United States District Court, D. Oregon
CHRISTOPHER M. REAVES, Plaintiff,
NEXSTAR BROADCASTING, INC., a Delaware corporation, and LIN TELEVISION CORPORATION dba KOIN-TV, a Delaware corporation, Defendants.
Mechanic MECHANIC LAW FIRM
Whitney Stark ALBIES & STARK Attorneys for Plaintiff
P. Busch MacCOLL BUSCH SATO, P.C.
Charles W. Pautsch Lisa A. Baiocchi PAUTSCH, SPOGNARDI &
BAIOCCHI LEGAL GROUP LLP Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNANDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Christopher Reaves brings this employment discrimination and
tort action against his former employer Lin Television
Corporation (LIN-TV) as well as Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
(Nexstar), a company that LIN-TV merged with after the events
in this case occurred. Defendants move for summary judgment
on the merits of all of Plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff
moves for partial summary judgment on the single issue of
Nexstar's successor liability for the acts committed by
LIN-TV. I grant Defendants' motion as to the retaliation
claims which Plaintiff withdraws, grant the motion on the
"interactive process claims" to the extent they are
asserted as stand-alone claims, grant the motion on the
intentional interference with emotional distress claim, and
deny the motion on all other claims. I grant Plaintiff's
relevant time, LIN-TV owned local television station KOIN-TV
in Portland. KOIN hired Plaintiff as an assignment editor in
its news department in April 2012. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl.,
Ex. 4, ECF 45 at 2. He was terminated in October
2015. Id., Ex. 28, ECF 45 at 41-42.
According to an undated job announcement for the position, an
assignment editor "facilitates producers' needs for
the stations [sic] newscasts[;] [and] [g]enerates story
ideas, researches, assigns, and directs crews and provides
for follow up as needed." Busch Apr. 23, 2018 Decl., Ex.
1, ECF 34-1 at 4. Assignment editors must be able to work
various shifts and possess "[s]olid news judgment as
well as strong logistical skills," the "ability to
work well in a fast paced and intense environment," and
the ability "to multi-task and prioritize[.]"
Id. Additionally, according to Casey Wenger,
Nexstar's Human Resources and Business Administrator at
KOIN, assignment editors "are responsible for
establishing a network of contacts and constantly interact
with numerous organizations throughout the community on a
daily basis to gather information, including various local
and state police departments." Wenger Apr. 20, 2018
Decl. ¶ 3, ECF 34-2. "As such," Wenger states,
"it is an essential part of the job to have a good
working relationship with these organizations, especially the
police departments." Id. Plaintiff initially
worked as a weekend assignment editor as well as a helper
three days during the week. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 1,
ECF 43-1 (Arbitration Hearing Transcript at 54) (hereinafter
"Arb. Trans."). Plaintiff moved to weekday mornings and
then was moved back to the weekend assignment editor
History From Hire to September 1, 2015
last performance appraisal at KOIN before his October 2015
termination is dated November 2, 2013. Plaintiff met
expectations in eighteen categories and exceeded expectations
in two categories. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 6, ECF 45 at
3-6. He was not rated as below expectations or unsatisfactory
in any category. Id. Plaintiff was never placed on a
performance improvement plan. Arb. Trans. at 312 (Pl. Test.).
Generally, he received both positive and critical feedback
about his work. Id. at 312-14 . KOIN's News
Director Kate Glover, however, described Plaintiff's work
as showing a "progressive pattern of unprofessional
behavior that was getting worse as time went by despite
corrective measures." Id. at 54. She described
his performance as "very inconsistent."
summary judgment record shows that in 2014 and 2015,
Plaintiff received several written warnings for unacceptable
conduct. E.g., Wenger Apr. 20, 2018 Decl., Ex. A
(Oct. 29, 2014 written warning regarding unprofessional
communication); id., Ex. B (Nov. 17, 2014 written
warning designated as "final" regarding an
inappropriate "reply all" email to the Vancouver
Police Department and noting that Plaintiff's conduct was
reckless and could cause long lasting and far reaching issues
for KOIN as a news organization); id., Ex. C (Feb.
