United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge, recommending summary judgment for
Defendant. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts
the Report and Recommendation and grants summary judgment for
Kevin Carr, an African-American male, was hired by the
Defendant Thompson Trucking Company as a truck driver in
October 2012. Plaintiff received three written warnings in
the six months prior to the event that resulted in his
termination in November 2013. On May 1, 2013, Plaintiff was
issued a written warning for careless operation and failure
to report an accident that had taken place on April 30, 2013.
Plaintiff was issued a second warning for self-dispatching in
violation of Defendant's dispatch procedures. On October
25, 2013, Plaintiff was issued a third written warning after
another truck driver reported that Plaintiff had acted
inappropriately towards a female driver. On November 19,
2013, Plaintiff was terminated for another violation of
Defendant's dispatch procedures.
his termination, Plaintiff filed a claim for discrimination
with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission. After
exhaustion of his administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed
this action in Charleston County Small Claims Court, naming
Adrienne Thompson as Defendant. Defendant Thompson construed
the complaint as asserting a claim for race discrimination
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq., and removed the action to
this Court. An amended complaint named Thompson Trucking as
an additional Defendant. On October 15, 2015, the Honorable
Sol Blatt, Jr., Senior United States District Judge, granted
Defendant's partial motion for summary judgment and
dismissed Adrienne Thompson from this action. In his
remaining cause of action against the remaining Defendant,
Thompson Trucking, Plaintiff alleges race discrimination in
violation of Title VII. Defendant has moved for summary
judgment on this remaining claim. The Magistrate Judge
recommended summary judgment for Defendant on May 24, 2016.
(R. & R., Dkt. No. 61.) Plaintiff filed objections to the
Report and Recommendation on June 2, 2016. (Obj., Dkt. No.
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which
specific objection is made. The Court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
proper objection is made to a particular issue, "a
district court is required to consider all arguments directed
to that issue, regardless of whether they were raised before
the magistrate." United States v.
George, 971 F.2d 1113, 1118 (4th Cir. 1992).
However, "[t]he district court's decision whether to
consider additional evidence is committed to its discretion,
and any refusal will be reviewed for abuse." Doe
v. Chao, 306 F.3d 170, 183 & n.9 (4th Cir.
2002). "[A]ttempts to introduce new evidence after the
magistrate judge has acted are disfavored, " though the
district court may allow it "when a party offers
sufficient reasons for so doing." Caldwell v.
Jackson, 831 F.Supp.2d 911, 914 (M.D. N.C. 2010)
judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact" and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In other words, summary judgment should
be granted "only when it is clear that there is no
dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the
inferences to be drawn from those facts." Pulliam
Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir.
1987). "In determining whether a genuine issue has been
raised, the court must construe all inferences and
ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party."
HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross,
101 F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir. 1996). The party seeking
summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of
demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986).
the moving party has made this threshold demonstration, the
non-moving party, to survive the motion for summary judgment,
may not rest on the allegations averred in his pleadings.
Id. at 324. Rather, the non-moving party must
demonstrate that specific, material facts exist that give
rise to a genuine issue. Id. Under this standard,
"[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice,
nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence'" in
support of the non-moving party's case. Thompson v.
Potomac Elec. Power Co., 312 F.3d 645, 649 (4th Cir.
2002) (quoting Phillips v. CSX Transp, Inc., 190
F.3d 285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).
claims disparate treatment, based on his assertion that he
was subjected to racial discrimination when he was
disciplined and discharged. He must prove intentional
discrimination, either by direct evidence or by the process
set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.Green,411 U.S. 792 (1973). McDonnell
Douglas requires a plaintiff to establish a prima
facie case of discrimination and to show that the
legitimate reasons (if any) the defendant asserts for its
actions are pretextual. 411 U.S. at 802-05. Plaintiff has not
offered any direct evidence of racial discrimination, and the
Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff failed to present
sufficient circumstantial evidence to create a ...