United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND GRANTING
DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
S. NORRIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Magistrate Judge’s Report and
Recommendation on Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment and Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment
dated June 20, 2019 (“Report”).
(ECF No. 36.) The Report recommends that Defendant’s
Motion for Summary Judgment be granted and that
Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment be denied.
(Id. at PageID 243.) Plaintiff filed objections to
the report on June 28, 2019. (ECF No. 37.) For the reasons
set forth below, the Court ADOPTS the
Report. Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment is
GRANTED. Plaintiff’s Motion for
Summary Judgment is DENIED.
forth in the Report, Plaintiff filed a pro se
complaint alleging violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117,
as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (as amended, the
“ADA”). Plaintiff alleged that Defendant failed
to accommodate her disability and retaliated against her in
violation of the ADA. Plaintiff filed a Charge of
Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) on December 9, 2019. The EEOC
Charge alleged discrimination on the basis of disability. The
EEOC Charge provided September 30, 2016 as the date
discrimination began and indicated the discrimination was
continuing on the date the EEOC Charge was filed. The EEOC
issued Plaintiff a Right to Sue letter on January 8, 2018.
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on February 4, 2019. (ECF
No. 22.) In its motion, Defendant argues it is entitled to
summary judgment based on a settlement agreement it entered
into with Plaintiff (“Settlement Agreement”) in
which Plaintiff released Defendant from liability for the
claims set forth in Plaintiff’s complaint.
(Id. at PageID 109–11.) Plaintiff responded on
February 15, 2019. (ECF No. 28.) In her response, Plaintiff
alleges many of the same claims set forth in her complaint,
and she asserts that her claim is not covered by the release
language in the Settlement Agreement. (Id. at PageID
158.) Plaintiff further states she “should be able to
recover damages beyond normal workers’ compensation
benefits.” (Id. at PageID 158.)
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on March 18, 2019. (ECF
No. 34.) Plaintiff’s motion reiterates the claims set
forth in her complaint and the arguments set forth in her
response to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.
Magistrate Judge found that “the sole issue presented
in the cross-motions for summary judgment [was] whether the
Settlement Agreement entered into between Plaintiff and
[Defendant] constitutes a release of liability for the claims
raised in the instant action.” (ECF No. 36 at PageID
249–50.) After analyzing the language of the Settlement
Agreement, the Magistrate Judge recommended finding that the
language of the Settlement Agreement did apply to
Plaintiff’s claims in this matter, and therefore, the
Magistrate Judge further recommended that Defendant’s
Motion for Summary Judgement be granted and Plaintiff’s
Motion for Summary Judgment be denied.
enacted 28 U.S.C. § 636 to relieve the burden on the
federal judiciary by permitting the assignment of district
court duties to magistrate judges. See United States v.
Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Gomez v. United States, 490 U.S. 858, 869–70
(1989)); see also Baker v. Peterson, 67 F.
App’x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). For dispositive
matters, “[t]he district judge must determine de
novo any part of the magistrate judge’s
disposition that has been properly objected to.”
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); 28 U.S.C.
§636(b)(1). After reviewing the evidence, the court is
free to accept, reject, or modify the magistrate
judge’s proposed findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). The district court is not required to
review-under a de novo or any other standard-those
aspects of the report and recommendation to which no
objection is made. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
150 (1985). The district court should adopt the magistrate
judge’s findings and rulings to which no specific
objection is filed. See Id . at 151.
to any part of a magistrate judge's disposition
“must be clear enough to enable the district court to
discern those issues that are dispositive and
contentious.” Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373,
380 (6th Cir. 1995); see also Arn, 474 U.S. at 147
(stating that the purpose of the rule is to “focus
attention on those issues . . . that are at the heart of the
parties' dispute.”). Each objection to the
magistrate judge's recommendation should include how the
analysis is wrong, why it was wrong, and how de novo
review will obtain a different result on that particular
issue. See Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991).
general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments
previously presented and addressed by the magistrate judge,
does not sufficiently identify alleged errors in the report
and recommendation. Id. When an objection reiterates
the arguments presented to the magistrate judge, the report
and recommendation should be reviewed for clear error.
Verdone v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 16-CV-14178,
2018 WL 1516918, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 28, 2018) (citing
Ramirez v. United States, 898 F.Supp.2d 659, 663
(S.D.N.Y. 2012)); Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n
v. Dolgencorp, LLC, 277 F.Supp. 3d 932, 965 (E.D. Tenn.
28, 2019, Plaintiff filed “Plaintiff’s Appeal of
Granted Summary Judgement for Defendants” (ECF No. 37),
which this Court construes as objections to the Report. Many
of Plaintiff’s objections are reiterations of the
claims in her complaint, the arguments in her response to
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and the
arguments in her Motion for Summary Judgment. However,
Plaintiff makes two objections that differ from the claims
and arguments she has previously asserted, both of which go
to the validity or enforcement of the Settlement Agreement.
First, Plaintiff asserts that the Settlement Agreement is not
binding because her signature was not notarized; and second,
Plaintiff asserts that the Settlement Agreement is not
enforceable because it was not signed by anyone on behalf of
Defendant. (ECF No. 37 at PageID 252–53.)
first argument that the Settlement Agreement is not binding
because it was not notarized is without merit. The Settlement
Agreement does not contain an acknowledgment section or other
verification section for a notary to complete, and Tennessee
law does not require a settlement agreement, i.e. a contract,
to be notarized to be binding upon the signatories. Plaintiff
does not assert that the signature is not hers, but ...