United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. VARLAN CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
civil action is before the Court on defendants' Motion
for Summary Judgment [Doc. 53]. Plaintiff responded in
opposition [Doc. 55]. Defendants' motion is fully briefed
and ready for disposition. E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.1(a). For the
reasons stated below, the Court will grant in part and deny
in part defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Jacqueline McLaughlin initiated this action pursuant to the
Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) against
defendants Michael Twine and G2 Engineering & Management,
Inc (“G2”). Plaintiff seeks relief under the FLSA
for unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages,
reasonable attorney's fees, and costs. Plaintiff also
seeks general, special, and punitive damages. Plaintiff
asserts (1) an FLSA violation, (2) fraud in the inducement,
(3) actual fraud, (4) breach of contract, (5) breach of the
implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, and (6) her
right to quantum meruit recovery [Doc. 1 pp. 7-13].
was employed by defendant G2 Engineering & Management,
Inc., which was owned and operated by defendant Twine. G2
employees are paid at an hourly rate. The focus of this
dispute is on the hourly wage that defendant Twine agreed to
pay plaintiff. Because no written agreement has been produced
on the record, the facts in this case are based largely on
the parties' recollection of oral discussions regarding
plaintiff's role at ¶ 2 and plaintiff's
May 2014, plaintiff and defendants entered into a discussion
regarding plaintiff's role in the company and her
potential role as a project manager. The parties disagree
about the outcome of this discussion. Plaintiff asserts that
she was given the job as project manager and that she was led
to believe she would be paid at a rate of at least
$35.00/hour. Plaintiff also asserts that defendant Twine said
he would consider plaintiff's request for a rate of
Twine, on the other hand, says that he was considering
plaintiff for the role of project manager, but that she first
needed to prove that she was qualified for the role.
Defendant Twine asserts that plaintiff's role was more
accurately described as a data entry clerk and that the
parties never agreed to a $35.00/hour wage. Defendant Twine
argues that plaintiff's request for $38.00/hour was a
counteroffer that served as a rejection of his initial
Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is
appropriate “if the movant shows that 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). The moving party has the burden of establishing that
no genuine issues of material fact exist. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 n.2 (1986); Moore v.
Philip Morris Cos., 8 F.3d 335, 339 (6th Cir. 1993).
Yet, “[o]nce the moving party presents evidence
sufficient to support a motion under Rule 56, the nonmoving
party is not entitled to a trial merely on the basis of
allegations.” Curtis Through Curtis v. Universal
Match Corp., 778 F.Supp. 1421, 1423 (E.D. Tenn. 1991).
determine whether a genuine dispute of material fact exists,
the Court must view all facts and inferences in a light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986);
Burchett v. Kiefer, 301 F.3d 937, 942 (6th Cir.
2002). A dispute about a material fact is genuine when a
“reasonable jury” could resolve the dispute in
favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The fact is material if
it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
resolving a motion for summary judgment, the Court's role
is limited to determining “whether there is a need for
a trial-whether, in other words, there are any genuine
factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder
of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of
either party.” Id. at 250. The Court does not
weigh the evidence but simply determines whether sufficient
evidence has been presented to make the dispute of fact a
proper question for the factfinder to resolve. Id.
argue that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 on plaintiff's
claims against them. As explained below, the Court finds that
defendants are entitled to summary judgment on the actual
fraud and fraudulent inducement claims; however, they are not
entitled to summary judgment on the FLSA, breach of contract,
and breach of implied duty of good faith and fair dealing