United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Hallmark House of
Louisville, II's (“Hallmark House”) Motion
for Partial for Summary Judgment [DE 21]. Plaintiff Kathleen
Furlong (“Furlong”) responded to the Motion [DE
22], and Hallmark House submitted a Reply [DE 23]. This
matter is ripe. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS
Hallmark House's Motion [DE 21].
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
House is an assisted living and residential personal care
facility in Louisville, Kentucky. [DE 22-1 at 99]. Hallmark
House provides care to seniors with Alzheimer's,
dementia, or other memory deficits. [Id.]. Hallmark
House employed Furlong, as a Caregiver, beginning on or about
October 20, 2016, at which time Furlong was 60 years old.
[Id.] In January 2017, Furlong was promoted to
Activities Director and was responsible for planning and
facilitating daily activities and games for Hallmark
House's residents. [Id.]
testified that she became aware on September 15, 2017 that
the Director of Nursing, Kathie Quaife
(“Quaife”), was planning to give medication
prescribed to one resident to another resident. [DE 22 at
162, DE 22-1 at 171]. Furlong reported this to the
Administrator, Jennifer Ash (“Ash”). [DE 22 at
162, DE 22-1 at 171]. On September 18, 2017, a meeting was
held between Furlong, Ash, Quaife, Vanessa Flannery
(“Flannery”), and Jim Few, to discuss the
allegations, which Furlong tape recorded. [DE 22 at 162-63,
DE 22-1 at 172-73]. During the meeting Quaife acknowledged
that if a resident was in dire need of a medication that they
have a prescription for but not yet delivered, she will give
another patient's medication if it is the same
milligrams, then replace it. [DE 22 at 163, DE 22-3 at 179].
after the meeting, on September 19, 2017, Furlong received a
written-verbal warning for coming in late. [DE 22 at 163, DE
22-1 at 174, DE 22-4]. She had received prior permission to
be late by text message from her then-supervisor, Flannery.
[DE 22 at 163, DE 22- 5].
about October 2, 2017, Flannery issued a disciplinary action
for Furlong's failure to post an activities calendar and
the two engaged in a verbal confrontation in which Flannery
allegedly accused Furlong of having dementia and being
stupid. [DE 21 at 100, DE 22 at 163]. Hallmark House
immediately reprimanded Flannery and removed her as
Furlong's supervisor. [DE 22 at 100, DE 21-3 at 131, DE
21-4 at 138].
about October 31, 2017, Furlong's employment was
terminated. [DE 21 at 102, DE 22 at 163]. Hallmark House
states Furlong was not a good fit for the Activities Director
position, citing Furlong's failure to timely post a
monthly activities calendar, lack of creativity in selecting
activities, and failure to maintain resident profiles. [DE 21
at 106]. Hallmark House replaced Furlong with an employee who
was 56 years old. [DE 21 at 106, DE 21-4 at 139].
filed this Complaint, alleging that Hallmark House wrongfully
terminated her employment and retaliated against her because
she reported safety concerns and because of her age. [Compl.
1-4, ¶¶ 17-44]. In Count 1 she alleges she was
wrongfully terminated in violation of Kentucky common law and
KRS § 216B.165. [DE 1-4 at 23-34]. In Count 2, Furlong
alleges she was wrongfully terminated in violation of
Kentucky common law and public policy. [Id. at
24-25]. In Count 3, Furlong alleges that her age was a
substantial motivating factor in her termination and that
Hallmark House unlawfully discriminated against her because
of age in violation of KRS § 344.040.
judgment is required when “there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
moving party bears the burden of specifying the basis for its
motion and showing the lack of a genuine issue of material
fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986). Once the moving party satisfies this burden, the
nonmoving party must produce specific facts showing a
material issue of fact for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). “Factual
differences are not considered material unless the
differences are such that a reasonable jury could find for
the party contesting the summary judgment motion.”
Bell v. City of E. Cleveland, 125 F.3d 855 (6th Cir.
1997) (citing Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 252).
district court considering a motion for summary judgment may
not weigh evidence or make credibility determinations.
See Daugherty v. Sajar Plastics, Inc., 544 F.3d 696,
702 (6th Cir. 2008); see also Adams v. Metiva, 31
F.3d 375, 385 (6th Cir. 1994). The Court must view the
evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in a light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. See Williams v.
Int'l Paper Co., 227 F.3d 706, 710 (6th Cir. 2000).
But the nonmoving party must do more than show some
“metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Instead, the nonmoving
party must present specific facts showing that a genuine
factual issue exists by “citing to particular parts of
materials in the record” or by “showing that the
materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a
genuine dispute[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); see also
Shreve v. Franklin Cty., Ohio, 743 F.3d 126, 136 (6th
Cir. 2014). “The mere existence of a scintilla of
evidence in support of the [nonmoving party's] position
will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the
jury could reasonably find for the [nonmoving party].”
Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 252.
56(c)(1) requires that a “party asserting that a fact .
. . is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by . . .
citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.”