Barnes v. Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., No. 86-3441

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore RONEY, Chief Judge, EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge, and TUTTLE; EDMONDSON
Citation814 F.2d 607
Decision Date13 April 1987
Docket NumberNo. 86-3441
Parties43 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 867, 43 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 37,057 Grady Allen BARNES, Billy Blount, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SOUTHWEST FOREST INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant-Appellee.

Page 607

814 F.2d 607
43 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 867,
43 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 37,057
Grady Allen BARNES, Billy Blount, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
SOUTHWEST FOREST INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant-Appellee.
No. 86-3441.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
April 13, 1987.

Page 608

Patterson & Traynham, Ben R. Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., for plaintiffs-appellants.

G. Thomas Harper, Jacksonville, Fla., Robert S. Phifer, Haynsworth, Baldwin, Miles, Johnson, Greaves, Greensboro, N.C., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Before RONEY, Chief Judge, EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge, and TUTTLE, Senior Circuit Judge.

EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge:

This case is an appeal from a summary judgment granted by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. 654 F.Supp. 193 (1986). Because we find that plaintiff/appellants failed to establish a prima facie case, thereby failing to establish a genuine issue of material fact, we affirm.

The six plaintiffs/appellants in this case were employed as security guards at a paper mill owned by Southwest Forest Industries, Inc. ("Southwest"). In the spring of 1984, Southwest terminated its in-house security force and contracted with Wackenhut Security Services, Inc. to provide security. At the time of their termination, thirteen of the fourteen guards were over 40 years old. An additional security guard, a black female, was under 40 years old and is not a party to this action,

Plaintiffs all applied for re-employment in other positions with Southwest, and then filed suit against the company, alleging discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. sec. 621 et seq. (1985) (ADEA). Their suit charged that defendant discriminated against them by failing to retain them in other positions and by failing to rehire them once they had been terminated.

Both parties filed motions for summary judgment in the district court. The judge granted the employer's motion. Plaintiffs appeal to this court, requesting that we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to

Page 609

grant summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs.

First, we note that we are considering an appeal from a decision regarding summary judgment. In such a case, we must apply the same standards as those that bind the district court. Pace v. Southern Ry. Sys., 701 F.2d 1383, 1391 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1018, 104 S.Ct. 549, 78 L.Ed.2d 724 (1983). Our inquiry, then, is whether there is any genuine issue remaining in regard to material facts in this case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

Such a standard requires that we resolve all reasonable doubts in favor of the non-moving party, Williams v. City of Dothan, 745 F.2d 1406 (11th Cir.1984); but it does not require us to resolve all doubts in such a manner. "Summary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed 'to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action.' " Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, --- U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2555, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (plurality opinion). "Rule 56 must be construed with due regard not only for the rights of persons asserting claims and defenses tried to a jury, but also for the rights of persons opposing such claims and defenses to demonstrate in the manner provided by the Rule, prior to trial, that the claims and defenses have no factual basis." Id.

Furthermore, a court must bear in mind the "actual quantum and quality of proof necessary to support liability" in a given case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., --- U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2513, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The standard for summary judgment mirrors that for directed verdict, so that if on any part of the prima facie case there would be insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to a jury, we must affirm the grant of summary judgment. Id., 106 S.Ct. at 2512. With these principles in mind, we turn to the substantive law governing this case to determine which facts are material. Id. at 2510.

In McDonnell-Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973), the Supreme Court established the elements of a prima facie case of discriminatory treatment under Title VII. A plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) that he belongs to a protected class; (2) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (3) that he was rejected; and (4) that the employer continued to seek applicants of similar qualifications. Id. at 802, 93 S.Ct. at 1824. This circuit has adopted that prima facie case for claims of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). See, e.g., Buckley v. Hospital Corp. of America, Inc., 758 F.2d 1525 (11th Cir.1985).

The instant case is somewhat different, however, because it involves a reduction in the employer's work force. In such cases, an employer rarely seeks more applicants for the jobs terminated, a circumstance that makes it almost impossible for a plaintiff to establish the fourth prong of the McDonnell-Douglas test. Pace v. Southern Railway System, 701 F.2d 1383, 1386-87 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1018, 104 S.Ct. 549, 78 L.Ed.2d 724 (1983). Accordingly, this Circuit...

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324 practice notes
  • Campbell v. Thomas, CASE NO. 2:10-CV-694-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 25, 2013
    ...element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Indus., Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987) (If on any part of the prima facie case the plaintiff presents insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to the ......
  • Morgan v. Cnty. Comm'n of Lawrence Cnty., Civil Action No. 5:14-CV-01823-CLS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • June 20, 2016
    ...Cir. 1990); Verbraeken v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 881 F.2d 1041, 1045 (11th Cir. 1989); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff satisfies the first three elements. Even so, the record does not contain any evidence that the Deputy Direc......
  • Barley v. Riley, CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:10-CV-798-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 11, 2013
    ...element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Indus., Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987) (If on any part of the prima facie case the plaintiff presents insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to the ......
  • National Min. Ass'n v. Apfel, No. CV-96-J-1385-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • February 10, 1999
    ...of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir.1993). However, all "doubts" need not be so resolved. Barnes v. Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th A dispute is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
324 cases
  • Campbell v. Thomas, CASE NO. 2:10-CV-694-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 25, 2013
    ...element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Indus., Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987) (If on any part of the prima facie case the plaintiff presents insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to the ......
  • Morgan v. Cnty. Comm'n of Lawrence Cnty., Civil Action No. 5:14-CV-01823-CLS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • June 20, 2016
    ...Cir. 1990); Verbraeken v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 881 F.2d 1041, 1045 (11th Cir. 1989); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987). Plaintiff satisfies the first three elements. Even so, the record does not contain any evidence that the Deputy Direc......
  • Barley v. Riley, CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:10-CV-798-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 11, 2013
    ...element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."); Barnes v. Southwest Forest Indus., Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th Cir. 1987) (If on any part of the prima facie case the plaintiff presents insufficient evidence to require submission of the case to the ......
  • National Min. Ass'n v. Apfel, No. CV-96-J-1385-S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • February 10, 1999
    ...of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir.1993). However, all "doubts" need not be so resolved. Barnes v. Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., 814 F.2d 607, 609 (11th A dispute is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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