUH”), Erik
Dutko, and Barbara Gennello for summary judgment on
Reid's claims under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A dispute is genuine
if the evidence is such that a reasonable factfinder could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254 (1986). We view
the facts and draw all inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party. See In re Flat Glass Antitrust Litig., 385
F.3d 350, 357 (3d Cir. 2004).
judgment is granted where there is insufficient record
evidence for a reasonable factfinder to find for the
nonmovant. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. “The
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
[nonmoving party]'s position will be insufficient; there
must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for
[that party].” Id. In addition, Rule 56(e)(2)
provides “[i]f a party fails to properly support an
assertion of fact or fails to properly address another
party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the
court may . . . consider the fact undisputed for the purposes
of the motion.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2).
following facts are undisputed. Reid is a black Jamaican-born
woman who came to the United States approximately thirty
years ago. She has held a Pennsylvania registered nurse
(“RN”) license since 2001. RNs do not have the
authority under Pennsylvania law to diagnose medical
conditions or to prescribe medication. See 63 Pa.
Stat. Ann. § 212(1), 213(a).
hired Reid in 2008 to work as a pool nurse at its Episcopal
Campus (“Episcopal”). In 2010, Reid transferred
into a full-time staff nurse position working night shifts on
an in-patient behavioral health unit known as the Potter
Morris Unit 5 (“PM-5”). Reid reported to the
Nurse Manager of PM-5, defendant Erik Dutko
(“Dutko”), who was her supervisor from
approximately 2013 until Reid's termination in November
2015. Dutko reported to defendant Barbara Gennello
(“Gennello”), the Director of Nursing, who in
turn reported to the Associate Hospital Director of Nursing.
received good performance reviews during her tenure at
Episcopal. In 2014, she received an above-average performance
rating of 2.4 out of 3.0 and in 2015 her performance rating
increased to 2.5 out of 3.0. Although Reid received
discipline for several minor infractions, including
attendance issues, photocopying records inappropriately, and
using a cellphone in a patient area, she never asserted that
those instances of discipline were racially motivated. In
January 2012, Reid received a corrective action/disciplinary
report from her former nurse supervisor John Modrzynski, who
is Caucasian, regarding an allegedly unprofessional
interaction with an African-American security guard. As a
result of the incident, Reid received an “initial
discussion, ” the lowest level of discipline, for
unprofessional conduct. She was ordered to wear her
identification badge and to present it to security whenever
with Pennsylvania law, TUH maintains policies that govern the
administration of medication by Rns. Under TUH policy, RNs
are only authorized to administer medication to a patient in
accordance with an order issued by a physician. Once a
medication is ordered, an RN administers the medication in
accordance with that order. Generally, orders must be written
and must include the name of the drug, the dosage, the route
and frequency of administration, and any other directions
required to administer the drug in a safe and effective
manner. Such orders are memorialized in the TUH computer
also permits oral orders to be given to RNs directly from
physicians under certain emergency circumstances.
Specifically, TUH policy provides in relevant part:
It is the policy of Temple University Hospital that a
Registered Nurse . . . may only accept verbal orders from a
Resident/Fellow or Licensed Independent Practitioner during
an emergent or urgent situation based on their scope of
. . . . Face to face verbal orders which are permissible in
emergent situations should be repeated back to the physician
to ensure accuracy. Verbal telephone orders are only
permissible when a patient requires unanticipated care that
should not be delayed until a written order can be obtained.
It is also the policy of Temple University Hospital that all
verbal telephone orders will be documented and read back to
the Practitioner for confirmation of order.
policy further states that the RN will read back to the
physician the patient's name, birth date, room number,
drug name, and dose to ensure the accuracy of any oral order
before administration. The RN must document such order in
TUH's computer order entry system and must indicate that
the order was read back to the physician. Thereafter, any
oral order must be signed by the physician within 24 hours of
the time it is given. These requirements concerning oral
orders are obviously significant safeguards for TUH patients.
also maintains a corrective action/disciplinary policy that
provides for progressive employee discipline. It states in
Warranting Immediate Discharge:
A. Some infractions are serious and may warrant immediate
discharge. Examples of these offenses include but are not