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Hansen v. Robinson Nevada Mining Co.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 6, 2014

DANIEL HANSEN, Plaintiff(s),
v.
ROBINSON NEVADA MINING COMPANY, Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendant Robinson Nevada Mining Company's ("Robinson") motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 35). Plaintiff Daniel Hansen filed a response in opposition (doc. # 39), and Robinson filed a reply (doc. # 40).

1. Background

In the instant action, plaintiff Daniel Hansen seeks to recover damages as a result of Robinson's alleged discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), and under Nevada's anti-discrimination statutes, NRS § 613.330, et. seq., as well as Robinson's alleged FMLA interference by failing to inform Hansen of his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(1) ("FMLA"). Hansen alleges that on May 4, 2011, Robinson terminated his employment as a result of his disability or perceived disability. Hansen also alleges that Robinson never offered or provided information concerning his rights under the FMLA.

In the instant motion, Robinson argues that Hansen's claim under the ADA fails because Hansen was not "qualified under the ADA and additionally was not discharged because of a disability." (Doc. # 35). Specifically Robinson argues Hansen's employment was terminated because he was unable to perform the essential functions of his position or any vacant position that he was qualified for, with or without a reasonable accommodation. (Doc. # 35).

Robinson also argues that Hansen's claim under NRS 613.330 fails for the same reasons as under the ADA, and alternatively that the claim is time-barred. (Doc. # 35).

Robinson argues that Hansen's claim under the FMLA fails because Hansen was not an eligible employee under the FMLA, Hansen has failed to present evidence of a prima facie case of FMLA interference, and alternatively that the claim is time-barred. (Doc. # 35).

2. Legal Standard

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case." C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc. , 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

In contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp. , 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co. , 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that "the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n , 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List , 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex Corp. , 477 U.S. at 324.

At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is "to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving party is ...


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