United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
YVONNE L. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
ALDRICH CHEMICAL CO. LLC, Defendant.
Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge
was allowed to proceed on claims for wrongful termination, in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), and for retaliation under the ADA and
the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), relating
to her former employment with Defendant. Defendant filed a
motion for summary judgment on June 14, 2019. (Docket #25).
Along with the motion, Defendant filed a supporting statement
of facts. (Docket #26-1).
to that statement, the facts are as follows. During her time
with Defendant, Plaintiff did not get along well with her
supervisor, Andrea Bralick (“Bralick”). Things
came to a head on August 30, 2017, when Plaintiff sent an
e-mail to Bralick criticizing her communication and
leadership skills. Plaintiff then had a meeting with a
higher-level supervisor about Plaintiff's behavior. She
clocked out of work after the meeting and never returned.
After Plaintiff missed three days of work, Defendant sent her
a letter informing her that she had been terminated. This was
consistent with Defendant's no-call, no-show policy, of
which Plaintiff was aware.
Plaintiff's disability-related issues, Defendant notes
that she was granted multiple leaves of absence. Indeed, she
was never denied any request for leave while she was employed
with Defendant. Defendant further states that it accommodated
all of her medical restrictions. Though Plaintiff contends
that all of her problems stemmed from Bralick, she conceded
in her deposition that Bralick never made a negative comment
about Plaintiff's leaves of absence. Also in her
deposition, Plaintiff affirmatively stated that she was fired
because of her August 30 e-mail.
contends that these facts warrant judgment in its favor on
all of Plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff cannot prove her ADA
claim because, inter alia, the reason she was fired
was her absences, having nothing to do with her disability.
See Ortiz v. Werner Enters., Inc., 834 F.3d 760, 765
(7th Cir. 2016) (Plaintiff must show that her “race,
ethnicity, sex, religion, or other proscribed factor
caused the discharge or other adverse employment
action.”) (emphasis added). As to the retaliation
claims, Defendant argues that Plaintiff was not meeting
Defendant's expectations-a required element of the
claims-because she simply walked out and never came back.
21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a two-page affidavit which appears
to be responsive to Defendant's motion. (Docket #27).
Therein, she offers a few statements about evidence and
factual issues. Id. The affidavit contains no
citations of any kind or meaningful responses to
Defendant's legal or factual arguments. Id. Most
importantly, Plaintiff entirely failed to respond to
Defendant's statement of facts in a manner that complies
with the applicable procedural rules. Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56 and Civil Local Rule 56 describe in detail the
form and contents of a proper summary judgment submission. In
particular, they state that a party opposing a summary
judgment motion must file
(B) a concise response to the moving party's statement of
facts that must contain:
(i) a reproduction of each numbered paragraph in the moving
party's statement of facts followed by a response to each
paragraph, including, in the case of any disagreement,
specific references to the affidavits, declarations, parts of
the record, and other supporting materials relied upon[.]
Civ. L. R. 56(b)(2)(B)(i); see Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(1)(A) (“A party asserting that a fact . . . is
genuinely disputed must support the assertion by: (A) citing
to particular parts of materials in the record[.]”).
than comply with this rule, Plaintiff merely requests that
the Court “go over all the evidence I have submitted to
support my truth.” (Docket #27 at 2). The Court can do
no such thing. Though the Court is required to liberally
construe a pro se plaintiff's filings, it cannot
act as her lawyer, and it cannot delve through the record to
find favorable evidence for her. Even if such relevant and
favorable evidence could be located in the record, the Court
cannot compile that evidence for her and construct legal or
factual arguments on her behalf. In other words, the Court
cannot abandon its role as a neutral decision maker and
become an advocate for one party.
non-compliance with the procedural rules is unacceptable. By
filing her lawsuit, she agreed to become familiar with those
rules and agreed to be bound by them. Indeed, she was twice
provided a copy of the rules applicable to summary judgment
proceedings: once by the Court, (Docket #22), and once by
Defendant along with its motion, (Docket #25-1, #25-2, and
#25-3). Despite being repeatedly warned of the strictures of
summary judgment procedure, Plaintiff ignored those rules by
failing to properly dispute Defendant's proffered facts
with citations to relevant, admissible evidence. Smith v.
Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). Thus, the Court
deems Defendant's facts undisputed for purposes of
deciding Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Civ. L. R. 56(b)(4);
Hill v. Thalacker, 210 Fed.Appx. 513, 515 (7th Cir.
2006) (noting that district courts have discretion to enforce
procedural rules against pro se litigants).
on the undisputed facts presented by Defendant, and without
legal argument to the contrary from Plaintiff, summary
judgment is clearly appropriate in Defendant's favor. The
Court will, therefore, dismiss each of Plaintiff's
claims, and this action generally, with prejudice.
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant's motion
for summary judgment (Docket #25) be and the same is hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action be and the same