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Valentine v. Fluor Daniel Maintenance Services Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

July 22, 2019

Christopher Valentine, Plaintiff,
v.
Fluor Daniel Maintenance Services, Inc., Defendant.

          ORDER

          Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Christopher Valentine, (“Plaintiff”), brings this action against Fluor Daniel Maintenance Services, Inc. (“Defendant”). This case arises out of Plaintiff's termination from his job on April 19, 2016. Plaintiff asserts claims pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 41-1-80 for retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim and pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for race discrimination. On November 12, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 26). On December 11, 2018, Plaintiff, through counsel, responded. (ECF No. 32). On December 18, 2018, Defendant replied to Plaintiff's response. (ECF No. 34). In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the case was referred to the Magistrate Judge.

         The Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[1] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that this Court should (1) grant summary judgment as to Plaintiff's race discrimination claim because Plaintiff conceded that discovery did not produce sufficient evidence, and (2) that summary judgment should also be granted as to Plaintiff's worker's compensation retaliation claim. The Report sets forth, in detail, the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and standards without a recitation.

         The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objections are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, a district court is only required to conduct a de novo review of the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Carniewski v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific objections to portions of the Report of the Magistrate, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).

         Plaintiff was advised of his right to object to the Report, which was entered on the docket on January 25, 2019. (ECF No. 35). Plaintiff, through counsel, filed objections to the Report (“Objections”) on February 4, 2019. (ECF No. 37). On February 8, 2019, Defendant filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Objections. (ECF No. 39). Thus, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment should be rendered 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 the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The movant has the burden of proving that summary judgment is appropriate. Once the movant makes the showing, however, the opposing party must respond to the motion with “specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56).

         When no genuine issue of any material fact exists, summary judgment is appropriate. See Shealy v. Winston, 929 F.2d 1009, 1011 (4th Cir. 1991). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the facts and inferences to be drawn from the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. However, “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, 477 U.S. at 247-48.

         “[O]nce the moving party has met [its] burden, the nonmoving party must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere allegations contained in the pleadings to show that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Baber v. Hospital Corp. of Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992). The nonmoving party may not rely on beliefs, conjecture, speculation, or conclusory allegations to defeat a motion for summary judgment. See Id. Rather, the nonmoving party is required to submit evidence of specific facts by way of affidavits, depositions, interrogatories, or admissions to demonstrate the existence of a genuine and material factual issue for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         III. DISCUSSION

         After detailed consideration of the Report, the parties' briefs, and the Objections, the Court modifies the Report (ECF No. 35) in part as set forth below. Additionally, the Court adopts those portions of the Report (ECF No. 35) which are not inconsistent with this Order.

         A. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted as to Plaintiff's claim for race discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

         The Magistrate Judge correctly opines that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment should be granted as to Plaintiff's claim for race discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 because Plaintiff concedes that “discovery did not produce sufficient evidence that the decision to terminate Plaintiff was because of his race.” (ECF No. 32 p. 1). Additionally, Plaintiff does not object to this portion of the Report, and in the absence of ...


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