United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
J. LIMBERT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
instant matter is before the Court on a motion for summary
judgment filed by Defendant Youngstown Ohio Hospital Company,
LLC dba Valleycare Health System dba Northside Medical Center
(“Defendant”). ECF Dkt. #26. For the following
reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion (ECF Dkt.
#26) and DISMISSES Plaintiffs' amended complaint in its
entirety WITH PREJUDICE:
September 19, 2016, Plaintiffs Beverly London
(“Plaintiff London”) and Michelle Scott
(“Plaintiff Scott”) filed a complaint in this
Court. ECF Dkt. #1. They indicated that they were ages 63 and
60, respectively, and were former employees of Defendant.
Id. at 3. They averred that Plaintiff London was
hired in 1972 as a nurse's aide and she was later
promoted to a Unit Secretary position, while Plaintiff Scott
was hired as a housekeeper in 1978 and later also promoted to
the position of Unit Secretary. Id. They further
averred that Plaintiff London had been disciplined only once
in 44 years and Plaintiff Scott had never been disciplined in
37 years of employment. Id.
London and Scott alleged in the complaint that on or about
February 9, 2016, Defendant informed them that it was
eliminating all Unit Secretary positions and replacing the
position with a new position called a Unit Technician
position, which combined the Unit Secretary position with the
Personal Care Assistant (“PCA”) position,
although the PCA position was not being eliminated and the
current PCAs were not losing their positions. ECF Dkt. #1 at
3. Plaintiffs London and Scott further averred that all but
one of the ten Unit Secretaries were over the age of 55.
Id. They further alleged that Defendant informed the
Unit Secretaries that they had until February 17, 2016 to
take a layoff, “bump” to another job, or bid on
or apply for the new Unit Technician positions. Id.
at 4. According to Plaintiffs London and Scott, Defendant
informed them that any Unit Secretary hired as a Unit
Technician would receive training. Id.
London and Scott further allege in their complaint that they
applied for the Unit Technician position and Plaintiff London
was one of three Unit Secretaries who was granted a Unit
Technician position. ECF Dkt. #1 at 4. They aver that the
other five Unit Technician positions were awarded to PCAs who
were substantially younger than them. Id. They
further aver that they were then informed that the Unit
Technician positions were not being awarded based upon
seniority, so they filed a union grievance indicating that
the Unit Technician positions were not awarded according to
seniority and they noted that the positions were awarded to
substantially younger employees who did not have as much
seniority or training as the Unit Secretaries. Id.
to Plaintiffs London and Scott, Defendant thereafter withdrew
all of the Unit Technician positions, including that of
Plaintiff London, and then reopened the positions for
bidding. ECF Dkt. #1 at 5. Plaintiffs London and Scott re-bid
on the positions and neither they, nor any of the Unit
Secretaries, were awarded a Unit Technician position as those
positions were given to substantially younger PCAs who lacked
experience as Unit Secretaries, which was part of the Unit
Technician positions. Id. Plaintiffs London and
Scott averred that they had experience as nurses' aides,
which are similar to the PCAs positions. Id.
London and Scott aver that Defendant terminated their
employment on April 8, 2016 and deliberately eliminated the
Unit Secretary positions to replace the Unit Secretaries with
substantially younger PCAs. ECF Dkt. #1 at 5. They aver that
they suffered severe emotional distress, anxiety and
depression as a result of their wrongful termination by
complaint, Plaintiffs London and Scott allege claims in
violation of 29 U.S.C. §621, et seq., the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”),
retaliatory discrimination in violation of the ADEA, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”). ECF Dkt. #1 at 6-8.
October 25, 2016, Plaintiffs London and Scott filed an
amended complaint, which added Plaintiff Gavolas
“Plaintiffs”) and expanded upon the complaint
allegations. ECF Dkt. #3. In the amended complaint,
Plaintiffs also set forth their filing of Charges of
Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) and the EEOC's issuance
of Right to Sue letters, evidencing their exhaustion of
administrative remedies. Id. at 2-3.
aver in the amended complaint that Plaintiffs London and
Gavolas were granted Unit Technician positions after the
first round of bidding, but Plaintiff Scott did not receive a
position. ECF Dkt. #3 at 5. They reallege that on or about
February 29, 2016, they were informed that the Unit
Technician positions were not being awarded based on
seniority and Plaintiffs and the other Unit Secretaries filed
a union grievance because of this. Id. Plaintiffs
also noted that the Unit Technician positions were awarded to
substantially younger employees who lacked the seniority or
training as the Unit Secretaries. Id.
reallege that on or about March 17, 2016, Defendant withdrew
all of the Unit Technician positions as a result of the
settlement of the union grievance and reopened the positions
for bidding in compliance with the settlement, for which each
Plaintiff rebid. ECF Dkt. #3 at 6. Plaintiffs aver that none
of them were awarded a Unit Technician position and all of
those positions were awarded to substantially younger PCAs.
Id. Plaintiffs assert that on or about April 8,
2016, Defendant terminated their employment. Id.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendant deliberately eliminated the
Unit Secretary position to replace the Unit Secretaries with
substantially younger PCAs. Id. Plaintiffs aver that
Defendant's reason for the termination of their
employment is a pretext for age discrimination. Id.
reassert claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, and
retaliation in violation of the ADEA and IIED. ECF Dkt. #3 at
12. Defendant answered the amended complaint on December 2,
2016. ECF Dkt. #9.
August 28, 2017, Defendant filed the instant motion for
summary judgment. ECF Dkt. #26. On September 27, 2017,
Plaintiffs filed a brief in opposition to the motion for
summary judgment. ECF Dkt. #28. On October 11, 2017,
Defendant filed a reply brief. ECF Dkt. #29.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides in
pertinent part that the Court "shall grant summary
judgment 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 Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, Advisory Committee Notes ("The
standard for granting summary judgment remains
unchanged" despite 2010 amendments to Rule 56). Rule