United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MARSHA L. GRUBB, Plaintiff,
COOK MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC, and PENNY KING Defendant.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants Cook Medical Technologies,
(“Cook”) and Penny King. [Filing No.
37.] Plaintiff Marsha Grubb alleges that Cook terminated
her employment in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and state law. [Filing No. 1.] She
further alleges that Ms. King battered her, causing Ms. Grubb
severe emotional distress. [Filing No. 1.]
Defendants now seek summary judgment on all claims, arguing
that Ms. Grubb failed to produce any evidence in support of
her claims. [Filing No. 38 at 2.] For the following
reasons, the Court grants the Motion for Summary Judgment.
[Filing No. 37.]
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether
a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely
disputed, the party must support the asserted fact by citing
to particular parts of the record, including depositions,
documents, or affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party
can also support a fact by showing that the materials cited
do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute
or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in
opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result in
the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). In other
words, while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not
outcome-determinative. Montgomery v. American Airlines
Inc., 626 F.3d 382, 389 (7th Cir. 2010). Fact disputes
that are irrelevant to the legal question will not be
considered. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d
890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to
summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller,
570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court views the record
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws
all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717
(7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility
determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are
left to the fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761
F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court need only consider
the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals has repeatedly assured the district
courts that they are not required to “scour every inch
of the record” for evidence that is potentially
relevant to the summary judgment motion before them.
Grant v. Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d
562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017). Any doubt as to the existence of
a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving
party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614 F.3d 684,
691 (7th Cir. 2010).
Grubb has not responded to Cook's Motion, and the time to
do so has passed. The Court may therefore summarily rule on
Cook's Motion, pursuant to Local Rule 7-1(c)(4), as Ms.
Grubb's silence results in waiver of any argument in
opposition to Cook's Motion. See Bonte v.
U.S. Bank, N.A., 624 F.3d 461, 466 (7th Cir. 2010)
(“Failure to respond to an argument…results in
waiver.”) Furthermore, Ms. Grubb's lack of response
means that she concedes Cook's version of events, and the
Court resolves the Motion on the evidence submitted by Cook.
See Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th
Cir. 2003) (“Failure to respond by the nonmovant as
mandated by the local rules results in an admission.”).
The Court continues to apply the above-articulated summary
judgment standard, but Ms. Grubb's failure to comply with
the Local Rules in this respect “reduc[es] the
pool” from which the facts and inferences may be drawn.
See Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th
Cook's Policies and Procedures
a manufacturer of medical devices located in Bloomington,
Indiana. [Filing No. 1 at 3.] Cook contends
that it is an equal opportunity employer and does not
discriminate against its employees on the basis of
disability. [Filing No. 38 at 2.] It has supplied
portions of its employee manual detailing its
anti-discrimination policies. The employee manual contains an
Equal Employment Opportunity policy which provides that:
Cook is an equal opportunity employer. We believe in the
dignity and worth of every individual. We will not
discriminate against or favor any employee or applicant, or
make any decision or take any action, because of race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation,
disability, veteran status, or any other
characteristic protected by law.
[Filing No. 37-3 at 2 (emphasis added); Filing
No. 37-6 at 6; see Filing No. 37-2 at 5.]
Additionally, Cook's employee manual also includes an
avenue by which employees may communicate work-related
concerns to the appropriate individuals:
Cook encourages employees to communicate with management
concerning work- related issues. If an employee has a
work-related issue, the employee should bring it to the
attention of a personnel advisor, a member of management, or
Human Resources. Cook will take the appropriate steps to
investigate and resolve the issue.
[Filing No. 37-6 at 8.] Cook's employee manual
also provides for the following progressive disciplinary
When a rule or policy has been broken, or an employee has
exhibited unacceptable behavior, disciplinary action to
prevent a recurrence is required. Cook generally recognizes
four steps in the disciplinary process:
1. First occurrence: documented verbal warning
2. Second occurrence: written warning
3. Third occurrence: formal written warning
4. Fourth occurrence: suspension without pay or termination
Management reserves the right, at its discretion, to bypass
any of the above steps and utilize a higher level of
discipline for any given occurrence or accumulation of
occurrences. The severity of discipline will depend upon the
severity of the occurrence as well as the employee's work
[Filing No. 37-6 at 31-32.]
Ms. Grubb's ...