United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division
LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE
Nanine Boon filed this pro se action against Defendants Clark
Foods, Inc., IHOP 36-144, Sunshine Partners, and IHOP
Corporation, alleging that during her employment as a server
at an IHOP restaurant located at 181 West Hill Avenue in
Valdosta, Georgia she was discriminated against on the basis
of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 621,
et seq. Defendants Sunshine Restaurant Partners, LLP
(“Sunshine Partners”) and International House of
Pancakes, LLC (“IHOP”)now move for summary
judgment, arguing that they never employed Plaintiff and were
not involved either in her discharge or in any of the events
that form the basis for her ADEA claims. After reviewing the
pleadings, briefs, affidavits, and other evidentiary
materials presented, the Court GRANTS
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 22).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment may be granted only “if the movant shows that
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). “The moving party bears ‘the
initial responsibility of informing the . . . court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact.'” Hickson Corp. v. N.
Crossarm Co., 357 F.3d 1256, 1259 (11th Cir. 2004)
(quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986) (internal quotations omitted)). The burden then shifts
to the non-movant, who must go beyond the pleadings and
present affirmative evidence to show that a genuine issue of
material fact does exist. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 257 (1986). A fact is material if it
is relevant or necessary to the outcome of the case.
Id. at 248. A fact is not material if a dispute over
that fact will not affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law. Id. An issue is genuine when the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Id. at 249-50.
Nanine Boon began working as a server at the IHOP restaurant
located at 181 West Hill Avenue in Valdosta, Georgia on July
5, 2000. (Doc. 1-1, p. 1; Doc. 1-3, p. 2). Plaintiff worked
without incident until January 2009, when Defendant Clark
Foods, Inc. (“Clark Foods”) hired Jessica Pitts
to manage the IHOP store where Plaintiff was employed. (Doc.
1-2, p. 1). Plaintiff alleges that Pitts “engaged in
willful and knowledgeable age discrimination” by:
a. making comments to Plaintiff that Plaintiff was at an age
b. asking Plaintiff specifically if Plaintiff was OK, if
Plaintiff was able to work Plaintiff's station;
c. making comments to Plaintiff regarding Plaintiff being
‘slow' and unable to perform needed server duties,
such as carrying racks of glasses;
d. assigning server small, low-income stations, despite
e. cutting Plaintiff's days from regular 5 to 4, despite
f. systematically, week by week, scheduling fewer hours or
work for Plaintiff, despite Plaintiff's protest.
(Doc. 1-2, p. 1-2). Plaintiff further alleges that Pitts
regularly made other age-related remarks, such as describing
meals listed on the restaurant's senior menu as “an
old people's meal” and that she singled out and
treated Plaintiff differently from her younger co-workers.
(Doc. 1-2, p. 2). Pitts also never offered Plaintiff the
opportunity for advancement. (Id.).
Foods terminated Plaintiff on March 3, 2013 for allegedly
stealing two trash bags. (Doc. 1-2, p. 1; Doc. 1-3, p. 2).
Plaintiff, who was 72-years old at the time of her
termination, contends that other staff members of a younger
age were not terminated for similar conduct. (Doc. 1-3, p.
2). For example, Plaintiff claims that Linder Mathis, a
53-year old server, regularly provided her grandchildren and
other family members “with IHOP materials, with drinks
in Styrofoam cups, straws and lids to take with them”
at no charge. (Doc. 1-3, p. 4). She further contends that
Paige Rikard, a 26-year old server, ate for free ...