27, 2015 "Final Warning with Suspension" for
improperly using his status and association with KOIN to
influence a personal matter at a restaurant); id.,
Ex. E (Aug. 7, 2015 "Written Warning" addressing
inappropriate email regarding a coworker).
is also evidence of other employees complaining about
Plaintiff's conduct. Id., Ex. D (June 18, 2015
email from Jason Stevens to Glover and Wenger complaining
about statement Plaintiff made in a group); Busch Apr. 23,
2015 Decl., Ex 5 (June 27, 2015 email from lead assignment
editor Colin Miner to Glover and Stevens, stating that
"Christopher's negatives are far outweighing his
usefulness on the desk" and complaining about problems
with Plaintiff's work and personality). II.
Disability-Related Knowledge by Defendants/Leave Requests
Before September 1, 2015
has been diagnosed with depression, alcoholism, bipolar
disorder, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 5 (Pl. Depo.)
123:22-124:5, ECF 43-1 at 359-360. At his arbitration
hearing, he testified that in June or July 2012, just a few
months after he was hired, he told then-Assistant News
Director Jason Kravarik and lead assignment editor Tamara
Greenville about his mental health issues because he wanted
them to know he was having problems with depression and
suicidal thoughts in case he might need time off. Arb. Trans.
the October 2014 written warning, Plaintiff told Glover that
he had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Id., 323:16-324:3-5. Glover asked him if the PTSD
was related to military service, to which Plaintiff answered
no and explained that it was the result of childhood abuse
and trauma. Id., 324:3-8. Then, in December 2014,
Carrie Biggs-Adams, Plaintiff's union representative, had
a conversation with Cheryl Robb, LIN-TV's labor relations
professional, about Plaintiff's mental health conditions.
Id., 414:7-415:21. Biggs-Adams emailed Robb a
treatment summary from Plaintiff's treating therapist
stating that he was being treated for major depressive
disorder, mild, single episode; generalized anxiety disorder;
and PTSD. Id.; Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 11, ECF
45 at 12 (copy of email to Robb with therapist's
in the "spring of 2015," Plaintiff disclosed to
Glover and Miner that he was an alcoholic and needed to go to
inpatient treatment for help. Arb. Trans. 326:10-13;
327:8-13. Plaintiff initiated the meeting. Id. He
believed his depression was worsening and his alcohol
consumption outside of work was very high. Id.,
326:15-23. He was concerned about himself and his health.
Id. Glover responded that she had no idea Plaintiff
had an alcohol problem. Id., 328:1-3.
time, Plaintiff was working Monday through Friday, 4 am to 12
pm. Id., 328:10-11. He took medical leave from May
4, 2015 to May 17, 2015. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 12. He
was treated at Cedar Hills Hospital and diagnosed with
alcohol dependence, history of marijuana dependence versus
abuse, and PTSD. Id. at 4. On May 15, 2015, Liisa
Heard, Plaintiff's therapist at Cedar Hills, notified
KOIN that Plaintiff was ready to return to work on May 18,
2018. Id., Ex. 13. The letter informed KOIN that
Plaintiff had been receiving treatment at Cedar Hills's
Outpatient Services since May 11, 2015, and that Heard
recommended he return to work on May 18, 2015. Id.
She also recommended that Plaintiff continue his
participation in the Impaired Professionals Program at Cedar
Hills Outpatient for the duration of the eight-week program.
Id. She referred to Plaintiff's commitment to
outpatient treatment and his active participation in the
program. Id. His completion date was set for July 6,
2015, after which he would be encouraged to attend the
ongoing "Continuing Care" support group.
return from leave on May 18, 2018, Plaintiff worked his
Monday - Friday, 4 am to 12 pm schedule. At some point,
Plaintiff was told his shift would be changed. According to
Plaintiff's arbitration hearing testimony, Miner told him
his shift was going back to Wednesday through Sunday, with
split hours. Arb. Trans. 329:2-8. Plaintiff states that he
was displeased and wanted to remain on his current shift.
Id. at 329:10-12. He was disappointed because KOIN
was giving his old shift to a new hire and "this was
her, her first job and I'd been doing this for
awhile." Id. at 329:12-16. Plaintiff stated
that Miner explained that placing Plaintiff back on weekends
would let Plaintiff keep his "head down" and
"out of Kate's [Glover's] sights."
