United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
D. CAIN, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [doc. 33] filed by
defendant Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC ("Wal-Mart") in
response to the amended wrongful termination suit filed by
plaintiff Sonya Carr. Carr opposes the motion, which is now
ripe for review.
suit began with a pro se complaint filed in the 33rd
Judicial District Court, Allen Parish, Louisiana, by Sonya
Carr. See doc. 1, att. 3. There Carr alleged that
she had worked at a Wal-Mart store in Oakdale, Louisiana,
from February 2006 until she was terminated on October 4,
2016. Id. at ¶¶ 2-3. She also alleged that
store manager Brent Dietz fired her out of personal animus,
as demonstrated by a write-up he issued to her in July 2016
and based on his contention that she could no longer do her
job after she took a few weeks of medical leave in September
2016. Id. at ¶¶ 3-6, 9. Accordingly, she
filed suit against Wal-Mart on October 3, 2017, asserting
that she was "terminated due to discrimination."
Id. at ¶ 9.
removed the matter to this court on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Doc. 1. It moved to
dismiss the suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), based on Carr's failure to demonstrate how her
termination violated any state or federal law. Doc. 5.
Counsel enrolled on Carr's behalf and opposed the motion.
Docs. 18, 19. Counsel asserted that Carr's complaint
provided adequate support for a claim of wrongful termination
under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29
U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. Doc. 18, p. 2. The court
disagreed, finding the allegations were inadequate to support
such a claim, but allowed Carr time to amend her complaint.
Docs. 20, 21.
filed an amended petition through counsel. Doc. 22. There she
alleged that (1) her September 2016 leave was covered by
FMLA; (2) she had been certified as eligible to return to
work on September 26, 2016; and (3) she was nonetheless
terminated for inability to perform her work on October 4,
2016. Id. Accordingly, she claimed that Wal-Mart
terminated her in retaliation for exercising her right to
leave under the FMLA. Id.
now moves for summary judgment. Doc. 33. It asserts that Carr
was fired for insubordination and poor job performance, and
that she cannot provide any evidence of retaliatory motive.
Doc. 33, att. 1. Carr opposes the motion and Wal-Mart has
filed a reply. Docs. 38, 39.
Summary Judgment Standard
should grant a motion for summary judgment when 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." FED. R. Civ. P. 56. The party moving for
summary judgment is initially responsible for identifying
portions of pleadings and discovery that show the lack of a
genuine issue of material fact. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V
Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995). The court must
deny the motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to
meet this burden. Id.
movant makes this showing, however, the burden shifts to the
non-moving party to "set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)
(quotations omitted). This requires more than mere
allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings.
Instead, the nonmovant must submit "significant
probative evidence" in support of his claim. State
Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman,896 F.2d 116, 118 (5th
Cir. 1990). "If the evidence is merely colorable, or ...