United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge.
This matter is before the court on Defendant Allstate Insurance Company's (Allstate) motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the motion for summary judgment is granted.
Plaintiff Robert Jungiewicz (Jungiewicz), age 56, allegedly began working for Allstate as a claims service representative in 1989. On June 21, 2102, David Perry (Perry), a member of management at Allstate, indicated that he was terminating Jungiewicz's employment because Jungiewicz had processed a total loss claim with an out-of-date receipt. Jungiewicz contends that other employees who were younger had also processed total loss claims with out-of-date receipts, but were not fired. Jungiewicz contends that Allstate terminated his employment because of his age. Jungiewicz includes in his complaint one claim alleging age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Allstate now moves for summary judgment on the ADEA claim.
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Smith v. Hope School, 560 F.3d 694, 699 (7th Cir. 2009). A "genuine issue" of material fact in the context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists when "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 (1986); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must consider the record as a whole, in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).
I. Production of Evidence
Jungiewicz contends that he served a Second Request to Produce Documents asking for one-hundred files reviewed by Michael Bundra (Bundra) and that Allstate failed to produce such files. (Ans. SJ 8). Jungiewicz argues that the court should draw an adverse inference against Allstate due to the alleged failure to produce such evidence. Jungiewicz has not shown that Allstate acted in bad faith during discovery. In addition, Jungiewicz failed to pursue any motion to compel the production of such evidence during the discovery period set by the court. If Jungiewicz had raised this discovery issue in a timely fashion, Local Rule 37.2 would have required the parties to confer and attempt to reach a solution and if unable to do so seek judicial intervention. LR 37.2. On July 24, 2013, the court set a discovery deadline of December 13, 2013 and discovery ended on that date and the first time that Jungiewicz raised any issue as to discovery was in his opposition to Allstate's motion for summary judgment filed on February 19, 2014. Jungiewicz has failed to show that Allstate acted improperly in regard to discovery or that any adverse inference should be drawn against Allstate. The court also notes that even if the adverse inference were drawn, such an inference would not be sufficient to alter the outcome of the instant motion for summary judgment.
II. Motion for Summary Judgment
A plaintiff bringing an ADEA discrimination claim can defeat a defendant's motion for summary judgment under the direct or indirect method of proof. Zayas v. Rockford Memorial Hosp., 740 F.3d 1154, 1157-58 (7th Cir. 2014). In the instant action, Jungiewicz does not argue that there is sufficient evidence to proceed under the direct method of proof, and the court does not find sufficient evidence for Jungiewicz to do so. See Fleishman v. Continental Cas. Co., 698 F.3d 598, 603 (7th Cir. 2012)(stating that under the direct evidence method a plaintiff must point to direct evidence or "a convincing mosaic' of circumstantial evidence, " and that "the plaintiff must connect the circumstantial evidence to the employment action such that a reasonable juror could infer the employer acted for discriminatory reasons").
Under the indirect method of proof, a plaintiff must establish a prima facie case. Zayas, 740 F.3d at 1157-58. If the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, "the burden shifts to the defendant to introduce a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the employment action." Id. If the defendant produces such a reason, "the plaintiff must provide evidence demonstrating that the defendant's stated reason is pretextual." Id.
A. Prima Facie Case
Allstate argues that Jungiewicz has failed to establish a prima facie case. Under the indirect method of proof, a plaintiff can establish a prima facie case by showing: (1) that he "is a member of a protected group, " (2) that he "satisfied h[is] employer's legitimate job expectations, " (3) that he "suffered an adverse employment action, " and (4) that ...