United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey, United States District Judge.
Fred Cartwright sued his former employers Silver Cross
Hospital and Crothall Health Care, Inc., for age
discrimination, race discrimination, unlawful retaliation,
sex or gender discrimination, and a hostile work environment.
. He brings his claims under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq.; 42
U.S.C. § 1981; and the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
Id. This opinion addresses Defendants' motion
for partial summary judgment on Plaintiff's sex and
gender discrimination claims, and related hostile work
environment claim. . For the reasons explained below,
this Court grants Defendants' motion.
following facts come from Defendants' Local Rule 56.1
statement of undisputed material facts . Plaintiff failed
to submit a statement of additional material facts, nor did
he provide any response to Defendants' statement of
facts. See . This Court has broad discretion to
enforce the local rules governing summary judgment motions.
See, e.g., Benuzzi v. Bd. of Educ. of City of
Chi., 647 F.3d 652, 655 (7th Cir. 2011). When the
non-moving party fails to respond to the moving party's
statement of facts, courts deem the statement of facts
admitted. See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C); Smith v.
Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). Although this
Court takes into account Plaintiff's pro se status, even
pro se litigants “must follow the rules of civil
procedure.” Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057,
1061 (7th Cir. 2006) (citing McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993)). Accordingly, this
Court deems Defendants' statements of fact admitted and
relies upon their version of events “to the extent that
it is supported by evidence in the record.” Keeton
v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d 877, 880 (7th Cir. 2012);
see also Sherrill v. Potter, No. 06-c-4120, 2008 WL
4086980, at *1-2 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2008) (deeming the
defendant's statement of facts admitted where pro se
plaintiff “did not even attempt to respond”),
aff'd, 329 Fed.Appx. 672, 676 (7th Cir. 2009).
began working for Silver Cross Hospital (SCH) in November
2008.  ¶ 11. At that time, he worked as a technician
in SCH's Environmental Services Department (EVS),
reporting to Cynthia Crosby and performing general
housekeeping and janitorial tasks. See id.
¶¶ 11-12, 14;  at 2. Crosby reported to Josh
Perryman, a manager, who reported to Dan Thomas, the director
of EVS, who ultimately answered to Geoff Tryon, an SCH vice
president responsible for overseeing EVS.  ¶ 13.
Perryman and Thomas were employees of Crothall Health Care,
Inc., which provided management services for EVS during
Plaintiff's tenure there. Id. ¶¶ 3,
2010, Plaintiff transferred from EVS to the Sterile
Processing Department (SPD), where his job required him to
decontaminate and prepare supplies related to surgeries.
Id. ¶¶ 15-16. In that role, Plaintiff
reported to James Tyrell, and the Department was supervised
by Mary Bakken, an executive vice president with SCH.
Id. ¶¶ 17. Two women worked with Plaintiff
at the SPD: Debbie Olha and Christine Talerico. See
id. ¶¶ 18-19. According to Defendants, Olha
and Talerico were neither managers, supervisors, nor
“leads.” See id. Defendants acknowledge,
however, that because of their level of experience Olha
helped train other SPD employees and Talerico provided
“some oversight over SPD procedures.”
Id. Plaintiff argues-without evidentiary
support-that Talerico served as the SPD's “Director
Manager, ” while Olha was Plaintiff's “shift
supervisor.”  at 2-3. Plaintiff's specific
allegations of sex or gender discrimination all relate to
Olha's conduct. See  ¶¶ 11, 19.
2011, Plaintiff received a written warning from Tyrell after
he “put a sterilized tray incorrectly back into the
sterilizer.”  ¶ 20. Plaintiff signed a written
acknowledgement of the warning, taking full responsibility
for the error. See id. On August 8, 2011, Plaintiff
transferred back to EVS. Id. ¶ 21. Upon his
return to EVS, Plaintiff reported to the same chain of
command in place during his first stint there (namely,
Crosby, Perryman, Thomas, and Tryon). See id. ¶
22. Plaintiff remained at EVS for the rest of his tenure with
SCH. See id. ¶¶ 22, 25-27.
January 2014 to April 2014, Plaintiff took a medical leave of
absence. See Id. ¶¶ 23-25. In mid-April,
SCH's worker's compensation administrator notified
Plaintiff that SCH had received a return-to-work
authorization from Plaintiff's doctor. Id.
¶ 25. Plaintiff did not return to work despite numerous
follow-up letters, and SCH terminated him effective June 6,
2014. Id. ¶¶ 25-27.
February 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed a discrimination charge
against SCH with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) for race, sex, and age discrimination, and wrongful
retaliation. Id. ¶ 4; [95-2] at 20. Plaintiff
filed a discrimination charge against Crothall Health Care
with the EEOC in June 2014 for race, sex, and age
discrimination, and wrongful retaliation.  ¶ 5;
[95-3] at 5. Plaintiff received his Right-to-Sue Letter from
the EEOC in May 2015.  ¶ 6.
initiated this suit in August 2015. . He amended his
complaint in October 2016. . This Court recruited counsel
to assist Plaintiff in June 2016, , and again in December
2016, upon granting first recruited counsel's motion to
withdraw, . Defendants moved for partial summary judgment
in November 2017. . While that motion was pending,
Plaintiff's new counsel moved to withdraw due to
substantial disagreements over litigation strategy, and this
Court granted the motion. See . At that time,
this Court asked Plaintiff in open court whether he was
prepared to respond to the pending motion for partial summary
judgment, and Plaintiff answered that he was. Plaintiff
timely filed his response, see , and Defendants
filed their reply in March 2018, .
judgment is proper where there is “no dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute
as to any 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 (1986). The party seeking
summary judgment has the burden of establishing that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact. See Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists,
this Court construes all facts and reasonable inferences in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See CTL
ex rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 524,
528 (7th Cir. 2014). The non-moving party has the burden of
identifying the evidence creating an issue of fact.
Harney v. Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, 526 F.3d 1099,
1104 (7th Cir. 2008). To satisfy that burden, the non-moving
party must do more than create “some metaphysical doubt
as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). Rather, “there must be evidence on which the
jury could reasonably find” for the non-moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. The moving party is
entitled to summary judgment where the non-moving party fails
to establish an “essential element” of the case
for which that party has the burden of proof. Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 323.