United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is defendant Southwest Gas Corporation's
(“defendant”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF
No. 24). Pro se plaintiff Sharon Jones
(“plaintiff”) filed a response (ECF No. 28), to
which defendant replied (ECF No. 32).
before the court is plaintiff's motion for leave to file
a sur reply. (ECF No. 33).
before the court is defendant's motion to strike motion
for leave to file sur reply. (ECF No. 34). Plaintiff did not
respond, and the time to do so has passed.
instant action arises from defendant's termination of
plaintiff. Plaintiff was a “new business
representative” for defendant. (ECF No. 24 at 3-4). As
a new business representative, plaintiff performed a variety
of administrative tasks related to new customers.
Id. at 4. Plaintiff oversaw defendant's new
customer operations in southern Nevada. Id.
August 2017, plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle
accident. (ECF No. 1 at 6). In October 2017, plaintiff
developed pseudotumor cerebri, a neurological condition, and
informed defendant that she would not be able to work for
several days. (ECF No. 24 at 4). Defendant contacted
plaintiff and informed her that she “may be entitled to
a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for an accommodation or
extended leave of absence.” Id. Defendant
provided plaintiff with a request for accommodation form.
daughter sent defendant the completed request for
accommodation form on October 16, 2017. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff's healthcare provider, Dr. Kimberly Adams,
indicated that plaintiff had a physical or mental impairment
and a chronic medical condition that was likely to last up to
a year. Id. Dr. Adams further noted that plaintiff
was unable to perform any of her job functions and would
return to work on October 27, 2017. Id. Dr. Adams
said the October 27 date was subject to change. Id.
Dr. Adams later extended plaintiff's return-to-work date
to December 2, 2017, and then to January 1, 2018.
Id. at 5-6. On both occasions, Dr. Adams said
plaintiff's return-to-work date was subject to change.
received plaintiff's last request for accommodation-which
listed the tentative January 1, 2018, return date-on November
27, 2017. Id. at 6. Plaintiff's return-to-work
date had already been pushed out, the January date was
“subject to change, ” and plaintiff's
condition could last up to a year. Id. at 7. In
light of those facts, defendant determined that it could not
reasonably accommodate plaintiff's request for an
undetermined and indeterminable amount of leave. Id.
On November 29, 2017, defendant terminated plaintiff
effective December 1. Id. at 8.
informed plaintiff that she would be eligible to apply for
vacant positions and, for six months after her termination,
plaintiff would be considered an “internal
candidate.” Id. This gave plaintiff access to
and the opportunity to apply for positions that were not
posted externally. Id. On March 16, 2018-more than
two months after plaintiff's latest return-to-work
date-plaintiff informed defendant that she had been released
to return to work and was interested in applying for a
obtaining a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), plaintiff filed
the instant action in state court, alleging a violation of
the ADA, retaliation in violation of the ADA, negligent
infliction of emotional distress, and negligent training
and/or supervision. (ECF No. 1). Defendant timely removed the
action. Id. . . . . . .
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when
the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and 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).
purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should
be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v.
Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990).
However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the
nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.
determining summary judgment, a court applies a
burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy
its initial burden. “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 ...