United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
JESSE HILLS, JR., ET AL.
LASHIP, L.L.C., ET AL.
M. DOUGLAS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Strike
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. #142] and
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiff
Eugene Watson. [Doc. #137]. Both motions are opposed, and the
parties have filed replies to both opposition memoranda. Also
before the Court is the Motion to Compel Production of
Documents [Doc. #162] filed by plaintiffs. This motion too is
opposed, and plaintiffs have replied. Having reviewed the
pleadings and the case law, the Court rules as follows.
case has a long and tortuous history. Suffice it to say, six
plaintiffs originally sued defendants LaShip, L.L.C.
(“LaShip”) and Abbie Champagne alleging,
inter alia: 1) Section 1981 Discrimination; 2)
Section 1981 Retaliation; 3) Title VII Discrimination; 4)
Title VII Retaliation; 5) State-law Discrimination; 6) Family
and Medical Leave Act Violations; 7) State-law Retaliation;
and 8) Negligent Hiring, Retention, and Supervision.
Plaintiffs also sued Abbie Champagne, an employee of LaShip,
alleging: 1) a violation of criminal statute La. Rev. Stat.
§ 14:45(A)(1); and 2) a violation of criminal statute
La. Rev. Stat. § 14:107.2(A).
motions to sever and to consolidate, the withdrawals of
numerous plaintiffs' attorneys, and motions to continue
given the awkward procedural posture of the lawsuit, four
plaintiffs remain represented by counsel, one proceeds
pro se, and the Court dismissed one from the
lawsuit. Eugene Watson is one of the plaintiffs represented
by counsel. Watson is a carpenter who worked at the shipyard
for LaShip who started in March 2009 at $16.00 an hour. He
alleges denial of pay raises and unfair pay, as well as
racist jokes and commentary. Specifically, Watson asserts
claims for (1) race and color discrimination pursuant to
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title
VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section
1981”), and La. Rev. Stat. § 23:332, (2)
retaliation pursuant to Title VII, Section 1981, and La. Rev.
Stat. § 23:332, and (3) a hostile-work environment. The
specific facts surrounding Watson's claims will be
The Motion for Summary Judgment
to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
summary judgment shall be granted “if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “Materiality” is
determined by the substantive law's identification of
which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A fact is material if it “might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law.”
dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy its summary judgment burden by merely pointing out
that the evidence in the record contains insufficient proof
concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's
claim. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986); see also
Lavespere v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 910 F.2d 167, 178
(5th Cir. 1990). Once the moving party carries its burden
pursuant to Rule 56(a), the nonmoving party must “go
beyond the pleadings and by [his] own affidavits, or by the
‘depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file,' designate ‘specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; see also Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 587 (1986); Auguster v. Vermillion Parish School
Bd., 249 F.3d 400, 402 (5th Cir. 2001).
evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
Gillis v. Louisiana, 294 F.3d 755, 758 (5th Cir.
2002), and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of that
party. Hunt v. Rapides Healthcare System, L.L.C.,
277 F.3d 757, 764 (2001). Factual controversies are to be
resolved in favor of the nonmoving party, “but only
when there is an actual controversy, that is, when both
parties have submitted evidence of contradictory
facts.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d
1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted).
the Court is to consider the full record in ruling on a
motion for summary judgment, Rule 56 does not obligate it to
search for evidence to support a party's opposition to
summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3)
(“court need consider only the cited materials”);
Malacara v. Garber, 353 F.3d 393, 405 (5th Cir.
2003) (“When evidence exists in the summary judgment
record but the nonmovant fails even to refer to it in the
response to the motion for summary judgment, that evidence is
not properly before the district court.”). Thus, the
nonmoving party should “identify specific evidence in
the record, and articulate” precisely how that evidence
supports his claims. Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527,
1537 (5th Cir. 1994).
Law and Analysis
Claim for ...