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Wolf v. Prd Management, Inc.

United States District Court, Third Circuit

July 31, 2013

MARY ANN WOLF, Plaintiff,
v.
PRD MANAGEMENT, INC., et al., Defendants.

Richard J. Heleniak, Messa & Associates, Cherry Hill, NJ, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Michael S. Friedman, Jackson Lewis LLP, Philadelphia, PA, Penelope Price Jones, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.. Philadelphia, PA, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION

RENÉE MARIE BUMB, District Judge.

Plaintiff Mary Ann Wolf (the "Plaintiff"), a former employee of Defendant PRD Management, Inc. ("PRD)" alleges that PRD, PRD's President James McGrath ("McGrath"), and Director of Special Projects and Strategic Planning Karin McGrath Dunn ("Dunn") (and, collectively, the "Defendants") terminated her employment because of her age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the "ADEA") 29 U.S.C. § 621.[1] Defendants have moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff was fired for legitimate non-discriminatory reasons. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is DENIED.

I. Background

A. The Parties

PRD is a company that specializes in the management of federally-subsidized affordable senior, disabled, and multifamily housing complexes throughout the region. [Dkt. No. 33, Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts ("DSUMF") ¶¶ 1-2)].

In 1991, Plaintiff began working for PRD at the age of 48. (DSUMF ¶¶ 1, 5). Beginning in 1995, Plaintiff served as the Administrator/Site Manager at MSAA Manor, a property managed by PRD. (Id. ¶ 3).

B. Plaintiff Requests A Raise And Announces Her Plans To Retire

At some point in the months prior to April 2008, Plaintiff requested a raise in anticipation of her planned retirement in two more years. (DSUMF ¶ 75). Soon after, McGrath called Plaintiff on the telephone and stated "I heard you're going to retire?" (Id. ¶76).[2] Plaintiff stated she said "not for a while", to which he replied "I didn't realize you were that age." (Id.).

C. Plaintiff Is Terminated From Her Job At PRD

According to Defendants, on April 16, 2008, McGrath, Dunn, and Beverly Nahill ("Nahill"), PRD's human resources manager, and others, met to discuss Plaintiff's future employment at PRD. (DSUMF ¶ 58). According to Defendants: (1) the meeting lasted more than two hours; (2) there was no mention of Plaintiff's age or retirement; and (3) they discussed four episodes in which they believed Plaintiff exercised poor judgment. (Id. ¶¶ 60, 62). According to Plaintiff: (1) her personnel file did not reflect any disciplinary action with regard to the matters discussed at the meeting; and (2) McGrath was aware, based on their prior meeting, that Plaintiff, who was 66 years old at the time, had requested a raise and had plans to retire. [Dkt. No 38 Plaintiff's Counter Statement of Facts ("PCSF") ¶¶ 60, 61; DSUMF ¶ 4]. Ultimately, McGrath made the decision to terminate Plaintiff's employment. (DSUMF ¶ 63). Plaintiff's eventual replacement was 41 years old at the time she was hired. (Id. ¶ 70).

On April 17, 2008, Plaintiff met with McGrath and was informed that she would be terminated effective April 21, 2008. (Id. ¶ 64). Plaintiff was given four reasons for her termination: (1) she violated lease regulations by allowing a resident to have a live-in aide; (2) she failed to pay overtime to an employee that was owed overtime; (3) she improperly disciplined a subordinate; and (4) she had ...


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