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Musacco v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 18, 2017

LOUIE MUSACCO, Plaintiff,
v.
OLD DOMINION FREIGHT LINE, INC., et al. Defendants.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND

          FREDERICK F. MUMM United States Magistrate Judge

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Louie Musacco (“Plaintiff”) filed his Complaint on April 20, 2017, in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles. On August 28, 2015, defendant Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., (“Old Dominion”) removed the action to this Court.

         The parties thereafter consented to proceed before the undersigned Magistrate Judge for all purposes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 73(b).

         On June 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand, arguing that the Court does not have jurisdiction because defendant Willie Bunton (“Bunton”) and Plaintiff are both California citizens.

         Defendants opposed Plaintiff's motion on June 27, 2017. In their opposition, Defendants assert the Court should disregard Bunton's citizenship in determining jurisdiction because he is a “sham” defendant.

         Plaintiff replied to Defendants' arguments on June 30, 2017.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was an employee of Old Dominion beginning in approximately February, 1998. (Compl. ¶ 8.) During at least part of his employment with Old Dominion, Plaintiff suffered from Macular Degeneration, [1] which impaired his vision. (Id.) In order to minimize the effects of his condition, Plaintiff accommodated himself by sitting closer to his computer screen while at work. (Id.)

         In June, 2014, defendant Bunton, one Plaintiff's supervisors, approached Plaintiff and asked him why he had not gone to the eye doctor for help with his Macular Degeneration and resulting vision problems. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Bunton had apparently approached Plaintiff about his vision on numerous prior occasions. (See id.) Plaintiff reminded Bunton, as he had on the prior occasions, that he suffers from Macular Degeneration and requires certain accommodations like sitting close to his computer screen. (Id.)

         On or about July 22, 2014, Bunton held a meeting with Plaintiff during which he “wrote [Plaintiff] up for poor performance caused by allegedly incomplete work.” (Compl. ¶ 10.) In response, Plaintiff again told Bunton that he had vision problems. (Id.) Bunton replied that Plaintiff should visit an eye doctor. (Id.) Plaintiff agreed to do so. (Id.)

         On some date shortly after Plaintiff's meeting with Bunton, Plaintiff was called into work at 12:00 a.m. despite the fact that Plaintiff normally began work at 3:00 a.m. (Compl. ¶ 11.) Once Plaintiff arrived at work, his supervisor (in this instance, Hector Torres) gave Plaintiff a stack of shipping manifests to review. (Id.) According to Plaintiff, reviewing manifests was generally outside the scope of his work. (Id.) Torres then criticized Plaintiff for taking too long to complete the tasks. (Id.) Plaintiff responded that he worked slowly because of his vision problems. (Id.)

         On July 30, 2014, Plaintiff was called into a meeting with Bunton. (Compl. ¶ 12.) Therein, Bunton stated that Torres was concerned about Plaintiff's vision. (Id.) Bunton further stated that he wanted Plaintiff to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor and ordered Plaintiff to report to him the eye doctor's findings. (Id.) After Plaintiff arrived home later that day, Bunton called Plaintiff and told him that Old Dominion had placed Plaintiff on a thirteen-week forced medical leave because Plaintiff “was a liability” to the company's operations. (Compl. ¶ 13.) Bunton also reminded Plaintiff that he expected to hear about the outcome of Plaintiff's appointment with his eye doctor. (Id.)

         At some point between July 30, 2014, and October 20, 2014, Plaintiff visited an eye doctor. (Compl. ¶ 14.) The doctor apparently informed Plaintiff and either Old Dominion or Bunton that Plaintiff could return to work if he were ...


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