United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
LORETTA C. ADIGUN, Plaintiff,
EXPRESS SCRIPTS, INC., Defendant.
GODBEY WOOD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are Defendant Express Scripts, Inc.'s
Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. No. 73) and Plaintiff
Loretta C. Adigun's Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No.
71). These motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for
review. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion
is GRANTED, and Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED.
Adigun sued Express Scripts, Inc. on March 21, 2016, and
amended her complaint on June 13, 2016. Dkt. Nos. 1, 7.
Adigun alleges that Defendant violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA") by denying her request for
a reasonable accommodation in the form of additional medical
leave. Id. She was diagnosed with coronary artery
disease, which limits her ability to breathe, walk, bend, and
lift. Dkt. No. 7 ¶ 3. After Plaintiff suffered a heart
attack on August 23, 2014, she was on Family and Medical
Leave Act ("FMLA") leave through November 14, 2014.
Dkt. No. 73-2, p. 146. She also received paid short-term
disability leave from her employer through November 5, 2014,
after being granted multiple extensions. Dkt. No. 73-2,
166:11-167:4, 176:1-7, 95:10-24.
the parties dispute the date of Plaintiff's termination,
they agree that she was employed at least until February 25,
2015. Dkt. No. 73-2, 75:18-20. That same month, Adigun
applied for Social Security Disability Insurance
("SSDI") benefits based on her heart attack. Dkt.
No. 66-1, p. 11. In that application, Plaintiff supplied,
''No." next to "Now able to work."
Id., p. 5. The Social Security Administration
("SSA") determined that Plaintiff was disabled and
granted her monthly SSDI benefits, which she continues to
receive (at least until the time of her deposition in this
case). Dkt. No. 73-2, 229:9-11, 234:12-14.
filed a motion for summary judgment with this Court on
December 19, 2016. Dkt. No. 21. The Court denied that motion
on March 30, 2017, explaining that the motion was premature
because discovery had not been concluded. Dkt. No. 49.
Plaintiff then asked the Court to reconsider that denial in a
motion for reconsideration filed on April 20, 2017. Dkt. No.
50. The Court denied that motion, too, explaining that
Plaintiff had not met the standards for reconsideration.
Diet. No. 58. Plaintiff then filed a new motion for summary
judgment on May 22, 2017. Dkt. No. 59. This Court denied that
motion, too, on June 27, 2017, because discovery was not
completed. Dkt. No. 69. A few days later, on July 3, 2017,
Plaintiff filed the present Motion for Reconsideration.
Discovery is now complete.
party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986). To satisfy this burden, the movant must show the
court that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case. Id. at 325. If the
moving party discharges this burden, the burden shifts to the
nonmovant to go beyond the pleadings and present affirmative
evidence to show that a genuine issue of fact does exist.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 257
(1986). The nonmovant may satisfy this burden in two ways.
First, the nonmovant "may show that the record in fact
contains supporting evidence, sufficient to withstand a
directed verdict motion, which was 'overlooked or
ignored' by the moving party, who has thus failed to meet
the initial burden of showing an absence of evidence."
Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1116
(11th Cir. 1993) (quoting Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
332 (Brennan, J., dissenting)). Second, the nonmovant
"may come forward with additional evidence sufficient to
withstand, a directed verdict motion at trial based on the
alleged evidentiary deficiency." Id. at 1117.
Where the nonmovant instead attempts to carry this burden
with nothing more "than a repetition of his conclusional
allegations, summary judgment for the defendants [is] not
only proper but required." Morris v. Ross, 663
F.2d 1032, 1033-34 (11th Cir. 1981).
Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion
argues that it is entitled to summary judgment because it is
not Plaintiff's employer, that Plaintiff did not request
a reasonable accommodation from it, and that Plaintiff is not
a "qualified individual." The Court takes up each
argument in turn in finding that Defendant's Motion
should be granted.
Identity of Plaintiff's employer
plaintiff may only bring an employment discrimination
claim-including a claim under the ADA-against her employer.
42 U.S.C. § 12111(2) & (4) ('''[C]overed
entity' means an employer . . . ."). Parent
companies of an entity are not the entity itself. Hegre
v. Alberto-Culver USA, Inc., 508 F.Supp.2d 1320, 1333-34
(S.D. Ga. 2007), aff'd 275 F.Appx. 873 (11th
Cir. 2008) (dismissing an ADA claim against a parent entity
who was not the plaintiff's actual employer).
undisputed evidence in this case shows that Express Scripts,
Inc. has never employed Plaintiff. Defendant has brought
forth unrefuted proof that Plaintiff was employed by Express
Scripts Services Company. In support of this contention,
Defendant points to Plaintiff's paychecks, IRS W-2 forms,
earnings statements, and employment benefits, all of which
identify Express Scripts Services Company as Plaintiff's
employer. Dkt. No. 73-3, pp. 8-13. She cannot claim ignorance
of her employer's identity in light of all these
documents evidencing it with which she regularly interacted.
See Allocco v. City of Coral Gables, 221 F.Supp.2d
1317, 1359 (S.D. Fla. 2002), aff'd 88 F.Appx.
380 (11th Cir. 2003) ("The plaintiffs cannot justifiably