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Rideau v. Lafayette Health Ventures, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

May 2, 2019

ALECIA M. RIDEAU, M.D.
v.
LAFAYETTE HEALTH VENTURES, INC., ET AL.

          PATRICK J. HANNA, MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending here is Plaintiff Alecia M. Rideau, M.D.'s (“Plaintiff” or “Dr. Rideau”) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 67]. Defendants Lafayette Health Ventures, Inc. (“LHVI”); Lafayette General Health System, Inc. (“LGHS”); Lafayette General Medical Center, Inc. (“LGMC”); and Al Patin (“Patin”), (collectively “Defendants”), have filed an opposition [Doc. No. 74]. Plaintiff has filed a reply [Doc. No. 81].

         For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Dr. Rideau filed this lawsuit against Defendants under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. (“FMLA”), alleging two claims for relief: (1) interference under the FMLA, in that Defendants illegally denied her FMLA leave; and (2) retaliation under the FMLA, in that Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff for exercising her FMLA rights, culminating in her termination from employment. [Doc. No. 1].

         Dr. Rideau is a radiologist whose specialty is interpreting breast imaging. [Id. at ¶ 12]. From December 1, 2014, to September 1, 2016, Plaintiff worked at the Breast Center at LGMC. [Id. at ¶ 13]. Dr. Rideau alleges that, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, took FMLA leave to have a double mastectomy, complained about retaliation associated with exercising FMLA rights, and requested a second FMLA leave for breast reconstructive surgery, Defendants terminated her employment. [Id. at ¶¶ 14, 22, 34 and 35].

         Here, Dr. Rideau seeks partial summary judgment dismissing Defendants' affirmative defenses of after-acquired evidence and failure to mitigate damages.

         Defendants do not oppose dismissal of their after-acquired evidence defense but do oppose dismissal of their mitigation of damages defense. This matter is ripe for review.

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), A[a] party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense--or the part of each claim or defense--on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The moving party bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion by identifying portions of the record which highlight the absence of genuine issues of material fact. Topalian v. Ehrmann, 2d 1125');">954 F.2d 1125, 1132 (5th Cir. 1992); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1) (AA party asserting that a fact cannot be . . . disputed must support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in the record . . .). A fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the lawsuit under applicable law in the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 242');">477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable fact finder could render a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.

         If the moving party can meet the initial burden, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Norman v. Apache Corp., 3d 1017');">19 F.3d 1017, 1023 (5th Cir. 1994). In evaluating the evidence tendered by the parties, the Court must accept the evidence of the nonmovant as credible and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. However, “a party cannot defeat summary judgment with conclusory allegations, unsubstantiated assertions, or only a scintilla of evidence.” Turner v. Baylor Richardson Med. Ctr., 3d 337');">476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.)

         B. ...


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