Id. at 329:17-19.
discussed the planned change with Heard. Id. at
330:2-4. On June 24, 2015, Heard sent a letter via email to
Wenger, as well as to union representatives Biggs-Adams and
Kevin Wilson. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 14. Heard wrote
that during group and individual counseling sessions,
Plaintiff had disclosed experiencing increasing anxiety after
receiving news that his shift was changing back to weekends.
Id. She wrote that Plaintiff reported that his
current weekday, early-morning shift was "conducive to
his early recovery, allowing him to regularly attend AA
meetings, participate in group, and re-engage with his
family." Id. Heard recommended that
Plaintiff's weekday schedule stay the same for at least
three months. Id. She explained that "during
early remission, it is important that support systems
established are maintained and if his shift changes this
could potentially undermine his progress thus far."
and Wenger then met with Plaintiff on June 30, 2015. Reaves
Decl. ¶ 2, ECF 42. In his Declaration, Plaintiff states
that Glover was hostile as evidenced by her facial
expressions and raised voice. Id. ¶ 3.
Plaintiff believes that Glover "refused to accept the
recommendation of my therapist." Id. He told
Glover that the schedule change would prevent him from
spending time with his wife and children on the weekends when
they were available. Id. He told her further that
the split shift hours would prevent him from getting
sufficient sleep. Id. Nonetheless, Glover told
Plaintiff she would change his schedule effective on or about
July 6, 2015. Id.
June 30, 2015 memorialization of the meeting, written by
Wenger six days after the meeting, Wenger states that he and
Glover told Plaintiff that they had received Heard's
letter and wanted to make sure to accommodate Plaintiff's
needs for all of his appointments. Busch Apr. 23, 2018 Decl.,
Ex. 6, ECF 34-1. Wenger confirmed with Plaintiff that he
would still be able to make his appointments with his new
schedule. Id. Wenger and Glover discussed the reason
for the schedule change and why they believed it would
relieve Plaintiff's stress and be good for him.
Id. Wenger noted that Plaintiff had been making a
lot of errors and mistakes which could not be tolerated and
that he told Plaintiff he had to cut down on the errors and
then attempted to describe some error that Plaintiff had
recently made. Id. Plaintiff tried to defend himself
and Glover "got very vocal and loud." Id.
She explained she was frustrated, that she wanted him to
succeed, and she was not seeing "that success."
Id. Wenger wrote that Glover was again "very
loud and almost yelling at [Plaintiff] while explaining her
view." Id. She scolded Plaintiff and yelled at
him about a particular incident. Id. Plaintiff tried
to explain but she would not listen. Id. At that
point, Wenger cut it off and explained it was not going to be
resolved "like this." Id. He told
Plaintiff to "take this new opportunity and show us what
you can do." Id. They believed this new
schedule would be less stressful for Plaintiff. Id.
At that point, Plaintiff walked out. Id.
wrote that later that day, Plaintiff came to Wenger's
office and they talked for about an hour. Id.
Plaintiff expressed frustration and believed Glover was
trying to terminate him. Id. He believed that
despite his trying hard, he was never good enough to please
Glover. Id. After further discussion about the
dynamic of the relationship between Plaintiff and Glover,
Wenger told Plaintiff that Glover was the news director and
the final say was hers. Id. Wenger wrote that
Plaintiff said "he was only given a two week chance to
work the morning shift and now [Glover] was going with the
new college girl." Id. Plaintiff told Wenger
that the switch in mid-week from day to mornings was tough
and he was unable to sleep. This is where some of his alcohol
problems started because he was using it to make him sleepy
or black out. Id.
Declaration, Wenger states that he and Glover agreed to make
sure that Plaintiff was scheduled so that he would have time
to participate in his group therapy and to attend AA
meetings. Wenger Decl. ¶ 10. They told him that he would
not be given a weekday/early morning schedule. Id.
