Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lambdin v. Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

September 14, 2017

BARTON L. LAMBDIN, Plaintiff,
v.
MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 39)

          HELEN GILLMOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Barton Lambdin has filed a Complaint against Marriott Resorts Hospitality Corporation (“Marriott Resorts”) alleging claims of discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C § 12203, and the Hawaii Whistleblower's Protection Act, H.R.S. § 378-62.

         Defendant Marriott Resorts moves for summary judgment as to each of Plaintiff's claims.

         Plaintiff withdrew his Title VII discrimination claim.

         Plaintiff opposes summary judgment on his remaining claims.

         Defendant Marriott Resorts' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 39) is GRANTED.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 1, 2016, Plaintiff Barton Lambdin filed a complaint. (ECF No. 1).

         On March 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed a FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 6).

         On April 21, 2016, Defendant filed MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 11).

         On June 14, 2017, Defendant filed DEFENDANT MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION, INC.'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 39) and DEFENDANT MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION'S CONCISE STATEMENT OF FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 40).

         On July 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF BARTON L. LAMBDIN'S RESPONSES TO DEFENDANT MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION'S CONCISE STATEMENT OF FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 43) and PLAINTIFF BARTON L. LAMBDIN'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT MARRIOTT RESORTS HOSPITALITY CORPORATION INC.'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 44).

         On August 7, 2017, Defendant Marriot Resorts filed its reply. (ECF No. 40).

         On August 28, 2017, a hearing was held on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 50).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's Employment With Marriott Resorts

         Plaintiff alleges that in July 2007, Defendant Marriott Resorts took over a property located at Kauai Lagoons in Kauai. (Deposition of Barton Lambdin, dated Mar. 9, 2017 (“Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo.”) at pp. 16-17, attached at pp. 2-3 of Ex. A to Def.'s Concise Statement of Facts (“CSF”), ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff alleges that he worked as a pesticide applicator for the previous owner of the property, and was kept as an employee when Defendant Marriott Resorts took control of the property. (Id. at p. 17). Plaintiff states that David Nagao (“Nagao”) was his supervisor from the time Defendant took over the property. (Id. at p. 19). At some time in 2007, Plaintiff was seriously injured while spraying pesticide on the grounds. (Id. at p. 18). Defendant changed Plaintiff's position to Groundskeeper II soon after the 2007 pesticide spray accident. (Id.)

         Plaintiff continued employment with Defendant until his suspension on February 27, 2014. (Disciplinary Action Form at p. 1, attached as Ex. 4 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-5). On March 5, 2014, Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment. (Def.'s CSF at p. 3, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 3, ECF No. 43).

         Defendant's Drug Policy Documents

         On July 29, 2008, Plaintiff signed a document entitled “Drug and Alcohol Policy.” (Drug and Alcohol Policy, attached at pp. 71-74 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). The same day, Plaintiff signed a document entitled “Conditions of Employment.” (Conditions of Employment, attached at pp. 63-64 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). In the Conditions of Employment, Plaintiff acknowledged receipt of the Associate Handbook. Plaintiff signed a third document entitled “Associate Notification Letter” the same day. (Associate Notification Letter, attached at p. 75 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff acknowledged receipt of the Associate Handbook again on March 15, 2012. (Associate Acknowledgment, attached at p. 65 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff agrees that he was aware that he was expected to follow the Drug and Alcohol Policy and that a positive drug test could result in termination of his employment. (Def.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43).

         Defendant Marriott Resorts is a drug-free workplace. (Associate Notification Letter at p. 1, attached at p. 74 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3; Drug and Alcohol Policy at p. 1, attached at p. 71 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Defendant requires compliance with the Drug and Alcohol Policy as a condition of employment. (Associate Notification Letter at p. 1, attached at p. 74 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3).

         The Drug and Alcohol Policy requires that employees get tested for drugs and alcohol following an on-the-job accident. (Drug and Alcohol Policy, attached at p. 72 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). The Drug and Alcohol Policy defines an on-the-job accident as an incident that results in injury requiring outside medical attention. (Def.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43). The Drug and Alcohol Policy states that providing a sample “found to contain evidence of drug or alcohol use ... will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.” (Def.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43). The Drug and Alcohol Policy advises that use of marijuana violates federal law and prohibits marijuana use by employees, even if the employee has a prescription. (Def.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43).

         Plaintiff's Work and Health History

         David Nagao was Plaintiff's supervisor from the time Defendant Marriott Resorts took over the Kauai Lagoons property in 2007. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at p. 19, attached at p. 5 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff asserts that Nagao closely monitored him after the 2007 pesticide spray injury until Plaintiff's termination. (Id. at pp. 96-99).

         Nagao revoked Plaintiff's ability to order inventory in 2009 or 2010. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at pp. 102-03, attached at pp. 41-42 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3).

         In April 2010, Plaintiff had his right hip replaced. (Declaration of Barton Lambdin (“Lambdin Decl.”) at p. 2, attached to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-1). His left hip was replaced in May 2011. (Id.)

         In 2012, Plaintiff was disciplined for playing a guitar on a golf cart during his lunch time. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at pp. 99-101, attached at pp. 38-40 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3; Record of Conversation at p. 1, attached at p. 77 of Ex. A to Def's CSF, ECF No. 40-3).

         Plaintiff was issued a warning for a “no-call, no-show” on February 20, 2013. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at p. 104, attached at p. 43 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3).

