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SHEA v. LOVEJOY

May 26, 2004.

DENNIS SHEA, Plaintiff,
v.
LOVEJOY, INC., an Illinois Corporation, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIDNEY SCHENKIER, Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER*fn1

On January 22, 2003, Dennis Shea filed a three-count complaint against the defendant, Lovejoy Inc., seeking relief under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 623 et seq. (Count I); the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a) (Count II); and the Illinois Wage Act ("IWA" or "Wage Act"), 820 ILCS 5/140 et seq. (Count III), invoking the Court's supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) for that state law claim. The defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment on all three counts. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the defendant's motion for summary judgment on Counts I and II. With all federal claims having been dismissed without trial, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claim in Count III. See 28 U.S.C. § 1361 (c)(3); Bean v. Wisconsin Bell, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, No. 03-1983, 2004 WL 877570, * 4 (7th Cir. Apr. 26, 2004). I.

Summary judgment is proper if the record shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving parties are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A genuine issue for trial exists only when "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, 248 (1986). If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. Id. at 249-50; see also Flip Side Productions, Inc. v. Jam Productions, Ltd., 843 F.2d 1024, 1032 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 909 (1988). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Valley Liquors, Inc. v. Renfield Importers, Ltd., 822 F.2d 656, 659 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 977 (1987), and must draw all reasonable inferences in the nonmovant's favor. Santiago v. Lane, 894 F.2d 218, 221 (7th Cir. 1990).

  When a material fact or a set of facts yields competing, but reasonable, inferences, then there is a genuine issue that precludes summary judgment. The non-moving party's burden is to identify facts that are both material and genuinely disputed. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986) To be material, a fact must be outcome determinative under the substantive law governing the motion. Insolia v. Philip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 598 (7th Cir. 2000). A "genuine issue" exists when the party opposing the motion for summary judgment serves and files, pursuant to local Rule 56.1, a concise statement outlining the material facts that require denial of summary judgment, supported by citations to the evidentiary materials that support those denials (e.g., affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions etc.). Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Although the party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of proving that there is no genuine issue of material fact, Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, the non-moving party cannot rely upon the pleadings alone, but must use the evidentiary tools outlined above to identify the material facts that show there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324; Insolia, 216 F.3d at 598.

  II.

  The following material facts are undisputed. These facts support the entry of summary judgment in defendants' favor on Counts I and II of plaintiff's complaint.*fn2

  A. The Parties & Personnel.

  The plaintiff, Dennis Shea was born on January 6, 1944 (Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Facts ("Def.'s 56.1 St." ¶ 3. Lovejoy, Inc., is an Illinois corporation which manufactures power transmission products (Id. ¶ 4). On June 4, 1997, Lovejoy offered plaintiff a position as National Sales Engineer responsible for Original Equipment Manufacturer ("OEM") customer accounts (Id., ¶ 14). Plaintiff was 53 years old when Lovejoy offered him the job in 1998 (Id. ¶ 15). The plaintiff's job responsibilities included providing technical support for Lovejoy's nationwide sales force, and selling the full range of Lovejoy products to major OEM accounts (Def.'s 56.1 St. ¶ 19).

  Jim Minton, Vice President of Sales, and Ellen Grossberg, Vice President of Human Resources, interviewed and hired plaintiff for this position at Lovejoy (Def.'s 56.1 St., ¶ 14). Jim Minton was born on December 13, 1940, and is three years older than plaintiff (Id. ¶ 21). At the time of his hire, Mr. Minton was plaintiff's immediate supervisor (Id. ¶ 20). As a result of a management reorganization in October, 2000, Chuck Brannen assumed the position of OEM Sales Manager, and became plaintiff's immediate supervisor (Id. ¶ 62). Mr. Brannen was born on January 6, 1944, and is exactly the same age as plaintiff (Id. ¶ 63), Prior to his promotion to OEM Sales Manager, Mr. Brannen held the same position as plaintiff, National Sales Engineer (Id. ¶ 64).

  As a further result of the October 2000 reorganization of management, Doug Durham assumed the position of North American Sales Director, and became the immediate supervisor of Brannen. Mr. Durham was born on April 15, 1954 (Id. ¶ 65), and is ten years younger than plaintiff. Consequently, as of October 2000, plaintiff reported to Mr. Brannen, who reported to Mr. Durham, who reported to Mr. Minton (Id. ¶ 66).*fn3

  B. Plaintiff's Medical Condition.

  As a child, plaintiff contracted polio and, as a result, walks with a limp. Since the age of 16, he has worn a brace on his left leg, but he has not had any other treatment for polio (Def.'s 56.1 St. ¶ 5). Plaintiff's childhood polio never restricted his employment; he never had any medical restrictions for his employment; and he never needed an accommodation to perform a job (Id. ¶ 6). Plaintiff's childhood polio also does not impede or restrict his ability to travel. Indeed, plaintiff regularly traveled in his job with Lovejoy and he travels to his vacation home in Ireland each summer (Def.'s 56.1 So. ¶ 7). Plaintiff owns and operates his own sailboat, is able to walk long distances, and regularly climbs stairs (Id. ¶ 8). Plaintiff drives a car and does not use a handicapped sticker (Id. at ¶ 9). Plaintiff's leg brace only restricts him from certain recreational activities such as golfing, jogging and bowling (Id. at ¶ 10). The plaintiff admits that his limp does not affect his job performance or any life function (Id. at ¶ 11).

  C. The 1998 Performance Review.

  Plaintiff received a performance review in August 1998 for the period of June 23, 1997 to June 23, 1998 (the "1998 review") (Def.'s 56.1 St., ¶ 28), which was prepared by Mr. Minton (Id., ¶ 29). Plaintiff's overall performance rating in the 1998 review was 7 on a 12-point scale, which corresponds to the low end of the "above average" category (Id., ¶ 30). As a result of the 1998 review, plaintiff received a 4.5 percent raise in base salary (Id., ¶ 31). The 1998 review established goals for plaintiff to accomplish in the following year, including being a major part of Lovejoy's efforts to implement a customer contact management software program (Id., ¶ 32). The plaintiff ...


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