United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
RODRIGUEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
date, the Court considered Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Docket no. 34) and the corresponding response,
reply, and supplements. After careful consideration, the
Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.
September 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed her Original Complaint
with this Court. Docket no. 1. Plaintiff brings a claim for
age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621, 623, 626
who was sixty-seven years old when she filed her complaint,
was employed by Defendant Chicago Title of Texas, LLC for
seventeen years. Docket no. 1 at 2. Before she was terminated
by Defendant, Plaintiff held the position of escrow officer.
Id. Plaintiff began her position when she was
forty-six years old. Docket no. 34 at 2. Plaintiff's
responsibilities “centered on closing real-estate
transactions, including preparing federal forms to be
approved by lenders prior to closing.” Id.
County Manager Todd Rasco was Plaintiff's supervisor from
January 2012 to the time she was terminated. Id.
Plaintiff's deposition, she answered that she had a good
working relationship with Rasco and never made any complaints
about Rasco while she was employed by Defendant. Docket no.
34-2 at 14-15. Plaintiff answered that Rasco never made
age-related comments to her, and she did not file any
age-discrimination complaints while employed by Defendant.
Id. at 15, 37. Plaintiff answered that, prior to her
termination, she did not think she had been treated
differently from any other escrow officer due to her age.
Id. at 16.
her deposition, Plaintiff answered that, as an escrow
officer, she was required to follow federal and state laws
concerning real estate closings, including those promulgated
by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (“HUD”). Id. at 9. Plaintiff
had to prepare HUD settlement statements, and Plaintiff
answered that it would be a violation of HUD rules or
regulations for Plaintiff “to close a real estate
transaction without first having the lender's approval of
the HUD settlement statement.” Id. at 10.
Plaintiff received training on HUD settlement statements
while she worked for Defendant, including about how to
complete them and the requirements. Id. at 11. When
asked if she knew that “following the rules with
respect to HUD settlement statements was something that the
company took very seriously, ” Plaintiff said yes.
Id. at 12. When asked if she understood that her job
“would be in jeopardy if [she] did not follow the rules
and regulations and policies regarding completion of HUD
settlement statements, ” Plaintiff said yes.
Id. at 12-13. Plaintiff further responded that she
was subject to the policies in Defendant's Code of
Business Conduct and Ethics (“Code of Conduct”).
Id. at 21.
alleges that during her employment, she performed the
essential functions of her job and faithfully discharged her
duties. Docket no. 1 at 2. Plaintiff alleges she was
wrongfully terminated on May 6, 2013, due to her age and that
Defendant discriminated against her “by imposing unfair
and discriminatory standards.” Id. Plaintiff
was sixty-three years old when she was terminated. Docket no.
34 at 1. Plaintiff states that prior to her termination, she
received positive performance evaluations and “had
realized regular increases in her salary.” Docket no. 1
at 2. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant's
policies, selection criteria, and actions “have had a
disparate and discriminatory impact on Plaintiff due to her
age.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant's acts constitute a willful and intentional
violation of the ADEA. Id.
alleges that Plaintiff was terminated because she
“engaged in a knowing, intentional, and
admitted violation of company policy when she
attempted to close a real-estate transaction without getting
the lender's approval for the Settlement Statement
required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development.” Docket no. 34 at 1 (emphasis in
deposition, Plaintiff stated that she made a clerical
correction on a closing statement and did not send the
corrected statement to the lender. Docket no. 34-2 at 22.
Plaintiff stated that she knew that she needed to send the
corrected statement to the lender; however, she did not send
it to the lender before the closing. Id. at 22-23.
Plaintiff stated that the clerical error was that she
“mis-pro-rated some homeowners' dues and [she]
caught it and corrected it.” Id. at 23.
Plaintiff stated that she corrected the statement after the
actual closing. Id. When asked if the lender should
have been provided a copy of the settlement statement to
approve it before Plaintiff actually went forward with the
closing, Plaintiff responded yes. Id. at 25. In this
case, however, Plaintiff stated that the closing went forward
without the lender approving the statement that she
was asked why, when she realized there was an error at the
closing, she didn't stop and print a corrected statement
for the lender to sign, and Plaintiff responded “I
can't answer that.” Id. at 32. Despite her
response, Plaintiff stated that this would have been the
correct procedure. Id. Plaintiff stated that she
knew that she was not following the correct procedure, and
based on her thirty-something years of experience as an
escrow officer, she knew she was doing something wrong.
stated that she had a meeting with Rasco and Director of
Residential Marketing Bill Lester on May 3, 2013.
Id. at 32. The meeting was on the same date that
Plaintiff contacted the lender that there was an error on the
statement. Id. at 34. At the meeting, Plaintiff
admitted to making the mistake on the statement, and Rasco
told Plaintiff that he didn't want it to happen again.
Id. at 33. Plaintiff also admitted that she did the
closing despite having an incorrect statement. Id.
Plaintiff stated that Rasco did not discuss her possible
consequences at the meeting. Id. at 34.
6, 2013, Plaintiff attended a meeting with Rasco and Human
Resources Administrator Chris Hodges. Id. at 35.
Plaintiff was terminated at this meeting. Id.
Plaintiff stated that Rasco said “he had had given the
situation some thought over the weekend and he thought it
best we go our separate ways.” Id. Plaintiff
stated that she wasn't sure what the
“situation” was to which Rasco was referring.
Id. at 35-36. Plaintiff stated that, at this
meeting, Rasco said nothing about Plaintiff's age, and
there was no discussion about retirement. Id. at 37.
Plaintiff stated that Hodges also said nothing age-related at
the meeting. Id.
November 10, 2017, Defendant filed its Motion for Summary
Judgment now pending before the Court. Docket no. 34. The
Court now considers Defendant's motion, Plaintiff's