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Landrum v. Delta Regional Medical Center

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

February 6, 2015

EZELL LANDRUM, Plaintiff,
v.
DELTA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JANE M. VIRDEN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Delta Regional Medical Center's ("DRMC") Motion for Summary Judgment [30] on the pro se plaintiff's complaint for gender/race discrimination and retaliation pursuant to Title VII. The matter has been fully briefed, and the Court finds, for the reasons discussed below, the motion is well taken.

FACTS

The plaintiff, Ezell Landrum, was first employed by DRMC in 1994, and he was working as a registered nurse in the Solutions Adult-Psychiatric Unit of DRMC (hereinafter referred to as "Solutions") under Director Jessica Willis, a white female, when he was first terminated on June 25, 2010, due to repeatedly failing to complete nursing assessments and documentation. See Landrum Dep. 49-50; Jessica Willis Aff. (and Exhibit 4 attached thereto). Although Willis initially classified Landrum as not eligible for rehire, he was given a second chance by her in August 2011, when he again went to work at DRMC's Solutions. See Willis Aff.

On March 21, 2013, Landrum was again terminated, this time for allegedly failing to perform his responsibility for monitoring patients. See Willis Aff. (and Exhibit 8 attached thereto). Specifically, DRMC asserts that on March 14, 2013, Willis learned female patients had complained that a male patient was roaming the halls knocking on doors the previous night. Id. According to DRMC, Willis contacted hospital security, and she and a security officer reviewed the video surveillance film of the evening in question which showed Landrum enter non-patient rooms and remain for several hours during the time the male patient roamed the halls and knocked on doors. Id.

On March 29, 2013, Landrum filed an EEOC Charge of Discrimination (" Charge") against DRMC wherein he alleged discrimination on the basis of gender and retaliation. See Charge attached to Compl. Doc. #4. In his Charge, Landrum asserted that his gender discrimination is "based on [DRMC employee] Jessica Willis' longstanding and ongoing disparate treatment, harsh disciplinary action and punishment of me as a male staff member." Landrum further asserted in the Charge that "female staff members in my department do not receive disciplinary action to the degree and extent that I have received for similar allegations and countless situations." No allegations pertaining to race were made in the Charge. In support of the remaining claim, Landrum asserted in the Charge, "Retaliation based on my on going request for Director, Jessica Willis, to provide reasonable accommodations and safe environment for mentally disabled patients."

On July 26, 2013, the EEOC issued its right to sue. Id. On October 11, 2013, Landrum commenced this action by motion to proceed in forma pauperis - which was denied - and on December 4, 2013, Landrum filed his Complaint against DRMC. In his Complaint, Landrum also included a claim for discrimination based upon race. See Compl., Doc. #4, ¶ 10.

During his deposition, Landrum testified that his termination of March 2013 was the last discriminatory act in a "pattern" of acts dating back to his first tenure at DRMC. When asked to describe specifically each complained of discriminatory act, Landrum identified three occasions where he received disciplinary action:

June 25, 2010

As noted above, Landrum was terminated June 25, 2010, for, according to DRMC, his failure to complete nursing assessments and documentation. See Landrum Dep. 49-50. Landrum testified that this was the first occasion of discrimination against him. Id. Landrum claims that two other similarly situated female employees were treated more favorably for the same or similar conduct. Id. at 51-52. Landrum conceded that even though he thought this was discriminatory conduct when it occurred, he did not file a Charge of Discrimination within 180 days. Id. at 52. Not only did he not file a charge within the statutory period, the Charge attached to the instant Complaint is silent as to this alleged discriminatory event. Moreover, this event is not mentioned in the Complaint. To the contrary, the Complaint alleges the discrimination began in November 2012 and ended March 21, 2013. See Compl. ¶ 5B [Doc. #4].

April 19, 2012

On April 19, 2012, Landrum having been rehired by DRMC in August 2011, received a Counseling Memorandum and a three-day suspension for failure to notify the director and nursing supervisor of a patient falling which necessitated medical attention on April 8, 2012. See Landrum Dep. 58-66. See Willis Aff. (and Exhibit 6 thereto). It is uncontested that a female nurse, Marcia Kidd, RN, also received the identical Counseling Memorandum and a three-day suspension. See Willis Aff. (and Exhibit 7 attached thereto). Landrum did not file an EEOC Charge within 180 days relating to this adverse employment action either. Nor is this event referred to in the Charge attached to the Complaint, or even mentioned in the Complaint. As noted, the Complaint itself specifically alleges the discrimination began in November 2012 and ended March 21, 2013. See Compl. ¶ 5B [Doc. #4].

March 13-14, 2013

This is the incident recounted above for which Landrum was most recently terminated, where DRMC claims that female patients complained that a male patient was walking the halls during the night knocking on their doors, and Landrum, who was responsible for monitoring the patients, was observed on video surveillance entering a non-patient room for hours at a time. It is uncontested that during the course of the investigation of this incident, Willis also observed the conduct of a female employee going into a room and not coming out for several ...


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