United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS United States District Judge
litigant Sha'lena Ellis sued Southern California
Permanente Medical Group and her three supervisors
(“Kaiser”) for, among other things,
discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination when
Kaiser fired her after ten years of employment. Kaiser says
it fired Ellis because of her “chronic tardiness and a
spate of errors in administering patient vaccines and
submitting laboratory samples.” Ellis says Kaiser
retaliated against her because she's black, disabled, and
was pregnant. Ellis moved for summary judgment on her 14
claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, Title VII,
and the ADA.
judgment is appropriate where the moving party demonstrates
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). Ellis hasn't offered any
argument, authority, or evidence that shows her claims are
undisputed. The motion for summary judgment is denied.
year, the Court granted Ellis's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
The statute requires the Court to “dismiss the case at
any time” if the action “fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted.” And the Court
“may dismiss a claim sua sponte” when the party
“cannot possibly win relief.” Omar v.
Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987).
Some of Ellis's claims fall into this category.
The § 1983 Claims
Court dismisses all of Ellis's § 1983 claims because
Kaiser is a private employer-none of the defendants were
acting “under color of state law” or engaged in
state action. Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830,
838 (1982); Tate v. Kaiser Found. Hosps., 2014 WL
176625, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 15, 2014) (granting summary
judgment on § 1983 claims because Kaiser not a state
actor). The Court dismisses claims 1-3 and 11-14 with
The Title VII and ADA claims
has no claims against her supervisors in their individual
capacity under Title VII or the ADA. Walsh v. Nevada
Dep't of Human Res., 471 F.3d 1033, 1038 (9th Cir.
2006). But Ellis can sue her supervisors in their official
capacity as agents of Kaiser. Miller v. Maxwell's
Int'l Inc., 991 F.2d 583, 587 (9th Cir. 1993);
Gary v. Long, 59 F.3d 1391, 1399 (D.C. Cir. 1995)
(“a supervisory employee may be joined as a party
defendant in a Title VII action” but is “viewed
as being sued in his capacity as the agent of the employer,
who is alone liable”). Since Ellis is a pro se
litigant, and Kaiser hasn't moved to dismiss, the Court
charitably interprets her complaint as suing her supervisors
in their official capacity as representatives of Kaiser and
refrains from dismissing those claims at this time.
* * *
the only causes of action remaining are claims 4-10 under
§ 1981, Title VII, and the ADA.
The Motion to Add Defendants
also seeks to add another five defendants in their official
capacity to the action. Courts should freely give leave to
amend. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15. But ...