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Mearig v. Chugach Alaska Corp.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 23, 2017

ADELA MEARIG, Plaintiff,
v.
CHUGACH ALASKA CORPORATION, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S JUNE 22, 2017 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S AUGUST 9, 2017 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Alan C. Kay Sr. United States District Judge

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment filed on June 22, 2017, ECF No. 33. The Court DENIES Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment filed on August 9, 2017, ECF No. 36, as moot. The Court DISMISSES the case WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In July 2015, Plaintiff Adela Mearig (“Plaintiff”) was hired by Chugach Federal Solutions, Inc. (“CFS”) as a temporary cook on Wake Island. Def. June 22, 2017 CSF, Hopper Decl. ¶ 4; Complaint (“Compl”) ¶ 4. Chugach Federal Solutions has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Chugach Government Solutions (“CGS”) since 2013. Def. June 22, 2017 CSF, Hopper Decl. ¶¶ 3-4. Chugach Government Solutions was established in 2013 as a holding company for Defendant Chugach Alaska Corporation's (“Defendant” or “CAC”) subsidiaries, which perform government contracting work. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that between July 26, 2015 and September 27, 2015 she was subject to sexual harassment, sexual assault, verbal harassment, and physical violence by Defendant CAC's employees. Compl. ¶ 4. She was discharged from her position on October 18, 2015 and filed an administrative charge with the EEOC regarding the alleged discrimination and retaliation in April 2016. Id. ¶¶ 4, 9. The EEOC closed its file on Plaintiff's charge on June 22, 2016 because CAC employs less than the required number of employees or is otherwise not covered by the statutes. Id. at 5.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, acting pro se, filed a Title VII complaint in federal court on September 12, 2016. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on June 22, 2017 (“June 22, 2017 Motion”) with a concise statement of facts in support of that motion (“Def. June 22, 2017 CSF”). ECF Nos. 33, 34. Defendant filed a second motion for summary judgment on August 9, 2017 (“August 9, 2017 Motion”) with a concise statement of facts in support of that motion. ECF Nos. 36, 37. Plaintiff, through counsel, filed her oppositions on September 12, 2017 (“Opp. to June 22, 2017 Motion” and “Opp. to August 9, 2017 Motion”), ECF Nos. 41, 43, with concise statements of fact in support of those oppositions (“Pl. June 22, 2017 CSF” and “Pl. August 9, 2017 CSF”). ECF Nos. 42, 44. Defendant filed its replies on October 4, 2017. ECF Nos. 47, 48. On October 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Memorandum in Response to Reply (ECF No. 50) along with a supplemental declaration (ECF No.51).[1] The Court held a hearing on Defendant's Motions on October 20, 2017.

         STANDARD

         Summary judgment is proper where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 56(a) mandates summary judgment “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to the party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also Broussard v. Univ. of Cal., 192 F.3d 1252, 1258 (9th Cir. 1999).

         “A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and of identifying those portions of the pleadings and discovery responses that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323). “When the moving party has carried its burden under Rule 56[(a)] its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts [and] come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (stating that a party cannot “rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading” in opposing summary judgment).

         “An issue is ‘genuine' only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact finder could find for the nonmoving party, and a dispute is ‘material' only if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” In re Barboza, 545 F.3d 702, 707 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). When considering the evidence on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all reasonable inferences on behalf of the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587; see also Posey v. Lake Pend Oreille Sch. Dist. No. 84, 546 F.3d 1121, 1126 (9th Cir. 2008) (stating that “the evidence of [the nonmovant] is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor”) (internal citation and quotation omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Defendant's June 22, 2017 Motion for Summary Judgment

         Defendant has moved for summary judgment on the basis that it is not a proper party to this action and is not liable for Plaintiff's Title VII claims as the parent company of the holding company ...


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