United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
C. NORTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on United States Magistrate Judge
Mary Gordon Baker's report and recommendation
(“R&R”) that the court grant defendant
Science Applications International Corporation's
(“SAIC”) motion for summary judgment. For the
reasons set forth below, the court adopts the R&R and
grants SAIC's motion for summary judgment.
case arises out of SAIC's alleged discrimination against
its former employee, plaintiff Ellen Drake
(“Drake”). Drake brought claims against SAIC for
sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), age
discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”), disability
discrimination in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), hostile work
environment based on sex and age in violation of Title VII
and the ADEA, and retaliation in violation of Title VII and
the ADEA. Despite Drake's objection to the R&R's
recitation of the facts, the court finds that the R&R
ably recites the detailed facts of the case, and because it
is unnecessary to recapitulate the complaint, pleadings,
depositions, and exhibits constituting the factual record,
this order dispenses with a recitation thereof.
filed her initial complaint on October 3, 2017, ECF No. 1,
and subsequently filed an amended complaint on December 7,
2017, ECF No. 14, and a second amended complaint on September
18, 2018, ECF No. 44. On November 20, 2018, SAIC filed its
motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 52. Drake responded to
the motion on December 17, 2018, ECF No. 59, and SAIC replied
on December 27, 2018, ECF No. 61. On March 4, 2019, the
magistrate judge issued the R&R, recommending that the
court grant SAIC's motion for summary judgment as to all
of Drake's claims. ECF No. 62. Drake filed objections to
the R&R on March 18, 2019, ECF No. 63, and SAIC replied
to Drake's objections on March 25, 2019, ECF No. 64. The
matter is now ripe for the court's review.
magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to the court.
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976). The
recommendation carries no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
court. Id. at 270-71. The court may “accept,
reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge . . . or
recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court is
charged with making a de novo determination of any
portion of the R&R to which a specific objection is made.
Id. However, de novo review is unnecessary
when a party makes general and conclusory objections without
directing a court's attention to a specific error in the
magistrate judge's proposed findings. Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of a specific objection, the court reviews the R&R only
for clear error. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (citation
omitted). “A finding is ‘clearly erroneous'
when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing
court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and
firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395
judgment shall be granted if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show 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(c). “By its very terms, this standard
provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material
fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). “Only disputes over facts that
might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law
will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.”
Id. at 248. “[S]ummary judgment will not lie
if the dispute about a material fact is ‘genuine,'
that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
“[A]t the summary judgment stage the judge's
function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine
the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Id. at 249. The
court should view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party and draw all inferences in its favor.
Id. at 255.
first objects to the R&R's recitation of the facts in
the factual background portion of the R&R, arguing that
they are improperly presented in a light most favorable to
SAIC. Drake then fills 21 pages of her objections with her
recitation of the facts. Drake also makes various objections
about the R&R's findings on her individual claims.
The court finds none of these objections convincing.
The R&R's Recitation of Facts
first argues that the R&R improperly drew its recitation
of the facts primarily from SAIC's motion for summary
judgment and from Drake's second amended complaint, which
Drake explains consists only of allegations and not evidence.
As a result, Drake contends, the R&R views the facts in
the light most favorable to SAIC. However, this argument
fails for several reasons. First, in considering the
allegations of the second amended complaint in its recitation
of the facts, the R&R viewed the facts in the light most
favorable to Drake because they are Drake's allegations.
And despite claiming that the R&R “does make rare
cites to the Plaintiff's exhibits Docket No. 59, ”
ECF No. 63 at 7, the R&R contains numerous citations to
Docket No. 59 and its exhibits, which is Drake's response
to the motion for summary judgment. Indeed, this court ...