United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES MAG Judge
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on
Plaintiff's Title VII and State Law Race Discrimination
Claims [Doc. No. 51] filed by Defendant Jackson Parish
Hospital Service District No. 1 d/b/a Jackson Parish Hospital
(“the Hospital”). The Hospital moves for summary
judgment dismissing Plaintiff Cora Bradford's
(“Bradford”) remaining race discrimination claims
under Title VII and state law.
October 31, 2019, Bradford filed a Memorandum in Opposition
to the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 55].
November 7, 2019, the Hospital filed a Reply Memorandum in
support of its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No.
following reasons, the Hospital's Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and Bradford's race
discrimination claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
a black female, was first employed by the Hospital on
December 1, 2015, as an accountant.
time Bradford was hired, the Hospital's Chief Financial
Officer (“CFO”) was Eric Cripps
(“Cripps”), a white male. Cripps was originally
hired as an accountant in September 2008 and promoted to
business team leader in January 2011. He resigned on
September 21, 2012, but returned to work at the hospital on
February 1, 2013. On May 4, 2015, Cripps was promoted to CFO,
with a salary of $90, 000.00. Cripps continued to serve as
CFO until December 14, 2015, when he began serving as both
the CFO and the Chief Operating Officer (“COO”).
Cripps was supervised by then-Chief Executive Officer
(“CEO”) Bobby Jordan. Cripps resigned on
September 22, 2016.
about October 14, 2016, Bradford, who has an MBA, was
promoted to CFO after Cripps' resignation. She was
promoted by interim CEO Tim Page [Doc. No. 51-3, Exh. A,
Bradford Depo., p. 2] and then supervised by CEO John Morgan.
Bradford was in charge of revenue cycle, accounts payable,
payroll, medical records, and financial reporting. She had
the duties of ensuring internal controls were adequate,
safeguarding facility assets, preparing an annual budget,
monitoring banking activities, overseeing the maintenance of
inventory and fixed assets, enhancing and developing policies
and procedures to improve the operation and effectiveness of
the Hospital, presenting financial information to the Board
of Directors, and scheduling and coordinating with the
external auditor and state agencies.
Hospital terminated Bradford on September 26, 2017, for
alleged poor job performance. The Hospital has submitted
affidavits and evidence to show that Bradford paid bills
late, failed to consistently fund the Hospital retirement
plan, failed to reconcile bank statements for six (6) months,
lacked knowledge regarding $1.6 million in the Hospital's
bank account, failed to submit IRS form 941s, and failed to
collect significant un-billed amounts owed to the Hospital.
does not deny the facts presented by the Hospital, but
contends that Cripps left the Hospital in a poor financial
condition, that he also failed to pay bills timely, that
there were accounting errors under Cripp's leadership,
and that the Hospital had an inefficient method of approving
invoices (requiring approval of department heads). She cites
to the Legislative Auditors findings of error in the amount
of $24, 000, on March 29, 2017, which dated back to fiscal
year 2016, and which Bradford contends, were based on records
compiled while Cripps was CFO. Bradford further contends that
she was treated less favorably because Cripps had been given
one year to remedy the financial problems, but that she was
terminated. Additionally, she alleges that she was treated
less favorably than Savannah Maxwell, a white female, in that
Maxwell was allowed to transfer to another position.
about October 28, 2017, Bradford filed a charge with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”),
alleging that the Hospital discriminated against her on the
basis of race and color. [Doc. No. 34, ¶ 25]. The EEOC
issued Bradford a Dismissal and Notice of Rights on August 1,
2018. [Doc. No. 34, ¶ 26].
October 23, 2018, Bradford filed her original Complaint in
this Court against the Hospital and Inquiseek, LLC
(“Inquiseek”), a consulting firm hired by the
Hospital to evaluate its accounting functions. In her
original Complaint, Bradford alleged wrongful termination,
disparate treatment, and wage disparity in violation of Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC § 2000e,
et seq. (“Title VII”); 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1981 & 1983; the Equal Pay Act of 1963
(“the Equal Pay Act”), 29 U.S.C. §206, an
amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 USC § 201; and the Louisiana
Employment Discrimination Law (“LEDL”), La. Rev.
Stat. § 23:332. See [Doc. No. 1, ¶¶
17-19]. Additionally, she asserted state tort claims against
Inquiseek based on alleged verbal abuse and threats by its
agent, Jeff Harper. She sought lost wages and benefits;
liquidated, exemplary, and punitive damages; attorneys'
fees, interests, and costs; and an injunction enjoining
Defendants from engaging in the alleged discrimination and
requiring them to take affirmative actions to redress their
November 12, 2018, the Jackson Parish Police Jury and the
Hospital filed an Answer to the Complaint in which they
clarified that they had been improperly named in the
Complaint as a single entity (the “Jackson Parish
Police Jury d/b/a Jackson Parish Hospital”),
effectively substituting themselves as Defendants. [Doc. No.
5]. On November 13, 2018, Inquiseek filed its answer. [Doc.
January 15, 2019, all three Defendants filed motions to
dismiss. The Police Jury moved to dismiss the claims against
it because it was neither Bradford's employer, nor took
any of the challenged actions. [Doc. No. 11]. Bradford filed
a statement of no opposition to this motion. [Doc. Nos. 22
&. 23]. The ...