United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel, United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge, recommending that Defendants'
motion for summary judgment be granted in part and denied in
part. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts the
Report and Recommendation.
alleges that in March 2015, she began working at Detyens
Shipyards through Hitrak Staffing, an employment agency. On
June 14, 2015, Plaintiff bent over while was working in the
cargo hold of a ship. Plaintiff testified that another
employee, Herman Johnson, then "grabbed me from my
vagina to my rear end." (Dkt. No. 30-1.) Plaintiff
testified that she immediately reported what had happened to
her supervisor, who reported it to management. Management met
with Plaintiff that same day, and again on the following day.
After she met with management, Plaintiff went back to the
ship and saw Johnson "being escorted off the ship."
(Id.) Plaintiff testified that it was her
understanding that he was terminated "that very
day" and that she had never seen him again since.
(Id.) Two weeks later, Plaintiff was terminated.
Plaintiff claims her termination was in retaliation for her
harassment claim. Defendants claim Plaintiff was terminated
for a confrontational response to being told to cease
prohibited use of a cell phone in a break room at the work
April 28, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present action, asserting
claims for sexual harassment in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for negligent supervision under
South Carolina law. Defendants moved for summary judgment on
August 29, 2017, and on November 3, 2017, the Magistrate
Judge recommending granting Defendants' motion in part
and denying it in part. Defendants filed timely objections to
the Report and Recommendation. Plaintiff filed no objections.
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) (listing cases).
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.
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)).