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Adam v. Airway Manufacturing Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

December 5, 2019

Jessie Adam, Plaintiff
v.
Airway Manufacturing Company, Defendant

          ORDER

          James G. Carr Sr. U.S. District Judge

         This employment-discrimination case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and analogous provisions of Ohio law comes before me on review of the docket.

         Plaintiff Jessie Adam filed this suit in February, 2019, alleging that her former employer, defendant Airway Manufacturing Company (Airway), did not respond to or address her complaints of sexual harassment, discriminated against her on the basis of sex, and retaliated against her for challenging that harassment and discrimination (as well as alleged “color discrimination”). (Doc. 1, PageID 3-8).

         Adam served the complaint on Airway by certified mail on March 18, 2019. (Docs. 3, 4). Since then, Airway has not filed an appearance or answered the complaint.

         On July 24, 2019, Adam filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 5). The motion (to which Airway also made no response) contends that Airway failed to respond to Adam's requests for admissions, and that this failure operates as an admission, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3), of all matters into which Adam's requests had inquired. Adam therefore argues that she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on her Title VII and state-law discrimination claims and to recover $120, 000 in emotional-distress damages, $60, 000 in economic damages, $50, 000 in non-economic damages, $40, 000 in attorney's fees, and $50, 000 in punitive damages.

         Standard of Review

         “Summary judgment is appropriate under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 where the opposing party fails to show the existence of an essential element for which that party bears the burden of proof.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         The movant must initially show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. Once the movant carries its burden, the “burden shifts to the nonmoving party [to] set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). Rule 56 “requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the [unverified] pleadings” and submit admissible evidence supporting its position. Celotex, supra, 477 U.S. at 324.

         A district court may not grant summary judgment “solely because the non-moving party has failed to respond to the motion.” Miller v. Shore Fin. Servs., Inc., 141 Fed.Appx. 417, 419 (6th Cir. 2002). If the non-movant has failed to respond, the court cannot grant summary judgment unless it finds that “the motion and supporting materials - including the facts considered undisputed - show that the movant is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3).

         Discussion

         “A party may serve on any other party a written request to admit, for purposes of the pending action only, the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1)[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(1).

         Under Rule 36, “[a] matter is deemed admitted unless, within 30 days after being served, the party to whom the request is directed serves on the requesting party a written answer or objection addressed to the matter[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3). Any matter “admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b).

         A. Liability and Damages

         Here, the record shows that Adam served her requests for admission on Airway, via certified mail addressed to “Airway Manufacturing Co., c/o Andy Weaver, ” at its facility in Edgerton, Ohio, on ...


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