United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
KEIRAND R. MOORE, Plaintiff,
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
JONATHAN E. HAWLEY, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is the Defendant, State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company's (“State
Farm”), motion for summary judgment (D. 40) and the
pro se Plaintiff, Keirand Moore's, response
thereto (D. 48). For the reasons stated, infra,
State Farm's motion is granted.
alleged in the Complaint, Moore worked at State Farm until he
was fired in April 2014. He claims he was denied an
opportunity for a promotion to a “Service Level
Liaison” position because he is black and also due to
State Farm's retaliation against him for filing internal
complaints regarding State Farm's racism as well as
administrative charges of racial discrimination and
retaliation with the Illinois Department of Human Rights
Complaint also alleges that State Farm failed to reasonably
accommodate Moore's illness, namely his Crohn's
disease. In particular, State Farm allegedly did not
“adjust [Moore's] workload even though [State Farm]
knew that [he] was seriously ill and out on sick leave
frequently.” Further, State Farm allegedly assigned him
new tasks even though Moore was working from home; that new
assignment caused him stress that exacerbated his illness.
Additionally, Moore claims State Farm “constantly
harassed [Moore] about productivity even though [his]
symptoms were such that [he] could not produce the same
amount of work as [his] healthier counterparts.”
Finally, Moore claims that one of his co-workers assaulted
and battered him following a meeting, and former co-workers
defamed him during the IDHR's investigation of his case.
Farm previously moved to dismiss the portion of Moore's
Complaint alleging disability discrimination, arguing that
Moore failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by
failing to raise this claim with the IDHR or the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Judge
Sara L. Darrow denied that motion, finding that the issue was
better suited for consideration on a motion for summary
judgment in which State Farm could “provide greater
background regarding whether Moore has filed any other IDHR
or EEOC charges during the relevant time period.” (D.
27 at p. 8).
Farm has now filed such a motion, arguing that it is entitled
to summary judgment on Moore's American with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”) claim because of his failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. Additionally, State Farm
argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on Moore's
Illinois defamation claim because the alleged statements
forming the basis of that claim are privileged. (D. 40 at p.
1). Moore responds to the exhaustion argument by challenging
the fairness of the IDHR investigation. (D. 48 at pp. 8-9).
Moore responds to State Farm's argument concerning the
defamation claim by challenging the characterization of those
making the alleged statements as “co-workers, ”
although he also acknowledges that the individuals in fact
work for State Farm. (D. 48 at pp. 5-7). He also discusses at
length the nature of the alleged statements and the harm they
allegedly caused him. Id.
undisputed facts demonstrate that Moore filed five charges of
discrimination with the IDHR and EEOC. A review of all these
documents clearly demonstrates that in none of them did Moore
ever make a claim related to a disability or disability
discrimination; all of his claims were based on race
discrimination or retaliation related thereto. (D. 40-1).
Additionally, Moore in his response nowhere asserts that he
raised a claim of disability discrimination before the IDHR
or EEOC. (D. 48 at pp. 1-4).
the defamation claim, the Complaint alleges that State Farm
employees Omar West and Jenna Hillesheim defamed Moore by
testifying falsely in the IDHR proceedings that Moore had a
poor performance history. (D. 1 at p. 4). It is undisputed
that both West and Hillesheim are State Farm employees and
whatever statements they may have made at issue in this case
were made during the course of the administrative
proceedings. (D. 48 at pp. 4-8).
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317');">7477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The moving party
has the burden of providing proper documentary evidence to
show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323- 24
(1986). Once the moving party has met its burden, the
opposing party must come forward with specific evidence, not
mere allegations or denials of the pleadings, which
demonstrates that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Gracia v. Volvo Europa Truck, N.V., 112
F.3d 291, 294 (7th Cir. 1997). “[A] party moving for