86 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 1996), 94-55635, Neal v. Continental Airlines, Inc.

Docket Nº:94-55635.
Citation:86 F.3d 1163
Party Name:Charles G. NEAL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 31, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1163

86 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 1996)

Charles G. NEAL, Plaintiff-Appellant,


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 94-55635.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 31, 1996

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA9 Rule 36-3 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Argued and Submitted Nov. 17, 1995.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, D.C. No. CV-92-02459-JSL; J. Spencer Letts, District Judge, Presiding.



Before: FLETCHER, CANBY, and HAWKINS, Circuit Judges.


Plaintiff-Appellant Charles Neal, a Black male who was 49 years of age at the time of the events at issue, was discharged by Continental Airlines in February 1991. Neal sued Continental Airlines in state court for race and age discrimination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Cal. Gov't Code § 12900 et seq. (West 1992). Continental removed the case to federal court on the basis of diversity of citizenship. The district court granted summary judgment for Continental, which we review de novo. Warren v. City of Carlsbad, 58 F.3d 439, 441 (9th Cir.1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 1261 (1996).

We do not set forth the facts from which Neal's claims arose, as the parties are familiar with them. For purposes of decision we assume, without deciding, that Neal established a prima facie case of discrimination under the formulation of McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). 1 Continental, however, offered a "legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason," id. at 802, for Neal's discharge--his insubordination. Neal has failed to present evidence sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact that Continental's articulated reason was pretextual. See Wallis v. J.R. Simplot Co., 26 F.3d 885, 890 (9th Cir.1994); Washington v. Garrett, 10 F.3d 1421, 1433 (9th Cir.1993).

In light of his well-documented history of insubordination at Continental, Neal has not offered evidence from which a rational jury could infer that Continental fired him because of his race or age rather than because he was insubordinate. Neal offered the fact that his supervisor on occasion had referred to persons over 40 as "old men," but he...

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