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Holshouser v. Abbott Laboratories

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

February 27, 2014

MARK HOLSHOUSER, Plaintiff,
v.
ABBOTT LABORATORIES, Defendant

Page 965

For Mark Holshouser, Plaintiff: Bruce N. Tinkoff, LEAD ATTORNEY, Attorney at Law, Barrington, IL; Timothy James Murray, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tinkoff, Popko and Associates, Barrington, IL.

For Abbott Laboratories, Defendant: Beata Guzik Brewster, Jon Eric Klinghoffer, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Goldberg Kohn Ltd., Chicago, IL.

Page 966

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

John Z. Lee, U.S. District Court Judge.

Plaintiff Dr. Mark Holshouser (" Dr. Holshouser" ), a former employee of Defendant Abbott Laboratories (" Abbott" ), alleges that he was terminated from his position due to age discrimination in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/1-101 et seq. (the " IHRA" ). Dr. Holshouser further claims that he was wrongfully terminated in order to prevent his pension benefits from vesting in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (" ERISA" ) Section 510, 29 U.S.C. § 1140 (" Section 510" ). Abbott has moved for summary judgment on Dr. Holshouser's claims, arguing, inter alia, that he has failed to state a prima facie case of age discrimination and his termination was unrelated to the timing of the vesting of his pension benefits. For

Page 967

the reasons set forth below, Abbott's motion is granted.

Local Rule 56.1

Motions for summary judgment in the Northern District of Illinois are governed by Local Rule 56.1. " The obligation set forth in Local Rule 56.1 'is not a mere formality.' Rather, '[i]t follows from the obligation imposed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) on the party opposing summary judgment to identify specific facts that establish a genuine issue for trial.'" Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted) (quoting Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 924 (7th Cir. 1994)). The Seventh Circuit has " routinely held that a district court may strictly enforce compliance with its local rules regarding summary judgment motions." Yancick v. Hanna Steel Corp., 653 F.3d 532, 537 (7th Cir. 2011) (quotation omitted).

Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) requires the nonmovant to file a " concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain . . . 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." LR 56.1(b)(3)(B). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) also " requires specifically that a litigant seeking to oppose a motion for summary judgment file a response that contains a separate 'statement . . . of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment.'" Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L.L.C., 401 F.3d 803, 809 (7th Cir. 2005) (quoting Local Rule 56.1).

The failure of a nonmoving party to abide by the rule's requirements carries significant consequences. " All material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." Local Rule 56.1(b)(3); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (" We have consistently held that a failure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules results in an admission." ). " This rule may be the most important litigation rule outside statutes of limitation because the consequences of failing to satisfy its requirements are so dire." Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 584 (N.D. Ill. 2000).

Dr. Holshouser, who is represented by counsel, has failed to file a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response in any format, let alone one that properly responds to each and every statement of fact in Abbott's Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement. Thus, the Court must deem admitted each and every one of Abbott's statements of fact so long as each statement offers admissible evidence and is supported by the citation to the record.

Dr. Holshsouser has, however, submitted a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) statement of additional material facts in support of his position. The Court will consider any relevant and properly supported facts included therein to the extent ...


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