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Charles Elliot Curry v. Mickey's Linen & Towel Supply

February 8, 2011

CHARLES ELLIOT CURRY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICKEY'S LINEN & TOWEL SUPPLY, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On January 9, 2010, Plaintiff Charles Elliot Curry ("Curry"), who is African-American, filed the instant Complaint against his former employer Defendant Mickey's Linen & Towel Supply ("Mickey's") alleging race discrimination in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Before the Court is Mickey's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following reasons, the Court grants Mickey's motion and dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

Northern District of Illinois 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). 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." Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). "The opposing party is required to 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." Id. (citing N.D. Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Also, Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) requires the nonmoving party to present a separate statement of additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008).

The purpose of Local Rule 56.1 statements is to identify the relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006) ("statement of material facts did [] not comply with Rule 56.1 as it failed to adequately cite the record and was filled with irrelevant information, legal arguments, and conjecture"). 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); see also Corley v. Rosewood Care Ctr., Inc. of Peoria, 388 F.3d 990, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004) (when a party fails to cite the record, "we will not root through the hundreds of documents and thousands of pages that make up the record here to make his case for him."). With these standards in mind, the Court turns to the relevant facts of this lawsuit.

II. Relevant Facts

Mickey's operates a facility in Chicago, Illinois at which it leases and launders tablecloths, napkins, mats, and a variety of other products for customers, such as hospitals. (R. 30-1, Def.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 1.) In 2006, Curry started working for Mickey's as a Route Sales Representative ("RSR") at its Chicago location. (Id.) As a RSR, Curry was responsible for dropping off clean linens and other products at the customers on his route and for picking up soiled products. (Id. ¶ 4.) As Mickey's primary contacts with its customers, RSRs also have customer service obligations, including coordinating delivery and pick-up, collections, addressing customer complaints, and making sales. (Id.)

In February 2009, Mickey's decided to terminate Curry's employment based on his noncompliance with company policies and procedures, as well as several disciplinary incidents involving Curry. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 16.)*fn1 Curry filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on July 15, 2009 alleging race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII. (Id. ¶ 20; R. 1, Compl., Ex. 1.) The EEOC issued Curry his right-to-sue letter on October 6, 2009. (Id. ¶ 24; Compl., Ex. 2.) On January 9, 2010, Curry filed the present Title VII lawsuit alleging a race discrimination claim. Curry did not allege a Title VII retaliation claim in the present lawsuit.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when "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 movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2). A genuine issue of material fact exists if "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, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986). In determining summary judgment motions, "facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a 'genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). 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, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2552, 91L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). After "a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party 'must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (quotation omitted); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2) (requiring adverse party to "set out specific facts").

ANALYSIS

I. Timeliness

Mickey's first argues that Curry failed to file his federal lawsuit within 90 days of receiving his right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, and thus Curry is precluded from bringing the present Title VII lawsuit. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1); Prince v. Stewart, 580 F.3d 571, 574 (7th Cir. 2009). More specifically, Curry's right-to-sue letter is dated October 6, 2009, and Curry filed this lawsuit 100 days later on January 9, 2010. Although the 90 day time period is triggered on the date that Curry received his right-to-sue letter, see Prince, 580 F.3d at 574, in response to Mickey's summary judgment motion, Curry does not explain or provide facts establishing the date that he received his EEOC right-to-sue letter. In addition,, Curry does not argue that the doctrine of equitable tolling should apply. See Jones v. Res-Care, Inc., 613 F.3d 665, 670 (7th Cir. 2010). Nevertheless, it is Mickey's burden to prove that this lawsuit is ...


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