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Sidney Hardgrow, Sr v. Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

September 27, 2011

SIDNEY HARDGROW, SR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Joseph T. Clark

Cite as Hardgrow v. Dept. of Rehab. and Corr.,

65 South Front Street, Third Floor Columbus, OH 43215 614.387.9800 or 1.800.824.8263 www.cco.state.oh.us

DECISION

{¶1} On August 8, 2011, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 56(B). On August 15 and 24, 2011, plaintiff filed responses. The motion is now before the court for a non-oral hearing.

{¶2} Civ.R. 56(C) states, in part, as follows:

{¶3} "Summary judgment shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, written admissions, affidavits, transcripts of evidence, and written stipulations of fact, if any, timely filed in the action, show 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. No evidence or stipulation may be considered except as stated in this rule. A summary judgment shall not be rendered unless it appears from the evidence or stipulation, and only from the evidence or stipulation, that reasonable minds can come to but one conclusion and that conclusion is adverse to the party against whom the motion for summary judgment is made, that party being entitled to have the evidence or stipulation construed most strongly in the party's favor." See also Gilbert v. Summit Cty., 104 Ohio St.3d 660, 2004-Ohio-7108, citing Temple v. Wean United, Inc. (1977), 50 Ohio St.2d 317.

{¶4} According to the complaint, plaintiff was employed by defendant as a corrections captain at the Richland Correctional Institution (RiCI). Plaintiff alleges that he suffered from hypertension and diabetes, and that he also suffered a stroke in January 2007. Plaintiff, who is African American, claims that on January 31, 2008, defendant "constructively terminated" his employment on the basis of his disability and race in violation of R.C. 4112.02. Based upon the same allegations, plaintiff also asserts claims for breach of implied contract, promissory estoppel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

{¶5} In support of its motion, defendant submitted the affidavit of Charles Scruggs, who has served as the Labor Relations Officer at RiCI since 2001. Scruggs avers, in part:

{¶6} "2. I have personal knowledge of the facts contained in this Affidavit. Further, I am familiar with the underlying facts of this lawsuit, and I have personally reviewed [plaintiff's] personnel and disciplinary files.

{¶7} "3. [Plaintiff] began working as a correction officer in 1986. He was promoted to correction sergeant in 1998, to correction lieutenant in 2000 and to correctional captain in 2003.

{¶8} "4. [Defendant] was aware that [plaintiff] had suffered a stroke in January of 2007. However, upon his return in April of 2007, [plaintiff] submitted two documents from his physician indicating that he was able to return to his normal job duties without any restrictions.

{¶9} "5. On August 23, 2007, [plaintiff] and correctional officer Larry Kenney, Jr. were involved in a confrontation in the Front Entry building in which [plaintiff] pushed Mr. Kenney and Mr. Kenney landed in a chair. At that time, [plaintiff] served as the correctional captain on third shift at RiCI and was in a supervisory role to Mr. Kenney.

{¶10} "6. During the internal investigation into the August 23, 2007 incident involving [plaintiff] and Mr. Kenney, incident and medical exam reports were completed, photographs were taken, and investigatory interviews were conducted.

{ΒΆ11} "7.Based on the allegations that he had physically assaulted a subordinate officer, [plaintiff] could face suspension, demotion or removal if just cause was ...


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