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Kraja v. Bellagio, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 27, 2017

ANDI KRAJA, Plaintiff,
v.
BELLAGIO, LLC, a Nevada Corporation; VINCENT ROTOLO, an individual; ROE Business Organizations I-X; and DOE INDIVIDUALS I-X, Inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 101)

          ANDREW P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Andi Kraja alleges that he was harassed and passed up for a food server job at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino because he is Albanian. He brought various claims against the Bellagio and his supervisor. I previously granted summary judgment on Kraja's Title VII claims. Now I address his remaining claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) and intentional interference with a prospective business relationship.

         I dismissed Kraja's IIED and interference claims once before because they were not adequately supported;[1] discovery and an amended complaint have not changed that. The IIED claim requires Kraja to show that the defendants acted “beyond the bounds of human decency.” But Kraja points only to an incident where a sign labeled “Fat Andy” (presumably a reference to him) was left in the restaurant where he worked. As a matter of law, this incident falls short of an IIED claim.

         The intentional interference claim requires Kraja to show that the defendants intentionally interfered with his prospective business relationship. On this point, Kraja alleges that a different hotel denied him a job because of something Kraja's boss at the Bellagio had said. No reasonable jury could rely on this lone piece of evidence to find that the defendants intentionally interfered with Kraja's ability to get a different job.

         Because no triable issue of fact remains for the jury, I grant summary judgment on these claims in the defendants' favor.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In 2011, Kraja began serving food at Bellagio Hotel and Casino's Circo restaurant.[2] He alleges that over the following several years he was repeatedly bullied and harassed by his supervisor, Vincent Rotolo. I discussed those allegations at length in my prior orders[3] so I will not repeat them here. Only two incidents matter for purposes of Kraja's remaining IIED and intentional interference claims: (1) in 2013, Kraja was denied a job at another hotel because of something Rotolo allegedly said, and (2) in 2014, defendants refused to take down a sign labeled “Fat Andy” that someone had put up in Circo's serving area.

         A. Kraja is rejected for a job at another hotel.

         In early 2013, while still at the Bellagio, Kraja applied to work at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino.[4] After interviewing, Kraja received a vague email from Caesars rejecting him and suggesting that his manager at the Bellagio might have something to do with it: “[a]fter speaking to your manager Vincent [Rotolo] we won't be able to continue with your application.”[5] Kraja admits that he has no evidence of what Rotolo might have said to Caesars: “Q: Do you know what [Caesars] heard from [your manager]? Plaintiff: I have no idea. Q: You have no idea. Do you know anything else about this sentence that he says, ‘We won't be able to continue with your application?' Plaintiff: I have no idea.”[6] Kraja's manager testified that he never told Caesars anything negative about Kraja.[7] There is no other evidence suggesting that anyone at Bellagio ever spoke to Caesars or did anything else to interfere with Kraja's job prospects there.

         B. The defendants fail to take down a sign labeled “Fat Andy” in the Circo.

         About a year later, Kraja alleges that someone put up a sign in the Circo's serving area with the words “Fat Andy” written on it.[8] Kraja testified that he asked his supervisors to take the sign down multiple times, but they failed to do so.[9] Kraja adds that he was embarrassed by the sign, and that his coworkers teased him about it.[10]

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, discovery responses, and other offered evidence show “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”[11] When considering summary judgment, I view all facts and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.[12]

         If the moving party demonstrates the absence of any genuine issue of material fact, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”[13] The non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”[14] He “must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show” a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a jury could find in his favor.[15]

         A. Kraja's intentional ...


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