The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN BISSELL, Chief Judge, District
This matter comes before the Court on defendant Owens Corning's
motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. In their response to the summary judgment motion, the
plaintiffs filed a cross-motion to extend discovery.
James Redding, Jr. ("plaintiff Redding") and his wife, Traci
Parnell-Redding ("plaintiff Parnell-Redding"), filed a Complaint
(the "Complaint") in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law
Division, on February 20, 2004. The Complaint alleges
discriminatory employment practices, infliction of emotional
distress, defamation and a loss of consortium claim against
plaintiff's employer Owens Corning (the "defendant") and
fictitious defendants. The Complaint was properly removed to this
Court. The Court has diversity jurisdiction here as plaintiffs
are New Jersey citizens and defendant, incorporated in Delaware,
maintains its principal place of business in Ohio. The amount in
controversy requirement is met. (See Notice of Removal, ¶ 8).
On July 7, 2004, this Court issued an Opinion and Order
dismissing the defamation claims (Counts Three and Four of the
Complaint). See Redding v. Owens Corning, Civil 04-1971(JWB)
(Opinion and Order, July 7, 2004). On April 11, 2005, defendant
Owens Corning filed the instant motion for summary judgment on
the remaining Counts: One, Two and Five. Thereafter, on June 14,
2005, plaintiffs filed their cross-motion to extend discovery. FACTS
The Court will rely upon the facts as set forth in the July 7,
2004 Opinion. See Redding v. Owens Corning, Civil
041-971(JWB) (Opinion, July 7, 2004).
I. Standard for Summary Judgment Motion Pursuant to Rule 56
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary
judgment should 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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986);
Kreschollek v. Southern Stevedoring Co., 223 F.3d 202, 204 (3d
Cir. 2000). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, a court
must construe all facts and inferences in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. See Boyle v. Allegheny
Pennsylvania, 139 F.3d 386, 393 (3d Cir. 1998). The moving party
bears the burden of establishing that no genuine issue of
material fact remains. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317 (1986).
The Supreme Court has stated that in evaluating a defendant's
motion for summary judgment:
[t]he judge must ask . . . not whether . . . the
evidence unmistakably favors one side or the other but whether a fair-minded jury could return a
verdict for the plaintiff on the evidence presented.
The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in
support of the plaintiff's position will be
insufficient; there must be evidence on which the
jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff. The
judge's inquiry, therefore, unavoidably asks whether
reasonable jurors could find by a preponderance of
the evidence that the plaintiff is entitled to a
verdict. . . .
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. A fact is "material" only if it will
affect the outcome of a lawsuit under the applicable law, and a
dispute over a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such
that a reasonable fact finder could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party. (See id.)
Only evidence that would be admissible at trial may be used to
test a summary judgment motion; evidence with a deficient
foundation must be excluded from consideration. See Blackburn
v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 1999 WL 360546 (3d Cir. 1999).
In order to survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving
party must present more than a mere scintilla of evidence in his
favor. (Id.) The non-moving party "cannot simply reallege
factually unsupported allegations contained in his pleadings."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249; see also Clark v. Clabaugh,
20 F.3d 1290, 1294 (3d Cir. 1994).
II. Count One" NJLAD Claim
A. Establishing a Claim for Wrongful Termination in Violation
of the NJLAD
In the First Count of the Complaint, plaintiff Redding alleges that in terminating him from the employ of Owens Corning,
defendants unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of
race in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
("NJLAD"). The same methodology used to prove claims of
employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
applies to claims under the NJLAD. See Marzano v. Comp.
Science Corp., 91 F.3d 497, 502 (3d Cir. 1996); Hyman v.
Atlantic City Med. Ctr., 1998 WL 135249, *27 (D.N.J. Mar. 16,
1998). A plaintiff may present direct evidence of the prohibited
discrimination, but if he cannot, he must ...