         On May 28, 2013, Plaintiff's left hip was replaced a second time. (Lambdin Decl. at p. 2, ECF No. 43-1). Plaintiff states that his hip replacements hindered his ability to lift and work. Plaintiff asserts that because he was limited in his ability to lift and work, he falls within the legal definition of “disabled” pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act. Plaintiff states that on June 28, 2012, he requested Defendant provide a lift or a hoist to accommodate his disability. (Charge of Discrimination at p. 1, attached as Ex. 1 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-2).

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Marriott Resorts failed to accommodate his disability. Plaintiff states that on April 30, 2013 and October 4, 2013, he filed complaints of discrimination with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Defendant's failure to provide a lifting device amounted to a denial of reasonable accommodations for his disability. (Amended Complaint at p. 3, ECF No. 6).

         Plaintiff states that it was standard procedure for employees to record their daily activities in a logbook. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at p. 81, attached at p. 29 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff wrote about his hip pain in the logbook. On July 31, 2012, Plaintiff wrote that his hip was hurting in the logbook. (Id.) Nagao crossed out Plaintiff's writings about his hip pain and wrote “tasks only!” in the book. (Id. at pp. 85-86). On August 8, 2012, Plaintiff wrote that his left hip was hurting and swelling in his logbook. (Id. at pp. 85-86). Nagao did not write about that comment. (Id.) Plaintiff claims there were other occasions where he would write about his hip pain in the logbook and Nagao would write responses with what Plaintiff believed to be threatening language. (Id.)

         On January 9, 2014, Plaintiff's physician, Doctor Joseph Murray, recommended that Plaintiff be considered for a medical marijuana certificate. (Letter Dated Jan. 1, 2014, attached as Ex. 2 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-3). On February 9, 2014, Doctor Christopher Lawinski and social worker Matthew Brittain approved Plaintiff for a medical marijuana certificate. (Letter Dated Feb. 9, 2014, attached as Ex. 3 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-4).

         Plaintiff's Panic Attack and Drug Test

         Plaintiff alleges that around February 17, 2014, Nagao read something that he did not like in Plaintiff's logbook. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at p. 87, attached at p. 33 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff states that on February 17, 2014, he went to work and found his partially-completed logbook was replaced with a new logbook. (Id.) The cover of the new logbook included writing from Nagao instructing that the logbook was supposed to be filled out daily by Plaintiff, and that only tasks should be written in the logbook. (Deposition of Barton Lambdin, dated Apr. 28, 2017 (“Apr. 28 Lambdin Depo.”) at pp. 136-37, attached at pp. 52-53 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff states that he believed Nagao's language was threatening. (Id.) Plaintiff states that Nagao had included a chart inside the book to specify and limit what Plaintiff wrote in the logbook. (Id.)

         Plaintiff states that when he saw the logbook he suffered a panic attack. (Mar. 9 Lambdin Depo. at pp. 87-88, attached at pp. 33-34 of Ex. A to Def.'s CSF, ECF No. 40-3). Plaintiff was transported from work at Defendant's property to the hospital by ambulance. (Def.'s CSF at p. 3, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43). In accordance with the Drug and Alcohol Policy, Defendant had Plaintiff take a post-accident drug test on February 18, 2014. (Def.'s CSF at p. 3, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43). A urinalysis returned a positive finding for marijuana. (Def.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 40; Pla.'s CSF at p. 2, ECF No. 43).

         On February 27, 2014, Defendant Marriott Resorts suspended Plaintiff. (Disciplinary Action Form at p. 1, attached as Ex. 4 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-5). On March 3, 2014, Plaintiff appealed his suspension. (Appeal, attached as Ex. 6 to Pla.'s CSF, ECF No. 43-7). On March 5, 2014, Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment. (Def.'s CSF at p. 3, ECF No. 40; First Amended Complaint at p. 4, ECF No. 6).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). To defeat summary judgment there must be sufficient evidence that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Nidds v. Schindler Elevator Corp., 113 F.3d 912, 916 (9th Cir. 1997).

         The moving party has the initial burden of “identifying for the court the portions of the materials on file that it believes demonstrate the absence of any genuine issue of material fact.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). The moving party, however, has no burden to negate or disprove matters on which the opponent will have the burden of proof at trial. The moving party need not produce any evidence at all on matters for which it does not have the burden of proof. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. The moving party must show, however, that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that he or she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. That burden is met by pointing out to the district court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case. Id.

         If the moving party meets its burden, then the opposing party may not defeat a motion for summary judgment in the absence of probative evidence tending to support its legal theory. Commodity Futures Trading Comm'n v. Savage, 611 F.2d 270, 282 (9th Cir. 1979). The opposing party must present admissible evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Brinson v. Linda Rose Joint Venture, 53 F.3d 1044, 1049 (9th Cir. 1995). “If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.” Nidds, 113 F.3d at 916 (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)).

         The court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Martin, 872 F.2d 319, 320 (9th Cir. 1989). Opposition evidence may consist of declarations, admissions, evidence obtained through discovery, and matters judicially noticed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The opposing party cannot, however, stand on its pleadings or simply assert that it will be able to discredit the movant's evidence at trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); T.W. Elec. Serv., 809 F.2d at 630. The opposing party cannot rest on mere allegations or denials. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Gasaway v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 26 F.3d 957, 959-60 (9th Cir. 1994). When the non-moving party relies only on its own affidavits to oppose summary judgment, it cannot rely on conclusory allegations ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.