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SOFFERIN v. AMERICAN AIRLINES

May 23, 1989

JEFFREY L. SOFFERIN, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC., a Delaware corporation, D. J. NELSON and H. K. TOURTELLOT, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE

 CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

 On November 23, 1988 plaintiff, Jeffrey L. Sofferin, filed this action against defendants, American Airlines, Inc. and two of American's employees, D. J. Nelson and H. K. Tourtellott, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his race, national origin or religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq. ("Title VII") and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Sofferin is Jewish. Before the court is defendants' motion, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(b) for summary judgment or partial summary judgment on Count I on the grounds that plaintiff failed to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") within 300 days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred, as is required by § 706(e) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)-5(e); that plaintiff seeks damages for humiliation, mental anguish and other consequential damages which are not recoverable under Title VII; and that defendants Nelson and Tourtellott are not proper defendants, because they were not named in the charge filed with the EEOC. Also before the court is plaintiff's cross-motion for partial summary judgment on Count I. For the following reasons, the court concludes that plaintiff did not timely file his charge with the EEOC and grants summary judgment in favor of defendants on Count I. As a result, the court need not address defendants' other arguments.

 DISCUSSION

 Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986). A plaintiff cannot rest on mere allegations of a claim without any significant probative evidence which supports his complaint. Id.; see First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 20 L. Ed. 2d 569, 88 S. Ct. 1575 (1968). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims and defenses." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986). Accordingly, the nonmoving party is required to go beyond the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file to designate specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Id.

 The following are the undisputed material facts submitted by the parties, renumbered and edited to remove immaterial portions, redundant submissions, legal conclusions and minor points of contention.

 
1. Plaintiff Jeffrey L. Sofferin is an individual who is Jewish. (Complaint para. 1).
 
2. Defendant American Airlines, Inc. is a corporation organized pursuant to the laws of Delaware, maintaining its principal place of business in Dallas, Texas. American Airlines does business and maintains offices within the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. (Complaint, para. 2).
 
3. Defendants D. J. Nelson and H. K. Tourtellott are individuals who reside in New York and at all relevant times were employed by American Airlines as pilots and captains based in Chicago. (Complaint, paras. 4, 5, and 6).
 
4. Plaintiff was hired by American Airlines on February 17, 1986, as a probationary pilot based in Chicago, Illinois. He was to be in this probationary status for one year. (Complaint paras. 3, 14).
 
5. During plaintiff's probationary period he served first as a flight engineer and then as a co-pilot for American Airlines. (Complaint, para. 15).
 
6. On February 20, 1987, plaintiff's performance over the prior twelve months was reviewed by American Airlines to determine whether plaintiff had satisfactorily completed his probationary period. (Complaint, para. 27).
 
7. As part of this probationary review process, plaintiff was present at an oral review board held by American Airlines management personnel in Chicago, Illinois, on February 20, 1987. (Complaint, para. 28).
 
8. At that oral review board, plaintiff was advised by American Airlines management personnel that he had not successfully completed his probationary period and that he was being terminated. (Complaint, para. 29).
 
9. Plaintiff alleges that "Venue lies in this District because all of the unlawful employment practices were committed here". (Complaint, para. 8).
 
10. Count I seeks damages for a violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., based on his discharge which was proximately caused by alleged discrimination by defendants because of plaintiff's religion, race, national origin, which is Jewish. (Complaint, paras. 33-36).
 
11. On December 16, 1987, plaintiff went to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") office in Detroit, Michigan and there prepared a charge of discrimination, No. 210880401. (Complaint, para. 9; Sofferin Deposition Transcript, pp. 42-43, and Exhibit 8).
 
12. Plaintiff may have called the Detroit EEOC office by telephone on December 15, 1987, the day before, to ask them about the procedure. (Sofferin Dep. Tr. p. 43). But he had not previously been to the EEOC.
 
13. Plaintiff did not go to any Michigan employment discrimination agency with respect to the matters in the charge of discrimination or in the ...

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