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Jan Mattsson, An Individual v. Home Depot

June 20, 2012

JAN MATTSSON, AN INDIVIDUAL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOME DEPOT, INC., A CORPORATION DOING BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. BattagliaU.S. District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S (1) MOTION TO STRIKE AND (2) MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Docs. 28, 30]

Presently before the Court are Defendant Home Depot's (1) motion for summary judgment (Doc. 30) and (2) motion to strike Plaintiff's designation of expert witnesses Dr. Rob Gillespie and the Sharp Rees Stealy Medical Group Custodian of Records (Doc. 28). In accordance with Civil Local Rule 7.1.d.1, the Court finds these motions suitable for determination on the papers and without oral argument. Accordingly, the motion hearing scheduled for June 22, 2012 is hereby vacated.

On March 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a notice of non-opposition to the motion to strike. (Doc. 35.) The Court therefore GRANTS the motion to strike. For the reasons set forth below, the Court also GRANTS Defendant's motion for summary judgment.

I.

BACKGROUND

This is a disability discrimination case arising out of the termination of Plaintiff Jan Mattsson's employment from Home Depot. The Complaint asserts two causes of action: (1) Disability Discrimina- tion and (2) Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy. The Complaint alleges that Mattsson's disabilities are asthma and "physical disability related to his knee." In his deposition, Mattsson also claimed that he suffered from a heart attack during the last week of his employment.

Home Depot hired Mattsson as a sales associate in the millworks department on May 14, 2005. (Pl. Depo. 20:7-25.) According to Home Depot, from the first few months of his employment, Mattsson received a steady flow of documentation of performance deficiencies. Mattsson's performance decreased to unacceptable levels in 2009, resulting in his being placed on a formal Performance Improvement Plan ("PIP") on October 2, 2009, and culminating in his termination on November 23, 2009. Mattsson claims he was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated because of his disabilities. When Home Depot terminated Mattsson's employment, Bill Walker was the store manager and Paul Jimenez was the assistant store manager.

II.

LEGAL STANDARD

"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." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A genuine issue of material fact exists if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party. Miller v. Glenn Miller Prod., Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 987 (9th Cir. 2006).

In order to prevail, a party moving for summary judgment must show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact with respect to an essential element of the nonmoving party's claim, or to a defense on which the nonmoving party will bear the burden of persuasion at trial. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Fritz Cos. Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000). When the nonmoving party would bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may satisfy its burden on summary judgment by simply pointing out to the Court an absence of evidence from the nonmoving party. Miller, 454 F.3d at 987. "The moving party need not disprove the other party's case." Id.

Once the movant has made that showing, the burden shifts to the opposing party to produce "evidence that is significantly probative or more than 'merely colorable' that a genuine issue of material fact exists for trial." LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, 581 F.3d 1127, 1137 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing FTC v. , 265 F.3d 944, 954 (9th Cir. 2001)); see also Miller, 454 F.3d at 988 ("[T]he nonmoving party must come forward with more than 'the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence.'") (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)).

III.

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