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Butler v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 26, 2013

CRAIG BUTLER, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION D/B/A AMTRAK, RUDY DURKOVIC, in his individual capacity, GREG AVEY in his individual capacity, and DOES 1 through 15, [1] Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Craig E. Butler, Plaintiff: Mazie A. Harris, Law Offices of Mazie A. Harris PC, Chicago, IL; Pamela Yvette Price, PRO HAC VICE, Price And Associates, Oakland, CA; Vernon William Ford, Jr., Vernon Ford & Associates, Chicago, IL.

For National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, Defendant: Thomas F Hurka, LEAD ATTORNEY, Emily Anne Glunz, Ross Harlan Friedman, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Rudy Durkovic, in his individual capacity, Greg Avey, in his individual capacity, Defendants: Emily Anne Glunz, Ross Harlan Friedman, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Does 1 through 15, inclusive, Defendant: Ross Harlan Friedman, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Chicago, IL.

OPINION

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JOAN HUMPHREY LEFKOW, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Craig Butler, filed a seven-count amended complaint against defendants, National Railroad Passenger Corporation d/b/a Amtrak (" Amtrak" ), Rudy Durkovic, and Greg Avey (collectively referred to as " defendants" ), alleging race discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § § 2000e et seq., and the Illinois Human Rights Act (" IHRA" ), 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1-101 et seq. (counts I, II, III, and VI); and retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII, and the IHRA (counts IV, V, and VII). Presently before the court is defendants' motion for summary judgment. [2] For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion is granted with respect to counts I, IV, V, VI, and VII and with respect to count II as to Avey and denied with respect to counts II and III as to Amtrak and Durkovic.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment obviates the need for a trial where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (a). To determine whether any genuine issue of fact exists, the court must pierce the pleadings and assess the proof as presented in depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits that are part of the record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) & advisory committee notes (1963 amend.) While the court must construe all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986), where a claim or defense is factually unsupported, it should be disposed of on summary judgment. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).

BACKGROUND[3]

Butler, who is African-American, worked at Amtrak beginning in October 2004 until his termination in July 2010. Butler started with Amtrak as a signal-helper in the engineering department. In 2006, Butler was promoted to the position of signalman and worked in various locations in the Chicago area including Union Station, the 14th Street Lumber Yard, the 16th Street Lumber Yard, and the 18th Street Lumber Yard. Beginning in February 2007 and until his termination, Butler held the position of locomotive electrician.

Durkovic worked as a foreman at various Amtrak locations in Chicago, including the 14th Street Lumber Yard and the 16th Street Lumber Yard. From May 2008 until Butler's termination in June 2010, Durkovic supervised Butler several times a week. [4] Avey was the superintendent of

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locomotives at Amtrak's 16th Street location and a part of the management ...


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