The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pro se Plaintiff Anita Morris brings this action against
Defendant Michael Reese Hospital ("Michael Reese" or "Hospital").
Construing her pro se Complaint liberally, see Calhoun v.
DeTella, 319 F.3d 936, 943 (7th Cir. 2003), Morris alleges
race discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and age discrimination
in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Before the Court is Michael
Reese's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following reasons, the Court
grants Michael Reese's motion.
Because Morris is a pro se litigant, Michael Reese served her
with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary
Judgment" as required by Northern District of Illinois, Local
Rule 56.2. The notice explains the consequences of failing to
properly respond to a motion for summary judgment and statement
of material facts under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) and
Local Rule 56.1. Nevertheless, Morris failed to respond to the
Hospital's Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts, and thus the Hospital's facts
are deemed admitted. See Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683
(7th Cir. 2003).
Morris was employed by Michael Reese Hospital from
approximately July 1974 until November 16, 2001. (R. 29-1,
Defendant's Local Rule 56.1 Statement, ¶¶ 2, 7.) Morris is
African-American and over the age of forty. (Id. ¶ 2.) During
Morris' tenure, Michael Reese promoted her from staff nurse to
charge nurse in the Emergency Department. (Id. ¶ 9.) As charge
nurse, Morris was responsible for the day-to-day operations of
the Emergency Department, including scheduling, data collection,
as well as, patient care and assignments. (Id.) Prior to her
termination, Morris had held the title of Assistant Manager for
more than five years. (Id. ¶ 12.) During this time, she
reported to Diane Haynes, an African-American over 40 years of
age, who was the Emergency Department manager. (Id.)
Dr. Seth Guterman, who had previously provided medical services
to Michael Reese, returned to the Hospital in 1999 as part of a
new practice, Emergency Care Physician Services ("ECPS"). (Id.
¶¶ 19, 20.) ECPS provided medical care for the Hospital's
Emergency Department. (Id. ¶ 20.) In or about January 1999,
Guterman sent a letter to former colleagues in which he sought to
recruit them to work for Michael Reese. (Id. ¶ 22.) Morris
believed that some, but not all of these individuals were
Caucasian. (Id.) She does not know their ages. (Id.)
Guterman did not have a good working relationship with the
nursing staff in the Emergency Department. (Id. ¶ 24.) Guterman
contended that the nursing staff did not follow his orders and
reported him when they thought his orders were wrong. (Id. ¶
25.) On June 17, and 22, and on July 7 and 19, 1999, Guterman
wrote up incident reports in which he criticized Morris' conduct
in the emergency room. (Id. ¶ 28.) For instance, Guterman
criticized Morris for telling nurses not to order tests after a doctor had told them to
do so. (Id. ¶ 29.)
In 2000, the Hospital temporarily suspended Guterman for
unethical medical practice. (Id. ¶ 31.) Shortly before his
return, Guterman told Hospital management that he would not
return to Michael Reese unless the Hospital fired certain
emergency room personnel. (Id. ¶ 32.) Guterman made a "hit
list" of employees he wanted eliminated from the Emergency
Department including Morris, Sonia Winandy, the emergency medical
services coordinator (Caucasian), Peggy O'Donnell, (Caucasian),
and another African-American nurse. (Id. ¶ 33.)
The Hospital terminated Winandy's employment in October 2001,
as a result of her poor working relationship with Guterman.
(Id. ¶ 36.) Michael Reese terminated Morris' employment on
November 16, 2001, because the Hospital decided to eliminate the
position of Assistant Manager in the Emergency Department. (Id.
¶ 15.) Karen Cortese, who is Caucasian, assumed some of Morris'
job duties, but her title never changed from staff nurse to
Assistant Manager. (Id. ¶ 18.)
It is undisputed that Guterman never said anything racial or
age-related to Morris or any other Michael Reese employee, nor
did he engage in any derogatory conduct directed at any Michael
Reese employee on the basis of race or age. (Id. ¶ 41.) During
her employment at Michael Reese, Morris never complained to Human
Resources that she was the subject of unlawful discrimination.
(Id. ¶ 43.)
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
Even where all of the material facts are undisputed, as in this
case, the Court must still determine whether judgment is proper
as a matter of law. See Johnson v. Gudmundsson, 35 F.3d 1104,
1112 (7th Cir. 1994).
I. Race and Age Discrimination Disparate ...