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DAVIS v. CONNECTICUT GEN. LIFE INS. CO.

February 5, 1990

MICHAEL D. DAVIS
v.
CONNECTICUT GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY AND CIGNA CORPORATION



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NIXON

 JOHN T. NIXON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Pending before the Court are the defendants' motions for summary judgment. Also pending before the Court are the defendants' motion to refer this case to the Magistrate for simplification of issues, ruling on plaintiff's motion to amend, and for determination of pretrial dispositive issues. Finally, defendants move for a continuance of this matter pending the issuance of the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation.

 DISCUSSION

 The Court hereby GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the defendants' motion to refer this case to the Magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Rules 302 and 303 L.R.M.P. for consideration of any pretrial matters arising in this case. The Court DENIES the defendants' motion to refer the case to the Magistrate with respect to the defendants' joint motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff's age discrimination, sex discrimination, and breach of contract claims because those issues will be resolved in this Memorandum. The Court GRANTS the defendants' motion to refer the case to the Magistrate with respect to defendant CIGNA's motion for summary judgment on the following grounds:

 
1. The agreement reached between the attorneys for plaintiff and defendant CIGNA Corporation to dismiss with prejudice defendant CIGNA Corporation from this action pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure should be enforced.
 
2. There is no evidence that defendant CIGNA Corporation was a party to any contract of employment with plaintiff and, thus, defendant CIGNA Corporation could not have breached any such contract as alleged by plaintiff.
 
3. There is no evidence that defendant CIGNA Corporation engaged in any acts which proximately caused the termination of plaintiff in alleged breach of plaintiff's alleged contract of employment.
 
4. There is no evidence that defendant CIGNA Corporation exercised any dominion or control over defendant Connecticut General Life Insurance Company at the time of the wrong or violations of statutory duties alleged by plaintiff to have arisen by his termination.

 The Magistrate will also consider any other pretrial issues arising in this case.

 The Court GRANTS the defendants' motion for a continuance pending the issuance of the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation.

 A. Standards for Summary Judgment

 In Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986), the United States Supreme Court explained the District Court's function in ruling upon a motion for summary judgment:

 
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment 'shall be rendered forthwith 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 that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.' By its very terms, this standard provides that 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.
 
As to the materiality, the substantive law will identify which facts are material. Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted . . . .
 
More important for present purposes, summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is "genuine," that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id. 106 S. Ct. at 2510. (citations omitted).

 It is likewise true that "in ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must construe the evidence in its most favorable light in favor of the party opposing the motion and against the movant. Further, the papers supporting the movant are closely scrutinized, whereas the opponent's are indulgently treated. [citations omitted]. It has been stated that: 'The purpose of the hearing on the motion for such a judgment is not to resolve factual issues. It is to determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact in dispute.'" Bohn Aluminum & Brass Corp. v. Storm King Corp., 303 F.2d 425, 427 (6th Cir. 1962). As the Court of Appeals stated recently:

 
Summary judgment may only be granted when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions and affidavits demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56(c), Fed. R. Civ. P. All facts and inferences to be drawn therefrom must be read in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Smith v. Hudson, 600 F.2d 60, 63 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 986, 100 S. Ct. 495, 62 L. Ed. 2d 415 (1979).

 Duchon v. Cajon Co., 791 F.2d 43 (6th Cir. 1986). Under these holdings, three questions are to be considered upon a motion for summary judgment: (1) does the plaintiff present sufficient facts to establish all the elements of his claim; (2) are those facts sufficient to support a jury verdict or judgment; and (3) are there any material factual issues with respect to those facts.

 Defendant Connecticut General Life Insurance Company is joined by defendant CIGNA Corporation in moving for summary judgment on all three of the plaintiff's claims on the following grounds:

 
1. Plaintiff's claim that he was terminated by defendant due to discrimination because of age cannot be maintained because plaintiff cannot establish an essential element of his case that he was replaced by a younger person.
 
2. Plaintiff's claim that he was terminated by defendant due to discrimination because of sex cannot be maintained as plaintiff cannot establish a prima facie case because there is no showing in this "reverse discrimination" case that defendant is ...

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