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Tanya Lewis v. District of Columbia

June 14, 2011

TANYA LEWIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

: Re Document No.: 83

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RELIEF UPON RECONSIDERATION;GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the court on the defendant's second motion for relief upon reconsideration of a September 14, 2009 ruling, in which the court granted partial summary judgment to the plaintiff on her discrimination claims, and the defendant's motion for summary judgment in response to the plaintiff's second amended complaint. For the reasons discussed below, the court denies the defendant's second motion for reconsideration and grants in part and denies in part the defendant's motion for summary judgment.*fn1

II. ANALYSIS

A. The Court Denies the Defendant's Motion for Relief Upon Reconsideration

The defendant has filed a second motion for relief upon reconsideration of the court's September 14, 2009 ruling, in which the court granted summary judgment to the plaintiff on the issue of the defendant's liability for gender discrimination. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. Regarding Pl.'s 2d Am. Compl. & Mot. for Relief Upon Reconsideration ("Def.'s Mot.") at 14-16.*fn2 In its motion, the defendant argues, yet again, that the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of gender discrimination because she failed to show that she was treated differently from a similarly situated male applicant. Id. The plaintiff responds that the defendant has advanced no new arguments or authority justifying such relief.*fn3 See Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 21-24.

In denying the defendant's first motion for relief upon reconsideration, in which the defendant raised the same arguments asserted in the motion for reconsideration now before the court, the court explained that "[t]his Circuit has squarely and repeatedly rejected the notion that a plaintiff must show that she was treated differently from a similarly situated individual outside her protected class to establish a prima facie case of discrimination." Mem. Op. (Sept. 8, 2010) at 6-7 (citing Ginger v. District of Columbia, 527 F.3d 1340, 1344 (D.C. Cir. 2008); Czekalski v. Peters, 475 F.3d 360, 365-66 (D.C. Cir. 2007); Mastro v. Potomac Elec. Power Co., 447 F.3d 843, 851 (D.C. Cir. 2006); George v. Leavitt, 407 F.3d 405, 412-13 (D.C. Cir. 2005); Stella v. Mineta, 284 F.3d 135-146 (D.C. Cir. 2002)). The court further noted that Teneyck v. Omni Shoreham Hotel, 365 F.3d 1139 (D.C. Cir. 2004), the principal authority on which the defendant relied in its earlier motion, and which the defendant cites again in its second motion for relief upon reconsideration, "expressly rejected the position offered by the defendant." Mem. Op. (Sept. 8, 2010) at 7; see also Teneyck, 365 F.3d at 1150 ("[I]n order to make out a prima facie case, it is not necessary for an African-American to show that she was disadvantaged by the employer's hiring of a Caucasian applicant, or for a female plaintiff to show that a male was hired in her stead.") (emphasis added).

The defendant's inexplicable invocation of the same baseless arguments, even in the face of overwhelming binding authority contrary to its position, has consumed more than its share of the court's time. See Def.'s Mot. at 14-16. The defendant's second motion for relief upon reconsideration is denied.*fn4

B. The Court Grants in Part and Denies in Part the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

1. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings and evidence show "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(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Diamond v. Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C. Cir. 1995). To determine which facts are "material," a court must look to the substantive law on which each claim rests. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A "genuine dispute" is one whose resolution could establish an element of a claim or defense and, therefore, affect the outcome of the action. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all justifiable inferences in the nonmoving party's favor and accept the nonmoving party's evidence as true. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. A nonmoving party, however, must establish more than "the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position. Id. at 252. To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must show that the nonmoving party "fail[ed] to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at ...


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