Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Singh v. Vanderbilt University Medical Center

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

October 18, 2019

GOBIND SINGH, M.D., Ph.D., Plaintiff,
v.
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ELI RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion to Strike Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts” (Doc. No. 82, “Motion to Strike”), which was filed in response to Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts (Doc. No. 71) filed in support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss/Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 70). Rather than respond substantively to any portion of Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts, Plaintiff filed the Motion to Strike and thereafter separately filed (as a single document, Doc. No. 80), his own Statement of Undisputed and Disputed Facts.

         Although Doc. No. 82 is the only formal motion to strike, it is, alas, not the only request to strike lodged in this dust-up between the parties over their respective filings. In their brief (Doc. No. 84) in response to the Motion to Strike, Defendants have requested that the Court strike the portion of Doc. No. 80 containing Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Facts. And in that same brief, Defendants request that due to Plaintiff not responding substantively to Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts, Plaintiff either be deemed to have admitted those facts or be ordered to respond to Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts. (Doc. No. 84 at 1).

         The Court will address these disputes in turn.

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Strike

         According to Plaintiff, Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts should be stricken because it “flouts Local Rule 56.01(b)” which provides “any motions for summary judgment must be accompanied by a separate, concise statement of the material facts as to which the moving part contends there is no genuine issue for trial.” (Doc. No. 82 at 1 (citing Local Rule 56.01(b)). Plaintiff asserts that Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts is not a concise statement of material facts. Specifically, Plaintiff objects that the numbered paragraphs contain multiple sentences that make it “impossible” for Plaintiff “to give straightforward answers” and therefore force Plaintiff “to do Defendants' work.” (Doc. No. 82 at 3-4).[1]

         In support of his position, Plaintiff cites to Sales v. in Ventiv Health, Inc., No. 3:13-CV-0064, 2014 WL 1883936, at *1 (M.D. Tenn. May 12, 2014), where this Court granted the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's statement of undisputed facts, which contained 117 paragraphs, filed in response to the defendant's statement of undisputed facts. The Court did so because the plaintiff's statement of undisputed facts “fail[ed] to meet the Local Rule's requirement of brevity. . . . include[d] at least two redundant facts . . . [and] include[ed] a handful of speculative legal conclusions[.]” 2014 WL 1883936, at *1. Additionally, although not pointed out by Plaintiff here, the Court explained that the Local Rule “does not permit a non-moving party [(i.e., the plaintiff)] to file a statement of additional undisputed facts” and permits a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file only “additional material facts that are in dispute.” Id.

         Defendants respond and argue that their Statement of Undisputed Facts complies with Local Rule 56.01(b); therefore, Plaintiff's Motion to Strike should be denied. Defendants cite Thompson v. Davidson Transit Organization, 740 F.Supp.2d 938 (M.D. Tenn. 2010) (Trauger, J.), wherein this Court denied a motion to strike the defendant's statement of material facts, which included 241 paragraphs; because the case was “factually rich, ” the court did not consider the numerous paragraphs excessive. 740 F.Supp.2d at 939. Rather than striking the statement of facts, the Court merely offered this reminder: “[i]f the plaintiff and his counsel feel burdened by addressing the defendant's [motion for summary judgment], the plaintiff may file a motion for extension of time.” Id.

         Defendants rely also on Day v. Finishing Brands Holdings, Inc., No. 13-1089, 2015 WL 2345279 (W.D. Tenn. May 14, 2015), which denied a similar motion to strike and explained:

The local rules, and opinions from this district, do not define “concise statement.” However, in denying a plaintiff's motion to strike a portion of the defendant's statement of undisputed material facts on conciseness grounds, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee held that the defendant did not violate that district's similarly-worded local rule because the employment dispute at issue involved several incidents occurring over a period of time. See [Thompson, 740 F.Supp.2d at 938-39]. Similarly, this case involves allegations of employment discrimination covering an extended period of time. Defendant's [Statement of Undisputed Fact] is not unnecessarily lengthy-it is seventeen pages long, and consists of seventy-nine numbered paragraphs that address the relevant facts underlying this lawsuit.

2015 WL 2345279, at *1.

         Upon review of Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts (Doc. No. 71), the Court finds that the document is more like the statements of facts in Thompson and Day, where courts denied motions to strike. Plaintiff's Complaint contains multiple claims, one of which was brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act and alleges discrimination over an extended period that involved multiple disciplinary actions. (See Doc. No. 1). Therefore, this case is “factually rich, ” and Defendants' 21 paragraphs do not run afoul of Local Rule 56.01. Furthermore, Plaintiff's reliance on Sales is inapt because in that case, what was stricken was a non-moving party's statement of undisputed facts, since the local rules allowed non-moving parties to file only additional statements of disputed facts. Sales, 2014 WL 1883936, at *1.

         Moreover, even assuming that Plaintiff is burdened by the lack of conciseness on which the Motion to Strike is based, that prejudice to Plaintiff is offset by the fact that any lack of conciseness also harms Defendants. That is, to the extent that Defendants' statement of purported undisputed facts is not concise, it is less likely to serve for the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.