United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
THELTON E. HENDERSON, United States District Judge.
pending before the Court in this disability discrimination
case are Defendant MV Transportation, Inc.'s motion for
summary judgment and Plaintiff Michael Mendoza's motion
for partial summary judgment.
following facts are undisputed: MV Transportation, Inc. hired
Michael Mendoza as a bus driver in training but terminated
him, before training was completed, for failing to pass a
physical. Mendoza has Type 2 diabetes, which he controls by
giving himself insulin shots several times a day. Under
federal Department of Transportation (“DOT”)
regulations, a person with an “established medical
history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently
requiring insulin for control” is not qualified to
drive commercial motor vehicles. 49 C.F.R. §
391.41(b)(3). However, individuals with diabetes who wish to
drive commercial vehicles may do so if they obtain an
exemption through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration's Federal Diabetes Exemption Program.
Mendoza has never sought or obtained such an exemption.
further undisputed that: California has adopted the medical
requirements in the DOT regulations as the “minimum
medical requirements” for receiving a California
commercial driver license (“CDL”). Cal. Code
Regs. tit. 13, § 28.18. An individual who does not meet
these medical requirements but who seeks a CDL “for
purposes other than engaging in interstate commerce, may
submit a completed medical examination form to the department
[of motor vehicles] for consideration of obtaining a state
approved medical certificate.” Cal. Code Regs. tit. 13,
§ 28.19. Mendoza applied for and obtained a California
permit to drive commercial vehicles. As part of the
application process, he completed a medical examination and
obtained a certificate stating that the medical examiner
“examined Mendoza, Michael E. in accordance with the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR
391.41-391.49) and with knowledge of the driving duties, I
find this person is qualified, and, if applicable, only when
. . . accompanied by a Diabetes waiver/exemption.” Ex.3
to Rogers Decl. at MENDOZA 000010 (ECF No. 31).
contends that this medical certificate is the “state
approved medical certificate” that allows him to drive
intrastate pursuant to California Code of Regulations title
13, section 28.19, and that he did not need a federal DOT
waiver because the job for which he was hired did not involve
interstate commerce. On its face, however, the certificate
states that Mendoza is qualified to drive only when
accompanied by a diabetes waiver or exemption, and Mendoza
testified at his deposition that he does not have any such
waiver or exemption from any state or federal agency. Mendoza
Dep. at 208:14-22 (Ex. A to Wenter Decl. (ECF No. 33-3)).
Without such a waiver, the certificate on which Mendoza
relies does not qualify him to drive commercial vehicles.
also testified at his deposition that he spoke with a person,
whose name he does not recall, at his local California
Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) office who
told him that he would not have gotten a permit if he did not
have the necessary medical paperwork on file. Id. at
157:3-158:14. Mendoza further testified that the DMV
representative told him that the representative could not
provide a copy of the paperwork because it was on file in
Sacramento. Id. at 154:14-16. These statements are
hearsay to the extent they are offered as evidence that
Mendoza had a diabetes waiver or exemption. Moreover, MV
subpoenaed Mendoza's DMV file during the course of this
litigation, and - as Mendoza does not dispute - that file
contains no diabetes waiver or exemption. Wenter Reply Decl.
¶ 5 & Exs. D & E (ECF No. 38-2).
on the evidence presented, no reasonable juror could conclude
that Mendoza had a state medical certificate finding him
qualified to drive commercial vehicles in the absence of a
diabetes waiver or exemption. Thus, even if Mendoza is
correct that he did not require a DOT exemption and only
required a state approved medical certificate to be qualified
to drive for MV, there is no triable issue of fact as to his
qualifications. Mendoza does not argue that he can prevail on
his claims without being qualified to drive commercial
vehicles, and granting summary judgment to MV therefore
appears to be appropriate. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (“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.”).
out of an abundance of caution, the Court will provide
Mendoza with one final opportunity to present evidence that
he had a medical certificate finding him qualified to drive
commercial vehicles even without a diabetes waiver or
exemption, or evidence that he actually obtained such a
waiver or exemption. Any such evidence shall be filed on or
before June 8, 2017. If no evidence is
timely submitted, the Court will grant MV's motion for
summary judgment and deny Mendoza's motion for partial
summary judgment for the reasons stated in this order.
Court finds the pending motions suitable for resolution
without oral argument. However, if either party files a
request for a hearing on or before June 9, 2017, then the
Court will hear argument on June 26, 2017, at 10:00 AM;
otherwise, the matter will be deemed submitted on the papers.
The June 12, 2017 hearing is VACATED.
 The cited version of the medical
examiner's certificate was notarized after the fact and
produced by Mendoza during discovery. MV produced an
un-notarized version of the certificate at ¶ 00146. Ex.
4 to Otten Declaration (ECF No. 33-5). Aside from the
notarization, the two versions of the ...