United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Patrick Hanlon, United States District Judge
Seneff brought this age-discrimination suit after Indiana
University Health, Inc. (“IU Health”) terminated
her employment. IU Health has filed a motion for summary
judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). Dkt.
. For the reasons that follow, that motion is
IU Health has moved for summary judgment under Rule 56(a),
the Court views and recites the evidence “in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party and draw[s] all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor.”
Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009)
Ms. Seneff's employment with IU Health
Seneff started working at Methodist Hospital-which later
became part of IU Health-in 1979. Dkt. 39-16 at 4
(Seneff Dep. at 19). She started as a radiology technologist
and then worked as an ultrasound technologist. Dkt. 39-16
at 4-5 (Seneff Dep. at 19-20). Around 1994, she became
the Team Leader for IU Health's Radiology Ultrasound
Department-a position she held until her termination.
Dkt. 39-16 at 5-6 (Seneff Dep. at 20-21).
Leader, Ms. Seneff's responsibilities included
supervising, training, and disciplining employees. Dkt.
39-16 at 21, 76-79 (Seneff Dep. at 76, 176-179). Her
supervisor was Wendy McDougall, the manager of the radiology
department. Dkt. 39-16 at 7 (Seneff Dep. at 38);
dkt. 39-17 at 2 (McDougall Dep. at 10).
The incident before Ms. Seneff's termination
February 22, 2017, Ms. Seneff was helping Michelle Davis, a
newer employee, get experience with certain types of exams.
Dkt. 39-16 at 24-25 (Seneff Dep. at 79-80). When Ms.
Seneff had trouble with a scanning machine, Ms. Davis said
that it worked fine the day before. Ms. Seneff responded:
“well it doesn't seem to be working today.”
Dkt. 39-16 at 28-29 (Seneff Dep. at 84- 85). Upset
by that comment, Ms. Davis went to a bathroom and cried.
Dkt. 39-18 at 40-41 (Davis Dep. at 40-41).
other employees told Ms. McDougall that Ms. Davis was upset.
Dkt. 39-17 at 28-29 (McDougall Dep. at 60-61). Ms.
McDougall found Ms. Davis and asked her what happened.
Dkt. 39-17 at 29 (McDougall Dep. at 61). Ms.
McDougall then met with Ms. Seneff. Ms. McDougall yelled at
Ms. Seneff, told her that Ms. Davis was upset, and told her
to go home-with no opportunity to explain. Dkt. 39-16 at
33-34, 60 (Seneff Dep. at 89-90, 128).
prepared to leave, Ms. Seneff saw Ms. Davis again and
apologized twice, then said that she was going home. Dkt.
39-16 at 36-40 (Seneff Dep. at 92-96). This conversation
also upset Ms. Davis, causing her to cry again. Dkt.
39-16 at 38 (Seneff Dep. at 94); dkt. 39-17 at
33 (McDougall Dep. at 74).
McDougall then called and told human resources representative
Darrell Daniel what happened. Dkt. 39-17 at 34-36
(McDougall Dep. at 75- 77). She followed that call with an
email asking for advice about “the appropriate number
of days for suspension for an employee incident that
happened.” Dkt. 39-14. Mr. Daniel recommended
Ms. Seneff's termination. Dkt. 39-17 at 39
(McDougall Dep. at 81). Ms. McDougall went to her direct
supervisor, Todd Stanley, and tried to prevent Ms.
Seneff's termination but was unsuccessful. Dkt. 39-17
at 41-44 (McDougall Dep. at 83, 86-87, 89). Ultimately,
Mr. Daniel, Mr. Stanley, and IU Health COO Parveen Chand
approved Ms. Seneff's termination. Dkt. 39-17 at
41-44 (McDougall Dep. at 83, 86-87, 89). IU Health
terminated Ms. Seneff when she returned to work on February
27, 2017. Dkt. 39-16 at 52-53 (Seneff Dep. at
Ms. McDougall's comments about Ms. Seneff and other
before the incident between Ms. Seneff and Ms. Davis, Ms.
Seneff and Ms. McDougall attended a supervisor meeting.
Dkt. 39-16 at 42, 64 (Seneff Dep. at 98, 133). Ms.
McDougall said in a mean tone that she missed Ms.
Seneff's birthday-“the big one”-and that
maybe Ms. Seneff could retire early. Dkt. 39-16 at
64 (Seneff Dep. ...