According to Wenger, at no time in this meeting or at any
point, did Plaintiff suggest that he could not do his job on
the weekday/weekend shift. Id. III. Events of
September 1, 2015 to Termination
September 1, 2015 Incident
relapsed and began drinking again. On September 1, 2015, he
was depressed, intoxicated, had an argument with his wife,
and walked out of his house with the intention of being hit
by a car. Arb. Trans. 334:1-25. He went to a relatively busy
road, lay down, and closed his eyes. Id. That is the
last thing he remembers until he woke up the next morning in
a holding cell in the Multnomah County jail. Id.
When Plaintiff left his house, Plaintiff's wife called
911, stating that Plaintiff had left the house on foot and
was threatening to hurt himself. Stark Decl., Ex. 17 (M.
Reaves Depo.) 110:5-21.
found Plaintiff lying in Shattuck Road, near
Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. Busch Apr. 23, 2018 Decl., Ex. 2
(police reports). Plaintiff was surrounded by vehicles which
had stopped, apparently to protect him. Id. The
police made sure Plaintiff was breathing, and talked to those
present to confirm he had not been hit by a car. Id.
When the second officer arrived, they blocked off Shattuck
Road. Id. Before emergency medical services arrived,
Plaintiff kept trying to sit up and leave. Id. Once
he was checked by emergency medical services, which confirmed
he was uninjured, Plaintiff was told he needed to stand up
and get out of the street. Id. He responded with
"Fuck you." Id. He repeated this to the
police who then "assisted" Plaintiff to his feet by
lifting him up by his upper arms. Id. He was then
placed into custody. Id. The police described him as
belligerent, cursing at them, and kicking as they tried to
put a seat belt on him. Id. After arriving at the
jail, he lay down on the ground and refused to get up.
Id. Jail deputies then assisted him and took him
inside where he continued to be noncompliant and failed to
listen to simple commands. Id.
Plaintiff woke up in the jail the next morning, September 2,
2015, he was booked for disorderly conduct. Later he was
transported to Providence Portland Medical Center where he
was placed on a mental hold. Arb. Trans. 335:12-21; see
also Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex.20 (emergency
department chart note). He was discharged later that day,
after being seen by a social worker and a psychiatrist.
Id. at 2337:22-338:3. According to Plaintiff, he was
released into the care of his wife. Id. He later
learned that the disorderly conduct charge had been
dismissed. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 19.
Plaintiff did not show up at work as scheduled on September
2, 2015, assistant news director Jason Stevens called
Plaintiff's wife who told Stevens Plaintiff was not well.
Arb. Trans. 223:12-224-13. Stevens passed the information to
Glover. Id. at 224:12-13. Glover called
Plaintiff's wife. Id. at 91:7-19. Glover was
concerned about whether Plaintiff was going to come to work
the following day and asked Plaintiff's wife if Plaintiff
could call Glover back by 6:00 to 6:45 pm. Id.
called Glover about 6:30 pm. Id. at 336:9-337:21. He
almost immediately started sobbing uncontrollably.
Id. He told her he was in the hospital and tried to
kill himself when he was drunk and got into an argument with
his wife. Id. He related that his wife was
concerned, had called 911, that the police came and took him
into custody, and eventually he was taken to a hospital.
Id. He testified that in response, Glover told him
to take care of himself and to let her know what was
happening. Id. He told her he would not be at work
the next day but would call her and let her know when he was
ready to return. Id. After talking to Plaintiff,
Glover emailed Wenger and others to update them about
Plaintiff including telling them he had tried to commit
suicide and was in the hospital on a mental hold. Stark May
14, 2018 Decl, Ex. 18.
checked himself into Cedar Hills Hospital on September 5,
2015. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 36. He remained there
until September 14, 2015. Id. Upon discharge, his
diagnoses were PTSD; major depressive disorder, recurrent;
anxiety disorder not otherwise specified; alcohol dependence
continuous; and alcohol withdrawal. Id.
before, on September 4, 2015, he requested medical leave from
KOIN for September 2, 2015 through September 15, 2015. Wenger
Decl. ¶ 16. He requested and received additional medical
leave through October 13, 2015. Id. On October 14,
2015, Plaintiff presented a release from his physician,
stating that he was ready to return to full, active, and
regular work duties. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 27.
speaking with Plaintiff on September 2, 2015, Glover asked
the assignment desk to see if there was information in the
court system about the September 1, 2015 incident. Arb.
