United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
(DOC. NO 32)
C. Hall, United States District Judge
plaintiff, Noemi Villafane (“Villafane”),
originally commenced this action in the Connecticut Superior
Court for the Judicial District of Hartford. See
Notice of Removal (Doc. No. 1). The defendant, KRA
Corporation (“KRA”), removed the action to this
court, pursuant to section 1446 of title 28 of the United
States Code. See id. Before this court is KRA's
unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment (“MSJ”)
(Doc. No. 32).
reasons stated below, KRA's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. No. 32) is granted.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
as here, the court is presented with an unopposed Motion for
Summary Judgment, a judgment of default is not appropriate.
See Jackson v. Fed. Exp., 766 F.3d 189, 194 (2d Cir.
2014). Instead, “[b]efore summary judgment may be
entered, the district court must ensure that each statement
of material fact is supported by record evidence sufficient
to satisfy the movant's burden of production even if the
statement is unopposed.” Id. (citing
Vermont Teddy Bear Co. v. 1-800 Beargram Co., 373
F.3d 241, 244 (2d Cir. 2004). A district court must therefore
determine whether the moving party has met its burden of
demonstrating that no material issue of fact remains for
trial, and that the evidence in the record supports the
moving party's unopposed assertion. Id.
purposes of this Ruling, the undisputed, well-supported
factual allegations set forth in KRA's Local Rule 56a(1)
Statement of Undisputed Facts (“SOF”) (Doc. No.
34) are deemed admitted. See Jackson, 766 F.3d at
194; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) (“If a party fails to properly
support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address
another party's assertion of fact . . . the court may . .
. consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the
motion.”); D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 56(a)(3) (“Failure
to provide specific citations to evidence in the record as
required by this Local Rule may result in the Court deeming
admitted certain facts that are supported by the
One of Villafane's Complaint alleges that KRA
discriminated against Villafane on the basis of her national
origin or ethnicity, in violation of section 46a-60(a)(1) of
the Connecticut General Statutes. See Notice Of
Removal, Exhibit A (Doc. No. 1-1) at 5. Count Two alleges
that KRA retaliated against Villafane for opposing unlawful
discrimination in violation of section 46a-60(a)(4) of the
Connecticut General Statutes. Id. at 5-6.
review of the undisputed facts, which are supported by
admissible evidence, the court finds that, even assuming
Villafane could establish a prima facie case of
discrimination, she failed to rebut KRA's articulation of
a nondiscriminatory basis for the alleged adverse employment
decision. KRA argued that Villafane was terminated not
because of her national origin or ethnicity, but rather
because she failed to comply with policies requiring her to
report the presence of a firearm in the workplace.
See KRA Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary
Judgment (“Mem. in Supp.”) (Doc. No. 33) at
15-16. Villafane provided no evidence
demonstrating that this nondiscriminatory basis for her
termination was pretextual. Therefore, there is no genuine
issue of material fact as to whether KRA discriminated
against Villafane on the basis of her national origin or
undisputed evidence further establishes that no genuine issue
of material fact exists as to whether Villafane's reports
of allegedly discriminatory statements made by a coworker
were a motivating factor in her termination. Indeed, the
evidence establishes that Villafane's reports were taken
seriously by her supervisors, who stated that the comments by
her coworker were unacceptable and needed to stop.
See SOF ¶ 40. Villafane therefore failed to
state a prima facie case of retaliation.
See Mem. in Supp. at 21. Moreover, Villafane
provided no evidence to rebut the nonretaliatory reason for
her termination by KRA. Therefore, no genuine issue of
material fact exists as to whether KRA retaliated against
Villafane in violation of Connecticut law.
foregoing reasons, KRA's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. No. 32) is GRANTED. The Clerk is
ordered to close this case.