United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
Gary W. Broom, appearing pro se, brings this lawsuit in which
he alleges that defendant Aztalan Engineering, Inc.
wrongfully terminated him from his job as a machinist, in
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Aztalan has filed a motion for summary judgment, a motion for
sanctions against Broom for his continued failure to provide
adequate discovery responses, and a motion to stay case
deadlines. One of the sanctions Aztalan seeks is dismissal of
the case. There is no need to dismiss the case as a sanction
or to stay remaining scheduling deadlines, because I conclude
that Aztalan should be granted summary judgment on the merits
of Broom's claim. I will direct the clerk of court to
enter judgment in Aztalan's favor and close the case.
previously granted Aztalan's motion to compel discovery
after Broom failed to adequately answer one of Aztalan's
interrogatories and its request for production of documents.
Dkt. 24.1 also granted Aztalan's motion for reasonable
expenses incurred in bringing its motion to compel, and I
directed Aztalan to submit an itemized accounting of its
reasonable expenses. Id. Aztalan has done so,
indicating that counsel seeks $1, 427.50 in fees for 6.8
hours of time split among three lawyers. These are reasonable
figures, so I will award Aztalan the amount it seeks.
followed with another motion for sanctions, Dkt. 37, stating
that Broom never complied with my previous order by
responding to the discovery requests that I concluded he
failed to adequately answer. Broom opposes the motion by
saying that he is not withholding any information, but he
does not address Aztalan's statement that he failed to
redraft the relevant discovery responses. I will grant
Aztalan's motion because Broom failed to follow my
previous order. In addition to attorney fees and costs
incurred in bringing its motion, Aztalan seeks dismissal of
the case. As with Aztalan's previous motion, I will grant
it reasonable fees and costs. But I will deny the motion to
dismiss the case, given my summary judgment opinion below
dismissing the case.
has filed a motion to stay the remaining pretrial deadlines,
Dkt. 41, but I will deny that motion as moot because I am
granting Aztalan's motion for summary judgment.
the following from the parties' summary judgment
Gary W. Broom is a resident of Ixonia, Wisconsin. He was born
in 1953. Defendant Aztalan Engineering, Inc. is located in
Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Aztalan specializes in manufacturing
precision machined parts for various businesses, including
those in the medical, aerospace, defense, and energy
began working at Aztalan in September 2009, initially as a
temporary worker assigned by a staffing agency. In January
2010, Broom accepted a full-time position working as a
machinist on second shift in the production department. He
was responsible for setting up and operating production
equipment to make precision machined parts, and performing
periodic machine inspections.
employee handbook detailed the company's expectations for
its employees.Among other things, Aztalan explicitly
required its employees to satisfy appropriate "standards
of work quality and quantity, " "work as a team to
improve [Aztalan's] manufacturing process, " and
"act in a professional and courteous manner towards each
other and [Aztalan's] customers." See Dkt.
32-1. Any employee who demonstrated "substandard
performance or conduct[ed] or commit[ted] an act that [wa]s
offensive to the rules of common sense or decency or an act
that violate[d] a published policy or rule of Aztalan
Engineering [was subject to] corrective action, "
in 2012, Broom received a series of warnings about his job
performance. In March 2012, Broom received a performance
review stating that he needed "to work on paying closer
attention to detail to reduce rework and scrap and make sure
he thoroughly inspects his parts, " although the
performance and skills charts included in the review document
did not indicate any areas denoted as "need[ing]
emphasis/growth" or "not acceptable." Dkt.
May 2012, Mike Nebel, then Aztalan's director of
production, gave Broom a verbal warning, explaining that
Broom was producing a significant number of nonconforming
parts and that he needed to improve the quality of the parts
he was producing. Dkt. 32-3.
2013, Broom received a performance review from Nebel stating
that that Aztalan "need[ed him] to improve on the
quality of his parts. Pay more attention to detail. Don't
become the weak link in the chain." Dkt. 32-4. This time
the "Quality of work" category on his review
document was denoted as "need[ing]
emphasis/growth." Id. Broom also received a
verbal warning the day of the review because he intentionally
dawdled in going over to see Nebel, stating that he was doing
so in response to Nebel delaying a few months in holding the
states in his summary judgment opposition that he did not
receive a verbal warning. But I cannot credit this statement
because he previously testified at his deposition that Nebel
had given him a verbal warning over the telephone. Dkt. 34,
at 44-45. Under the "sham affidavit" rule, he
cannot change the version of events he set forth ...