Trans. 98:1-8. An assignment editor found the charging
document and a mug shot. Id. Glover also called the
Portland Police Bureau's Public Information Officer.
Id. at 98:16-18, 101:4-5. In an email on September
3, 2015 sent to Wenger and others, Glover summarized what had
been learned from the police and concluded by saying that
Plaintiff had lied to her. Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 22.
She stated: "he never said he was arrested or was in
jail or had a mug shot taken." Id.
states that because of the nature of Plaintiff's position
and the importance of his relationship with police
departments, KOIN believed it was necessary to investigate
the incident further. Wenger Decl. ¶ 14. It was also
important to get Plaintiff's side of the story.
Id. On September 4, 2015, Glover and Wenger talked
to Plaintiff by phone. Id. ¶ 15; Arb. Trans.
244:8, 343:24-25-344:1-2. In notes that appear to have been
made soon after that phone call, Wenger wrote that the
station had heard about Plaintiff's arrest and because of
the incident, KOIN was going to perform an investigation
"to find out what is going on." Stark May 14, 2018
Decl., Ex. 23. Wenger told Plaintiff that Plaintiff was not
to come to work until he was notified to return. Id.
His access to the office was being removed until the
investigation was complete and his emails would be forwarded
to a manager so that the station would miss no client calls
or information. Id. Wenger asked Plaintiff why he
had not informed them of "his situation" and asked
if he wanted to tell them what was going on. Id.
Plaintiff shared that he had had a fight with his wife, had
gone into the street to try and get run over, his wife called
911, the police came and took him to jail where he was
charged with disorderly conduct and booked into jail, that he
was released with charges dropped and the case dismissed, and
that he had been taken to Providence Hospital for a mental
health/suicide evaluation. Id. In his Declaration,
Wenger states that KOIN asked Plaintiff why he had not
mentioned his arrest previously, to which Plaintiff stated
that he had not said anything because the charges were
dropped. Wenger Decl. ¶ 15. Wenger states that Plaintiff
was placed on administrative leave while the station
completed its investigation. Id.
September 11, 2015, Wenger emailed Plaintiff a letter stating
that the station had completed its investigation into the
events "of last week," including his September 1,
2015 arrest. Stark Decl., Ex. 25. Wenger told Plaintiff that
before making any determination about what, if any,
disciplinary actions may be appropriate, the station wanted
to meet with Plaintiff and his union representative to allow
Plaintiff to explain his actions. Id. Wenger told
Plaintiff that the meeting would not take place until after
Plaintiff had completed his leave and been cleared by his
health care provider to return to work. Id.
was cleared to work on October 13, 2015. Wenger Decl. ¶
17. KOIN scheduled a meeting with Plaintiff on October 14,
2015 to obtain information from Plaintiff. Id.
¶ 19. Leading up to this meeting, Wenger prepared a
chronological time table of what he calls the "key
events" in Plaintiff's recent employment history,
including disciplinary events and leave periods. Id.
¶ 18; Id., Ex. F. On October 14, 2015, station
managers, including Wenger, met with Plaintiff in person.
Id. ¶ 19. He was asked why he had not been
forthcoming about the details of his arrest. Id.
Plaintiff responded that he did not mention it because the
charges were dropped and he could not remember the details of
that night. Id. Plaintiff was asked if he understood
that his actions impacted his credibility and undermined
KOIN's trust in him. Id. ¶ 20. He said yes
and agreed that it was especially important to be able to
trust someone in his position which required him to have a
good relationship with various police organizations.
Id. He also agreed that his actions, even those
outside of work, could impact the station's relationship
in the community, including the police agencies and their
impression of the station. Id.
start of the meeting, at which Plaintiff, Wenger, and Glover
attended in person with union representative Adam-Biggs on
the phone, Plaintiff presented his release to return to work
from his psychiatrist, Dr. Gilbert Simas, who said that
Plaintiff had been followed by his clinic, would continue to
engage in its services, and was ready to return to work.
