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JORDAN v. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY

May 24, 2004.

SHELLY L. JORDAN, JR., Plaintiff, V. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Shelly Jordan filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") against the Chicago Transit Authority ("CTA"), alleging that the CTA violated his civil rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 1983,*fn1 by discriminating against him on the basis of his race. The CTA moved for summary judgment on Jordan's Title VII and Sect or 1981 claims. For the reasons stated herein, summary judgment is; granted in favor of the CTA.

LEGAL STANDARDS

 I. Summary Judgment

  Summary judgment is proper when "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 genuine issue of triable fact exists only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Pugh v. City of Attica, 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986)). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106S. Ct. at 2510. The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v, Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552 (1986). A party will successfully oppose summary judgment only if it presents "definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion." Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 437 (7th Cir. 2000). The Court "considers the evidentiary record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and draws all reasonable inferences in his favor." Lesch v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 282 F.3d 467, 471 (7* Cir. 2002).

 II. Local Rule 56.1

  The Court first addresses Jordan's failure to comply with the requirements of Local Rule 56.1, which governs summary judgment briefing in the Northern District of Illinois. L.R. 56.1. Local Rule 56. 1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide a "statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to a judgment as a matter of law." L.R. 56.1 (a)(3). The opposing party must then file "a concise response to the movant's statement" that includes, inter alia, "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(A). "All material facts set forth in the [Rule 56.1] statement . . . will be deemed admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." L.R. 56 1(b)(3)(B). Jordan has failed to fib a response to the CTA's summary judgment motion, thereby violating the Local Rules and the Court's scheduling order. The CTA filed its summary judgment motion on January: 30, 2004. (R. 52-1, Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J.) The Court ordered Jordan to respond by March 10, 2004. (R. 55-1, Feb. 4, 2004 Minute Order.) The Court thereafter granted Jordan an extension of time, and ordered Jordan to file his response to the pending summary judgment motion by April 7, 2004. (R. 56-1, Mar. 10, 2004 Minute Order.) To date, Jordan has failed to file any response, despite having had ample time to do so.

  Given that Jordan has failed to respond to any of the CTA's statements of material fact, the Court will deem admitted each of the CTA's statements of material fact that is supported by the record. Fischer v. Ameritech, No. 98 C 7470, 2002 WL 1949726, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2002). "A district court need not scour the record to make the case of a party who does nothing." Herman v. City of Chicago, 870 F.2d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 1989). Jordan's failure to comply with Local Rule 56.1, however, does not result in an automatic grant of summary judgment in favor of the CTA. The Court still must evaluate all facts in the light most favorable to Jordan, the non-moving party. O'Donnell v. City of Chicago, No. 02 C 1847, 2003 WL 22339285, at *1 (N.D. III. Oct. 14, 2003).

  BACKGROUND

  Jordan, an African an African, is a track maintenance worker for the CTA. (R. 53-1, Def.'s Rule 56.1 Statement, ¶ 34.) Trackmen inspect, construct, maintain, and repair the CTA's train tracks and the surrounding rights-of-way. (Id. ¶ 38.) The CTA hired Jordan on March 22, 1999. (Id. ¶ 34.) I. Jordan's Work Record

  The CTA disciplined Jordan twice for excessive absences. (Id. ¶¶ 80, 90.) On December 8, 1999, Jordan received a written warning for missing 58 days of work. (Id. ¶ 82.) On May 10, 2001, Jordan received a second written warning for missing 111 days of work in the previous seven months. (Id. ¶ 92.) With each written warning, the CTA warned Jordan that additional absences could lead to further discipline up to and including discharge. (Id. ¶¶ 83, 93.) Jordan worked a total of only 55 days between January 21, 2000 and October 31, 2003. (Id. ¶¶ 88, 95, 97.)

 II. Jordan's Injuries

  In September 1999, Jordan injured his back while carrying a railroad tie. (SAC ¶ 12.) He returned to work in November 1999. (Id. ¶ 12.) In January 2000, Jordan reinjured his back. (Id. ¶ 15.) In May 2001, Jordan suffered a series of anxiety attacks and took time off of work as ...


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