United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable STEPHEN V. WILSON, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
IN CHAMBERS ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGEMENT  
case was originally filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court
by Carol Pulliam ("Plaintiff) against USC Verdugo Hills
Hospital ("USC") and MSS Nurses Registry, Inc.
("MSS") (collectively, "Defendants").
Against USC, Pulliam alleges libel, slander, wrongful
termination, intentional interference with employment
contract, violation of Title VII, and violation of California
Government Code § 12940 (h). Against MSS, Pulliam
alleges libel, slander, violation of Title VII, and
violations California Government Code § 12940 (h) and
(k). Presently before the Court are both Defendants'
Motions for Summary Judgment. For the following reasons, the
Court GRANTS Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment as
to Plaintiffs Title VTJ claim, and REMANDS all remaining
claims to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
is a licensed muse who practices in California. She was
employed by MSS as an Agency Nurse for approximately 11
months, beginning September 7, 2015. Dkt. 55, p. 2. Agency
muses generally work for a single parent company and are
referred out to different medical care facilities. As part of
Plaintiff s agency assignment with MSS, Plaintiff was
assigned to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital on December 18, 2015.
at USC, a dispute arose over whether Plaintiff had failed to
record a missing pill of Tramadol, a controlled narcotic.
Plaintiff acknowledged removing the pill from the medication
dispenser but no records indicated that a patient had
received the pill. USC attempted to investigate the issue to
determine if Plaintiff had committed a record-keeping error.
Dkt. 88, p. 13. USC approached Plaintiff and asked about the
missing pill. Plaintiff did not acknowledge any discrepancy
and attempted to blame an unrelated error regarding the
medication dispenser. Dkt. 88, p. 13; Dkt. 95, p.
January 25, 2018, Plaintiff separately claims that she was
approached by an ICU charge muse who asked Plaintiff to sign
a blank incident report so that USC could fire another muse.
The charge muse indicated that she would use the incident
report to fire a muse who caused the death of a patient.
Plaintiff claims refused to sign the form because she did not
have any personal knowledge of the incident. Dkt. 95, p. 5.
Plaintiff asked the charge muse why she should sign the
report and the charge muse said that she wanted Plaintiff to
sign the incident report because Plaintiff was a
"strong, black muse." Id.
worked at USC for approximately two months. On January 27,
2016, USC asked MSS to place Plaintiff on a "Do Not
Send" list, attributing this change to the medication
error. Dkt. 88, p. 36.
it is important to note that Defendants both served Plaintiff
with requests for admission and Plaintiff did not respond to
either Defendant. As a result of Plaintiff s refusal to
respond to both Defendants' Requests for Admission, the
requests are automatically deemed admitted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
36(a)(3); Federal Trade Comm. v. Medicor LLC, 217
F.Supp.2d 1048, 1053 (CD. Cal. 2002). Accordingly, Plaintiff
has made the following admissions. Plaintiff committed a
medication error on or about January 17, 2016. (UMF 48.) MSS
placed her on a do-not-call list for legithnate,
non-discriminatory reasons. (UMF 49.) Plaintiffs race had
nothing do with MSS placing her on a do-not-call list. (UMF
50). Plaintiff was never discriminated against during her
employment with MSS. (UMF 51.) Plaintiffs employment was not
terminated because of her race. (UMF 52.) Despite the fact
that these admissions significantly determine the issues for
summary judgment in this matter, the Court finds that even
without these admissions, the Court GRANTS summary judgment
for the Defendants on the Title VTI claims.
"purpose of summary judgment is to pierce the pleadings
and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a
genuine need for trial." Matsuhito Elec. Indus. Co.
Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Summary judgment is appropriate when 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). Accordingly, summary judgment should be entered
"against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient
to establish the existence of an element essential to that
party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial." Cehtex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
seeking summary judgment bears the "initial
responsibility" of demonstrating the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact. Cehtex, 411 U.S. at
323. If the moving party meets its initial burden, the burden
then shifts to the opposing party to present specific facts
that show there is a genuine issue of a material fact. Fed R.
Civ. P. 56(e); Matsuhita, 475 U.S. at 586. An
opposing party "must do more than simply show that there
is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts."
Id. at 587.