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WEAVER v. CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

March 4, 2004.

ROBERT WEAVER, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge

JUDGMENT

In accordance with this Court's Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment dated February 27, 2004, judgment is hereby entered.

IT IS SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED. Page 1

 
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
  On February 27, 2004, this Court heard argument on the motion by defendant, City and County of San Francisco, for summary judgment. Having carefully considered the arguments of counsel and the papers submitted, the Court hereby GRANTS the motion for summary judgment.

  BACKGROUND

  This case concerns a suit by 70 plaintiffs, employed as H-3 firefighter/paramedics by the City and County of San Francisco, to recover overtime pay under 29 U.S.C. § 207. Groothoff Decl. at 2; Ex. A to Sprague Decl. at 1. Plaintiffs are exempt from overtime pay if they qualify as "employees in fire protection activities," as defined in 29 U.S.C. § 203(y). Defendant argues H-3 firefighter/paramedics qualify as employees engaged in fire protection activities.

  The H-3 job description provides:

  Under general supervision, responds to fire alarms and engages in firefighting activities for the saving of life and property; performs fire prevention duties; maintains station quarters and equipment; staffs an ambulance to provide initial emergency medical care in a prehospital setting; evaluates and administers first aid, life support and life maintenance measures in accordance with Emergency Medical Service Agency policies and procedures, including CPR, definitive and therapeutic care at or during Page 2 transport of persons; may perform duties of either fire suppression, ambulance driver, paramedic attendant, dispatcher, or other related duties as required.

 Groothoff Decl., Ex. A. Essential duties of H-3 employees include (1) engaging in firefighting activities for the saving of life and property; (2) performing fire prevention duties; (3) operating a variety of firefighter vehicular equipment at the scene of fires; (4) participating in rescue activities; (5) performing salvage duties; (6) inspecting residences and other structures to insure compliance with fire codes, ordinances, laws, and regulations; and (7) transporting persons in need of medical care to and from medical sites. Id.; Responses to Interrogatory No. 18.

  There is conflicting evidence concerning the frequency with which H-3 employees assigned to ambulances actually engage in fire suppression activities. Defendant offers evidence to suggest H-3 employees are responsible for responding to a majority of "fire in building," "smoke in building," and "working fire" calls. Decl. of Battalion Chief Paul Chin at 1. Defendant also offers evidence demonstrating that H-3 employees assigned to an ambulance are required to perform suppression work when requested to do so. Groothoff Decl. at 3; Weaver Decl. at 2; Weaver Depo. 62:10-64:1, Ex. C to Sprague Decl. In contrast, plaintiffs offer evidence demonstrating that ambulances are not sent to every fire call and are only dispatched when there is a need for medical services. Weaver Decl. at 1-2.

  An H-3 work shift is 24 hours, off for 48 hours, with the fifth 24 hour shift followed by five days off. Weaver Decl. at 1. If H-3 employees are not subject to § 207's overtime exemption, such a schedule would entitle them to overtime pay. Now before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment; the parties only dispute whether plaintiffs have the "responsibility" to engage in fire suppression under § 203(y).

  LEGAL STANDARD

  Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323; 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). The moving party, however, has no burden to negate or Page 3 disprove matters on which the non-moving party will have the burden of proof at trial. The moving party need only point out to the Court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case. See id. at 325.

  The burden then shifts to the non-moving party to "designate `specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). To carry this burden, the non-moving party must "do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586; 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356 (1986). "The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence . . . will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party]." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252; 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2512 (1986). In a motion for summary judgment, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in its favor. See id. at 255. "Credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge . . . ruling on a motion for summary judgment." id.

  DISCUSSION

 1. Plaintiffs' claims are not barred by the doctrine of ...


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