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Martino v. MCI Communications Services

May 21, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge


In his five-count Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Guy R. Martino ("Martino") alleges violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., as well as state law claims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel, unjust enrichment, and a claim under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS 115/1 et seq., against Defendant Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. ("Verizon Business"). Before the Court is Verizon Business' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the following reasons, the Court grants Verizon Business' summary judgment motion as to Martino's ADEA claim. The Court declines to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over Martino's state law claims and dismisses these claims without prejudice. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).


I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

When determining summary judgment motions, the Court derives the background facts from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements. Local Rule 56.1 assists the Court by "organizing the evidence, identifying undisputed facts, and demonstrating precisely how each side propose[s] to prove a disputed fact with admissible evidence." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000). Specifically, 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." Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires the nonmoving party to admit or deny every factual statement proffered by the moving party and to concisely designate any material facts that establish a genuine dispute for trial. See Schrott v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir. 2005). The parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements must contain short numbered paragraphs, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials. See id.; see also Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817.

The purpose of Rule 56.1 statements is to identify the relevant evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006). The requirements for responses under Local Rule 56.1 are "not satisfied by evasive denials that do not fairly meet the substance of the material facts asserted." Bordelon, 233 F.3d at 528. A litigant's failure to respond to a Local Rule 56.1 statement results in the Court admitting the uncontroverted statement as true. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006). Moreover, the Court may disregard statements and responses that do not properly cite to the record. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L.L.C. 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005) ("A district court does not abuse its discretion when, in imposing a penalty for a litigant's non-compliance with Local Rule 56.1, the court chooses to ignore and not consider the additional facts that a litigant has proposed"); see also Raymond, 442 F.3d at 604 ("district courts are entitled to expect strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1"). With these standards in mind, the Court turns to the relevant facts of this case.

II. Relevant Facts

A. Parties

Verizon Business is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Inc., which is a worldwide telecommunications company. (R. 47-1, Def.'s Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 2.) Verizon Business was formed following a merger between MCI Communications and Verizon Communications on January 6, 2006. (Id.) In late 2004, Martino, who was born on July 16, 1950, applied for an open position at MCI Network Services, Inc. (Id. ¶¶ 1, 4.) After receiving and accepting an offer as a Business Solutions Consultant ("BSC"), Martino began working for MCI's Enterprise Hosting and Data Services Group on February 9, 2005. (Id. ¶¶ 4, 5.)

B. Martino's Employment and Job Duties

During his employment, Martino reported to Robert Gross, who was the Regional Sales Director for the Midwest Region. (Id. ¶ 6.) As a BSC, Martino served as a product-knowledge or service-knowledge specialist for hosting and hosting-related products and services. (Id. ¶ 9.) Throughout his tenure, Martino was assigned to core sales teams because his position was considered an "overlay" position -- he overlaid and assisted the core sales teams that handled the named accounts. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11; R. 50-1, Pl.'s Rule 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 1.) A core sales representative -- not a BSC -- would "quarterback" the entire sales process, owned the client relationship, and owned all of the components that made up the sales process. (Def.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 11.) As a sales representative in the IT Hosting Solutions Division, Martino was responsible for selling a "full suite of services," which included managed hosting, Akamai services (web application services), data center services, e-mail services, application management, IT services help desk, remote backup and restore, and mainframe outsourcing to the premier accounts in the hosting division. (Id. ¶ 12; Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 2.) In return for providing services during his employment, Martino received a salary, commissions, and benefits, as well as expenses. (Def.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 7.)

C. The BP Amoco Deal

In mid-2005, Verizon Business formed a sales team to secure business from BP Amoco regarding a data center collocation opportunity. (Id. ¶ 13.) Martino was part of the team because he was the BSC in the IT Hosting Solutions Division that "overlaid" the core sales branch responsible for the BP Amoco deal. (Id.) David Schiffman was the core sales representative principally responsible for the BP Amoco deal. (Id. ¶ 15.) Steve Rumstein, the Director of IT Hosting Solutions, also played an important role in the BP Amoco deal. (Id. ¶ 17.) Ultimately, BP Amoco and Verizon Business signed a contract in October 2005. (Id. ¶ 20.)

While attempting to secure BP Amoco's business, Verizon Business had to respond to BP Amoco's request for proposal ("RFP"). (Id. ¶ 14.) The RFP process is a formal process where members of a sales team sit in a conference room, read through the pages of the RFP, and formulate a response. (Id.) One of the "major initiatives" expected of a BSC at Verizon Business is to assist the core sales team in the RFP process. (Id.) At his deposition, Rumstein testified that Martino did not play a significant role in landing the BP Amoco deal. (Id. ¶ 18, Ex. D, Rumstein Dep., at 34-35.) Rumstein specifically testified that Martino did not get involved with the cores sales team during the RFP process for the BP Amoco deal. (Id., Ex. D, Rumstein Dep., at 35.) Further, Rumstein testified that he expected a BSC to take a much stronger leadership role in driving the RFP process than Martino took on the BP Amoco deal. (Id., Ex. D., Rumstein Dep., at 40.)

D. Martino's Sales and Performance Evaluation

Under Martino's compensation policies in 2005 and 2006, he was eligible to receive commissions on sales in accounts assigned in his territory -- regardless of the amount of work he performed in securing those accounts. (Id. ¶ 21.) As discussed, during this time period, Martino was the hosting sales representative who overlaid the core sales branch that secured the BP Amoco business. Therefore, Martino received qualified sales credits from the BP Amoco deal. (Id. ¶ 22.) Specifically, Martino received credit for three qualified sales resulting from the BP Amoco deal in 2005, including $324,945 in October 2005, $1,630 in November 2005, and $2,616 in December 2005. (Id. ¶ 24.) Martino, however, did not reach his monthly sales quota for the majority of 2005. (Id. ¶ 23.) In 2006, the vast majority of Martino's qualified monthly sales were a result of the BP Amoco deal. (Id. ¶ 26; Ex. K, June 2006, Commissions Related Revenue Report.)

In or around February 2006, Gross evaluated Martino's job performance for 2005. (Id. ΒΆ 29.) Gross gave Martino an "improvement required" rating in the Post-Sale Activity/Retention category on the written evaluation and commented that "I would like to see improvement in the follow-up with [Martino's] supported teams during and after turn-up environments." (Id.) Gross based his "improvement required" rating on Rumstein's and Schiffman's ...

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