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Mullman v. Motorola

April 10, 2008

RAYMOND MULLMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MOTOROLA, INC., ITS AGENTS AND EMPLOYEES, DENNIS DYMON, AND ROGER CALLANAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge James F. Holderman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

On June 15, 2007, Plaintiff Raymond Mullman filed this action pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq., against his former employer Motorola, Inc., and two of its supervisors, Dennis Dymon and Roger Callanan, after Motorola terminated Mullman's employment. Mullman, who was 56 years old at the time of his termination, alleged in his complaint that he was treated differently than others in his group and ultimately terminated because of his age. Mullman also alleged that, prior to termination, he was subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress. Before this court is the defendants' motion for summary judgment [77]. For the reasons stated below, that motion is granted.

Background

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, this court must consider the facts properly before it in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, drawing all reasonable inferences and resolving all doubts in the non-moving party's favor. Keri v. Bd. of Trustees of Purdue Univ., 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir. 2006). Therefore, in considering the defendants' motion, the court will review the facts properly before it and draw all reasonable inferences in Mullman's favor.

As an initial matter, the court notes that Mullman did not comply with Local Rule 56.1 insamuch as he neither responded to defendants' Local Rule 56.1 statement nor did he file a statement of additional facts. See N.D. Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3). To assist the court in ruling on a motion for summary judgment, Local Rule 56.1 of the Northern District of Illinois imposes certain requirements on the parties. First, the moving party must file "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). In return, the opposing party must file "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B). If the opposing party wants the court to consider facts in addition to those presented by the moving party, the opposing party must file "a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C). All material facts set forth in the moving party's statement will be deemed admitted unless opposed in the non-moving party's statement. Id. The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1. FTC v. Bay Area Bus. Council, Inc., 423 F.3d 627, 633 (7th Cir. 2005) (collecting cases). Because Mullman failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1, the only facts properly before the court are those presented in "Defendants' L.R. 56.1 Statement of Material Facts As To Which There Is No Genuine Issue" [80], which are as follows:

Motorola hired Mullman in 1979 as a buyer, and Mullman worked his way up to commodity manager. As a commodity manager, Mullman was responsible for analyzing external factors and developing long-term goals for each of his assigned commodities. Commodity managers were also responsible for negotiating cost savings with suppliers and meeting cost reduction goals.

From 2001 to 2004, Mullman's annual reviews reflected a need for improvement in his job performance. For example, in Mullman's 2001 "Personal Commitment Summary," Mullman received a rating of "Some Improvement Needed." Although Mullman admitted that he failed to accomplish all of his goals, Mullman disagreed with the "Some Improvement Needed" rating. In 2003, one of Mullman's supervisors remarked that Mullman's ability to communicate his overall commodity strategies needed development. And Mullman's 2004 performance rating was "Needs Improvement." Mullman did not agree with the "Needs Improvement" rating and believed that he received the low rating because of his age. Mullman did not complain of age discrimination to anyone at Motorola at that time.

On June 1, 2005, Callanan and Jeff Marchuk informed Mullman that his employment with Motorola would be terminated due to a reduction in force. Immediately following the conversation with Callanan and Marchuk, Mullman met with Lenora McKinney from Motorola's Human Resources group. McKinney informed Mullman that his last day at work would be July 31, 2005, but that he would be paid through September 1, 2005. McKinney also informed Mullman of his separation benefits. Mullman told McKinney that he believed he was selected for termination because of his age. Two days later, Dymon sent Mullman an e-mail requesting that Mullman transition his commodities to Mark Crumrine. Crumrine was under 40 years old.

Mullman testified at his deposition that he believes his employment with Motorola was terminated solely because of his age. Mullman also asserted that he was assigned a greater workload than younger commodity managers; that his managers set unattainable goals and did not provide him with assistance to complete projects because of his age; and that he was subjected to unfair criticism, reprimands, and insults because Callanan wanted Mullman to quit. After Mullman was told on June 1, 2005, that he was being terminated, he was no longer criticized and no other changes in his workload were made. Mullman explained that, "after they accomplished what they wanted to accomplish, that was it." (Mullman Dep., Oct. 23, 2008, 228-29.) Mullman's last day at Motorola was July 31, 2005.

Mullman filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on June 26, 2006. Mullman explained that he had retained attorney Marcy Katz to represent him in connection with his alleged unlawful termination from Motorola and that he believed Ms. Katz had filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC in March 2006. When Mullman learned that Ms. Katz had not filed the EEOC paperwork, Mullman personally filed his charge of discrimination.

Mullman filed his complaint in this court on June 15, 2007. In his two-count complaint, Mullman alleged a claim of age discrimination under the ADEA and a state-law claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Before the court now is the defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [77].

Analysis

Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary judgment on both Mullman's federal age discrimination claim and his state-law claim for intention infliction of emotion distress because the claims are time-barred. Specifically, the defendants contend that Mullman's age discrimination claim is time-barred because Mullman failed to file his charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days after the alleged unlawful practice, see 29 U.S.C. § 626(d)(2). The defendants also contend that Mullman's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is time-barred because Mullman failed to file his complaint within the applicable statute of limitations period, see 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202.

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits 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 party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis for its motion and identifying the evidence it believes demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Keri v. Bd. of Trustees of Purdue Univ., 458 F.3d 620, 627-28 (7th Cir. 2006). Once a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the non-moving party cannot rest on its pleadings but must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual evidence, that there is a genuine issue of material fact requiring trial. Celotex Corp., 477 ...


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