Valente v. UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Case No. 3:08-cv-225.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtMICHAEL R. MERZ, United States Magistrate
Citation689 F. Supp.2d 910
PartiesJohn T. VALENTE, Plaintiff, v. UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Defendant.
Decision Date04 January 2010
Docket NumberCase No. 3:08-cv-225.
689 F.Supp.2d 910

John T. VALENTE, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Defendant.

Case No. 3:08-cv-225.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division at Dayton.

January 4, 2010.


689 F. Supp.2d 914

John Valente, Dayton, OH, pro se.

Jennifer Nicole Fuller, Paul Gerard Hallinan, Dayton, OH, for Defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION

MICHAEL R. MERZ, United States Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 123), Plaintiff's Response in Opposition (Doc. No. 137) and Defendant's Reply Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 141).

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. On a motion for summary judgment, the movant has the burden of showing that there exists no genuine issue of material fact, and the evidence, together with all inferences that can reasonably be drawn therefrom, must be read in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157-59, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). Nevertheless, "the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (emphasis in original). 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, 477 U.S. 317, 327, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).

Read together, Liberty Lobby and Celotex stand for the proposition that a party may move for summary judgment asserting that the opposing party will not be able to produce sufficient evidence at trial to withstand a directed verdict motion (now known as a motion for judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 50). Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1478 (6th Cir.1989). If, after sufficient time for discovery, the opposing party is unable to demonstrate that he or she can do so under the Liberty Lobby criteria, summary judgment is appropriate. Id. The opposing party must "do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Electric

689 F. Supp.2d 915

Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249-50, 106 S.Ct. at 2510-11 (citations omitted). "The mere possibility of a factual dispute is not enough." Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp., 964 F.2d 577, 582 (6th Cir.1992) (quoting Gregg v. Allen-Bradley Co., 801 F.2d 859, 863 (6th Cir.1986)). Therefore a court must make a preliminary assessment of the evidence, in order to decide whether the plaintiff's evidence concerns a material issue and is more than de minimis. Hartsel v. Keys, 87 F.3d 795 (6th Cir.1996). "On summary judgment," moreover, "the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts ... must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 994, 8 L.Ed.2d 176 (1962). Thus, "the judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249, 106 S.Ct. at 2510.

The moving party

Always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district 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.

Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548; see also, Boretti v. Wiscomb, 930 F.2d 1150, 1156 (6th Cir.1991) (citation omitted). The party bringing the summary judgment motion has the initial burden of informing the district court of the basis for its motion and identifying portions of the record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute over material facts. Alexander v. CareSource, 576 F.3d 551 (6th Cir.Ohio 2009), citing Mt. Lebanon Personal Care Home, Inc. v. Hoover Universal, Inc., 276 F.3d 845, 848 (6th Cir.2002). If the moving party meets this burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings to show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348; Martin v. Ohio Turnpike Comm'n., 968 F.2d 606, (6th Cir.1992), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 1054, 113 S.Ct. 979, 122 L.Ed.2d 133 (1993).

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment (in other words, determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact), "a district court is not ... obligated to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim." InterRoyal Corp. v. Sponseller, 889 F.2d 108, 111 (6th Cir.1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1091, 110 S.Ct. 1839, 108 L.Ed.2d 967 (1990). Thus, in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists on a particular issue, a court is entitled to rely only upon those portions of the verified pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any affidavits submitted, specifically called to its attention by the parties.

A fact is "material" if its resolution affects the outcome of the lawsuit. Lenning v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 260 F.3d 574, 581 (6th Cir.2001). "Materiality is determined by the substantive law claim." Boyd v. Baeppler, 215 F.3d 594, 599 (6th Cir.2000). An issue is genuine if a "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Henson v. Nat'l Aeronautics & Space Admin., 14 F.3d 1143, 1148 (6th Cir.1994), quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505. Irrelevant or unnecessary factual disputes do not create genuine issues of material fact. St. Francis Health Care Centre v. Shalala, 205

689 F. Supp.2d 916

F.3d 937, 943 (6th Cir.2000). When the "record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party," there is no genuine issue of material fact. Simmons-Harris v. Zelman, 234 F.3d 945, 951 (6th Cir.2000), rev'd on other grounds, 536 U.S. 639, 122 S.Ct. 2460, 153 L.Ed.2d 604 (2002). Thus, a factual dispute which is merely colorable or is not significantly probative will not defeat a motion for summary judgment which is properly supported. Kraft v. United States, 991 F.2d 292, 296 (6th Cir.), cert. denied 510 U.S. 976, 114 S.Ct. 467, 126 L.Ed.2d 419 (1993); see also, Int'l Union, United Auto., Aerospace & Agriculture Implement Workers of America v. BVR Liquidating, Inc., 190 F.3d 768, 772 (6th Cir.1999), cert. denied 529 U.S. 1067, 120 S.Ct. 1674, 146 L.Ed.2d 483 (2000).

