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Bankhead v. Lifeguard Ambulance Service of Texas

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

July 3, 2019

MICHAEL BANKHEAD, Plaintiff,
v.
LIFEGUARD AMBULANCE SERVICE OF TEXAS D/B/A LIFEGUARD AMBULANCE SERVICE, LLC, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN MOBRYDE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Came on for consideration the motion of defendants, Lifeguard Ambulance Service of Texas d/b/a Lifeguard Ambulance Service, LLC ("Lifeguard"), and Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc. ("Air Medical"), for summary judgment. The court, having considered the motion, the response of plaintiff, Michael Bankhead, the reply, the record, and applicable authorities, finds that the motion should be granted.

         I. Plaintiff's Claims

         On July 25, 2018, plaintiff filed his original complaint in this action. Doc.[1] 1. In it, he alleges:

         Plaintiff began working for Lifeguard in May 2016. Doc. 1 ¶ 11. Plaintiff was treated differently and discharged after he became injured on or around January 13, 2017, and presented his medical records showing that he has Type II diabetes and some associated complications and needed an accommodation to recover from an ankle injury. Id. ¶ 12. Other employees who have had absences were not terminated. Id. ¶ 22.

         Plaintiff asserts claims against Lifeguard under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 ("ADA"), and against both defendants for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, training and retention, and for wrongful discharge.[2]

         II. Grounds of the Motion

         Defendants maintain that plaintiff cannot establish a genuine fact issue with regard to any of this claims. Specifically, he cannot show that he had a disability under the ADEA. Nor can he show that he is entitled to proceed on any of his state law claims.

         III. Applicable Summary Judgment Principles

         Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the court shall grant summary judgment on a claim or defense if 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); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). The movant bears the initial burden of pointing out to the court that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. Celotex Corp. V. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 325 (1986). The movant can discharge this burden by pointing out the absence of evidence supporting one or more essential elements of the nonmoving party's claim, "since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Id. at 323. Once the movant has carried its burden under Rule 56 (a), the nonmoving party must identify evidence in the record that creates a genuine dispute as to each of the challenged elements of its case. Id. at 324; see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) ("A party asserting that a fact ... is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in the record ...."). If the evidence identified could not lead a rational trier of fact to find in favor of the nonmoving party as to each essential element of the nonmoving party's case, there is no genuine dispute for trial and summary judgment is appropriate. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 597 (1986). In Mississippi Prot. & Advocacy Sys., Inc. v. Cotten, the Fifth Circuit explained:

Where the record, including affidavits, interrogatories, admissions, and depositions could not, as a whole, lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonraoving party, there is no issue for trial.

929 F.2d 1054, 1058 (5th Cir. 1991) .

         The standard for granting a motion for summary judgment is the same as the standard for rendering judgment as a matter of law.[3] Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. If the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 597; see also Mississippi Prot. & Advocacy Sys., 929 F.2d at 1058.

         IV. Undis ...


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