The opinion of the court was delivered by: S. Arthur Spiegel United States Senior District Judge
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs, Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 12), Defendant's Memorandum in opposition (doc. 16) and Plaintiff's Response thereto (doc. 20).
The following facts are taken from defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. In those instances where Plaintiff contests Defendant's facts, the Court will so note. Plaintiff, City of Cincinnati, (hereinafter "the City") employed Defendant, Thomas Tenkotte (hereinafter "Tenkotte") as an auto mechanic since 1993 (doc. 12). In 1994, Tenkotte sustained a work-related back injury and suffered re-occurrences in subsequent years (Id.). In 2001, Tenkotte was placed in a light-duty job (Id.). He was later told that the light-duty position was privatized (doc. 12) and that he would need to qualify for mechanic's duties or, Tenkotte asserts, he would be terminated (doc. 16).
As part of the process to qualify for the auto mechanic position, Tenkotte submitted to a work readiness functional capacity evaluation, which, the City claims, concluded that he was capable of performing full duties as a motorcycle mechanic (doc. 12). However, Tenkotte claims the work readiness functional capacity evaluation indicated he was capable of performing full duties as an auto mechanic with the city (doc. 16). Additionally, Tenkotte claims his treating physician, Dr. Pagani, concluded he was capable of returning to his position as an auto mechanic (doc. 16).
On May 28, 2002, Tenkotte submitted a Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form to the City (doc. 12). This request states that Tenkotte was seeking accommodations for the position of "Motorcycle Mechanic," though there was no such position with the City (Id.). However, Tenkotte asserts that the request sought accommodations for the position of mechanic (doc. 16). The requested accommodations were as follows: flex-time to allow Tenkotte to see his doctor for treatment; a "leadman" to help with heavy lifting; a pneumatic tire-changer to reduce stress; and a handicap space near work to reduce stress on his back from carrying needed items (doc. 12). The flex time was for an undesignated period of time (Id.). Additionally, no "leadman" was available after 4:30 to assist Tenkotte and a pneumatic tire changer would still require lifting in excess of fifty pounds (Id.).
On July 3, 2003, the City denied the Request for Accommodations and subsequently discharged Tenkotte (doc. 16). Thereafter, Tenkotte filed a Charge of Discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC), alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Id.). On July 11, 2003, the EEOC issued its determination that the evidence obtained during its investigation established that the City had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (Id.). Efforts to conciliate Tenkotte's charge of discrimination were unsuccessful (Id.). Tenkotte asserts that his discharge constitutes a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111, et seq.
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARD
The narrow question that this Court must decide on a motion for summary judgment is whether there exists a "genuine issue as to any material fact and [whether] the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The Supreme Court elaborated upon the appropriate standard in deciding a motion for summary judgment as follows:
[T]he plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.
The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact as to an essential element of the non-movant's case. Id. at 321; Guarino v. Brookfield Township Trustees, 980 F.2d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 1992); Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479 (6th Cir. 1989). If the moving party meets this burden, then the non-moving party "must set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); see Guarino, 980 F.2d at 405.
As the Supreme Court stated in Celotex, the non-moving party must "designate" specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Guarino, 980 F.2d at 405. Although the burden might not require the non-moving party to "designate" facts by citing page numbers, "'the designated portions of the record must be presented with enough specificity that the district court can readily identify the facts upon which the non-moving party relies.'" Guarino, 980 F.2d at 405 (quoting Inter-Royal Corp. v. Sponseller, 889 F.2d 108, 111 (6th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1091 (1990).
Summary judgment is not appropriate if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Conclusory allegations, however, are not sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. McDonald v. Union Camp Corp., 898 F.2d 1155, 1162 (6th Cir. 1990). Furthermore, the fact that the non-moving party fails to respond does not lessen the burden on the moving party or the court to ...