The party opposing the motion may not "rely on the hope that the trier of fact will disbelieve the movant's denial of a disputed fact" but must make an affirmative showing with proper evidence in order to defeat the motion. Street, 886 F.2d at 1479. A party opposing a motion for summary judgment must designate specific facts in affidavits, depositions, or other factual material showing "evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the non-moving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505. If, after sufficient opportunity for discovery, the non-moving party is unable to meet his or her burden of proof, summary judgment is clearly proper. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548. "The failure to present any evidence to counter a well-supported motion for summary judgment alone is grounds for granting the motion." Alexander v. CareSource, 576 F.3d 551 (6th Cir.Ohio 2009), quoting Everson v. Leis, 556 F.3d 484, 496 (6th Cir.2009) (citing Skousen v. Brighton High School, 305 F.3d 520, 528 (6th Cir.2002)).

Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Governing Substantive Law

This Court has subject matter jurisdiction of this dispute under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the parties are of diverse citizenship; the Court's subject matter jurisdiction is not disputed.

A federal court exercising supplemental or diversity subject matter jurisdiction over state law claims must apply state substantive law to those claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1652; Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, Inc., 518 U.S. 415, 427, n. 7, 116 S.Ct. 2211, 135 L.Ed.2d 659 (1996); Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188 (1938), overruling Swift v. Tyson, 41 U.S. 1, 16 Pet. 1, 10 L.Ed. 865 (1841) (Story, J., holding that "the laws of the several states" in the Judiciary Act of 1789 means only the statutory law of the States). In applying state law, the Sixth Circuit follows the law of the State as announced by that State's supreme court. Ray Industries, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 974 F.2d 754, 758 (6th Cir.1992); Miles v. Kohli & Kaliher Assocs., 917 F.2d 235, 241 (6th Cir.1990). "Where the state supreme court has not spoken, our task is to discern, from all available sources, how that court would respond if confronted with the issue." Id.; In re Akron-Cleveland Auto Rental, Inc., 921 F.2d 659, 662 (6th Cir. 1990); Bailey v. V & O Press Co., 770 F.2d 601 (6th Cir.1985); Angelotta v. American Broadcasting Corp., 820 F.2d 806 (1987). The available data to be considered if the highest court has not spoken include relevant dicta from the state supreme court, decisional law of appellate courts, restatements of law, law review commentaries, and the "majority...

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17 practice notes
  • Firm v. United States, No. 09-891C
    • United States
    • Court of Federal Claims
    • January 18, 2012
    ...decisions from other jurisdictions, and the "'majority'" rule. Id. (internal citations omitted); see also Valente v. Univ. of Dayton, 689 F. Supp. 2d 910, 916 (S.D. Ohio 2010) ("'Where the state supreme court has not spoken, our task is to discern, from all available sources, how that court......
  • Doe v. Coll. of Wooster, CASE NO. 5:16–cv–979
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • March 17, 2017
    ...between the parties, plaintiff has no cause of action in negligence for the same alleged conduct. See Valente v. Univ. of Dayton , 689 F.Supp.2d 910, 924 (S.D. Ohio 2010) (because the duties the student who was disciplined identified all arose from his contractual relationship with the univ......
  • Peterangelo v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., Case No. 3:12-cv-381
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • April 17, 2014
    ...bad faith refusal to settle a claim is a breach of that duty and imposes liability sounding in tort."Valente v. University of Dayton, 689 F. Supp. 2d 910, 923-924 (S.D. Ohio 2010), quoting Hoshins v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 6 Ohio St. 3d 272, 276 (1983). Thus, "an insurer has a duty to act in ......
  • Han v. Univ. of Dayton, No. 26343.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • January 30, 2015
    ...exact compliance with the procedural terms of his teaching contracts, but only substantial compliance. Valente v. University of Dayton, 689 F.Supp.2d 910, 918 (S.D.Ohio 2010). The evidence submitted by UD in support of its motion for summary judgment, at the very least, establishes that it ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Firm v. United States, No. 09-891C
    • United States
    • Court of Federal Claims
    • January 18, 2012
    ...from other jurisdictions, and the "'majority'" rule. Id. (internal citations omitted); see also Valente v. Univ. of Dayton, 689 F. Supp. 2d 910, 916 (S.D. Ohio 2010) ("'Where the state supreme court has not spoken, our task is to discern, from all available sources, how that ......
  • Doe v. Coll. of Wooster, CASE NO. 5:16–cv–979
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • March 17, 2017
    ...between the parties, plaintiff has no cause of action in negligence for the same alleged conduct. See Valente v. Univ. of Dayton , 689 F.Supp.2d 910, 924 (S.D. Ohio 2010) (because the duties the student who was disciplined identified all arose from his contractual relationship with the univ......
  • Peterangelo v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., Case No. 3:12-cv-381
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • April 17, 2014
    ...faith refusal to settle a claim is a breach of that duty and imposes liability sounding in tort."Valente v. University of Dayton, 689 F. Supp. 2d 910, 923-924 (S.D. Ohio 2010), quoting Hoshins v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 6 Ohio St. 3d 272, 276 (1983). Thus, "an insurer has a duty to a......
  • Han v. Univ. of Dayton, No. 26343.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • January 30, 2015
    ...exact compliance with the procedural terms of his teaching contracts, but only substantial compliance. Valente v. University of Dayton, 689 F.Supp.2d 910, 918 (S.D.Ohio 2010). The evidence submitted by UD in support of its motion for summary judgment, at the very least, establishes that it ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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