previously been laid off due to lack of work on March 30, 1993.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that 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); Salima v. Scherwood South, Inc., 38 F.3d 929, 931 (7th Cir. 1994); Transportation Communications Int'l Union v. CSX Transp., Inc., 30 F.3d 903, 904 (7th Cir. 1994). Summary judgment is not a discretionary remedy and must be granted when the movant is entitled to it as a matter of law. Jones v. Johnson, 26 F.3d 727, 728 (7th Cir. 1994). Even though all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the party opposing the motion, Associated Milk Producers, Inc. v. Meadow Gold Dairies, 27 F.3d 268, 270 (7th Cir. 1994), presenting only a scintilla of evidence will not suffice to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Walker v. Shansky, 28 F.3d 666, 671 (7th Cir. 1994). Nor will some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts suffice. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986).
To make out a prima facie case of discrimination in a reduction of force case, a plaintiff must present evidence that (1) he was in the protected class, (2) he was performing to the legitimate expectations of his employer, (3) he was terminated, and (4) younger employees were treated more favorably. Roper v. Peabody Coal Co., 47 F.3d 925, 926 (7th Cir. 1995).
Once the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant to articulate a legitimate reason for discharging the plaintiff. Id. The burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to show that the reason proffered by the defendant is a pretext for discrimination. Oxman v. WLS-TV, 846 F.2d 448, 453 (7th Cir. 1988).
Bridges has failed to present evidence indicating that younger employees were treated more favorably than he. The uncontested facts demonstrate that Bridges was not replaced. No new employees were hired to perform the work that he had performed. His functions were either abandoned or absorbed by other employees. Furthermore, Bridges has presented no evidence that similarly situated younger employees were treated any better. Accordingly, he has failed to establish a prima facie case, and IIT is entitled to summary judgment.
In addition, even had Bridges presented evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case, IIT has articulated a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for his termination. The uncontested evidence demonstrates that ASG was experiencing financial difficulties and could no longer afford to keep Bridges on the payroll. He was determined to be the least important person for the continuation of Department E's operations. IIT's business decision to potentially sacrifice future business prospects by terminating Bridges in order to survive short term is one that this court will not second guess. Rand v. CF Indus., Inc., 42 F.3d 1139, 1146 (7th Cir. 1994).
Furthermore, Bridges has presented no evidence from which a jury could infer that IIT's reason for terminating him was a pretext. "Any pretext determination is concerned with 'whether the employer honestly believes in the reasons it offers,' not whether it made a bad decision." Id. (quoting Kralman v. Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs, 23 F.3d 150, 156-57 (7th Cir. 1994)). None of the evidence presented indicates that IIT did not honestly believe that it needed to terminate Bridges for financial reasons. Accordingly, Bridges has failed to present evidence indicating that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.
Additionally, Local Rule 12(P) provides that the court can grant a motion if the party opposing the motion fails to file an answering memorandum. Local Rule 12(P). Bridges has failed to file an answering memorandum opposing IIT's motion for summary judgment. Therefore, the court invokes Local Rule 12(P) as an additionally basis for granting IIT's motion for summary judgment.
On August 3, 1995, notwithstanding that he never received leave of the court to file his responsive pleading after it was due, Bridges filed a response to IIT's motion for summary judgment and a 12(N) statement. The court has briefly looked over Bridges's submissions. While the court basis its ruling on the discussion above, it notes that Bridges's submissions appear merely to be an attack on IIT's business judgment, which the court has noted is not subject to judicial review. See Rand., 42 F.3d at 1146. Bridges's affidavit largely admits most of IIT's factual assertions and consists mainly of self-serving assessments of his contributions to the firm, which do not create a genuine issue of fact. Gustovich v. AT&T Communications, Inc., 972 F.2d 845, 848 (7th Cir. 1992). Thus, even if the court were to have considered the substance of Bridges's submissions, it is not likely that he would have survived the motion for summary judgment.
For the foregoing reasons, Bridges motion for an extension of time to respond to IIT's motion for summary judgment is denied. IIT's motion for summary judgment is granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR., Judge
United States District Court