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PAZIENZA v. ST. BARNABAS MED. CTR.

July 27, 1995

LOUISA PAZIENZA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAINT BARNABAS MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LIFLAND

 LIFLAND, District Judge

 Presently before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56(c).

 Background

 Plaintiff is a clinical cosmetologist. During the years of 1987 through 1990, plaintiff performed cosmetological services for seriously disfigured patients on a referral basis from doctors at St. Barnabas Medical Center ("St. Barnabas") and elsewhere. (Complaint, P 5.)

 In late summer of 1990, plaintiff initiated contact with St. Barnabas for the purpose of discussing the creation of a clinical cosmetology center at St. Barnabas to treat burn victims and other disfigured patients. (Complaint, P 6.) On March 22, 1991, plaintiff met with officials of St. Barnabas to discuss the matter. Plaintiff alleges that at that meeting she gave defendants certain "copyrighted materials relating to the clinical cosmetology system that she had pioneered." (Complaint, P 7.) Defendants then allegedly requested plaintiff to produce a business plan. (Complaint, P 8.) On July 26, 1991, plaintiff delivered this business plan, also copyrighted, to defendants, who then requested certain revisions. (Complaint, P 9.) Plaintiff further states that at a meeting on August 16, 1991, defendants represented to her that they wished to enter into an agreement with plaintiff. Details of the contract were negotiated. (Complaint, P 10.)

 The complaint indicates that at some point after the August 1991 meeting, defendants became ambivalent about entering into a contract with plaintiff. (Complaint, PP 11-13.) However, on March 5, 1992 and October 13, 1992 plaintiff made further presentations to defendants and made her copyrighted materials available to them. *fn1" (Complaint, PP 14 and 16.) On November 3, 1992, plaintiff received a letter from defendants advising her that they had decided to open a clinical cosmetology center themselves. Plaintiff states that she immediately went to visit the hospital and observed that the center was already opened and was designed in the manner which she had proposed to defendants. (Complaint, PP 18 and 19.)

 Plaintiff's sole federal claim is copyright infringement, i.e., that defendants copied her copyrighted work which she had made available to them at various meetings. Plaintiff also alleges three state law claims: breach of implied covenant, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of confidence.

 Discussion

 Defendants now move for summary judgment on the issue of copyright infringement and for dismissal of the remaining state claims.

 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c) provides that summary judgment shall be granted:

 
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.

 The burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists rests initially on the moving party. Once the moving party has shown that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-25, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). There is no issue for trial unless the non-moving party can demonstrate that there is sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party to enable a reasonable fact finder to return a verdict in that party's favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. The court must view the facts and ...


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