Stark Decl., Ex. 27. Apparently, Plaintiff waited until the
day before the October 14, 2015 meeting to request the letter
from his doctor. Arb. Trans. 352:8:18. During a regular
session with Dr. Simas on October 13, 2015, Dr. Simas told
Plaintiff that his assistant would email Plaintiff the letter
clearing him for work. Id. He also told Plaintiff
that he was going to be out of town for two weeks and
Plaintiff would not be able to see him. Id. By
closing time of Dr. Simas's office, Plaintiff had not yet
received the letter. Id. at 352:19-20. Plaintiff
knew the letter was important because Glover had told him he
could not return to the building without it. Id. at
352:20-24. Plaintiff accessed his work LexisNexis account
from his home computer to look up an email address for Dr.
Simas. Id. at 353:4-8. After finding some gmail
addresses, Plaintiff emailed Dr. Simas to request that he ask
his assistant to send the letter. Id. at 353:9-15.
He received the letter the next morning. Id.
the October 14, 2015 meeting, Glover asked Plaintiff about
the use of his work LexisNexis account. Id. at
355:6-20. Plaintiff explained why he had accessed the
account. Id. Glover told Plaintiff that his access
to LexisNexis had been cut off as a result of the September
4, 2015 call (presumably referring to the administrative
Wenger explains in his Declaration, afer the October 14, 2015
meeting with Plaintiff, the station reviewed all of the
information gathered during its investigation, considered the
information provided by Plaintiff, and reviewed
Plaintiff's disciplinary history. Wenger Decl. ¶ 21.
Wenger states that KOIN decided to terminate Plaintiff
effective October 16, 2015 because his actions demonstrated a
failure to meet acceptable work conduct and performance
standards and evidenced his inability to effectively perform
his job then and in the future. Id. ¶ 22. The
actions cited included his intoxication on September 1st, his
failure to be "upfront" with the station following
the incident (by not disclosing the arrest presumably), and
by accessing the company's LexisNexis account while on
leave. Id. Wenger states that Plaintiff's acts
showed that he had "completely disregarded the final
warnings" he had been given. Id. A formal
termination letter, dated October 16, 2015, summarized prior
incidents, noted the September 1, 2015 disorderly conduct
arrest, remarked on his failure to be "upfront"
with KOIN, and discussed his access to the LexisNexis
account. Wenger Decl., Ex. G. The letter concluded that as a
result of Plaintiff's actions and in light of his
previous warnings, he was terminated effective that date.
Relationship Between Dependants
has been a TV station in Oregon since 1953 and is a local CBS
affiliate. Arb. Tr. 27:18-19, 28:9-11. LIN Media bought the
station from New Vision Television in October 2012.
Id. at 236:8-11. Media General, Inc. acquired LIN
Media in 2014. Wenger May 14, 2018 Decl. ¶ 3 (before the
merger of Media General, Inc. with Nexstar in January 2017,
LIN operated as a subsidiary of Media General and had done so
since December 2014).
General and Nexstar officially merged in January 2017.
Id. (referring to merger of Media General, Inc. v.
Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.). Defendants confirmed at oral
argument that there is no dispute that as part of the merger,
Nexstar, through its acquisition of Media General, acquired
all of LIN-TV's properties, rights, privileges, powers as
well as all of its claims, obligations, liabilities, and
debts. See Stark May 14, 2018 Decl., Ex. 2 at 12
(Merger Agreement). The merger, finalized on January 17,
2017, resulted in Nexstar owning KOIN. Id., Ex. 3 at
6-8 (SEC filing by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. stating that on
January 17, 2017, it completed its merger with Media General,
Inc.); id., Ex. 32 at 3, 29 (Federal Communications
Commission Order transferring the control applications (call
signs and community of license) of KOIN and other Media
General television stations to Nexstar Media Group, stating
that "the acquisition of Media General by Nexstar
through a series of mergers" would mean that all
"of the Media General license subsidiaries will be
direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Nexstar and
will hold all the same broadcast licenses they currently
do"). On April 29, 2017, Nexstar filed a "Voluntary
Statement of Foreign Merger" with the Oregon Corporation
Division stating the Name of Surviving Entity as Nexstar
Broadcasting, Inc. and the Name of Non-Surviving Entity as
LIN Television Corporation. Id., Ex. 33. The Oregon
Secretary of State's website notes the Nexstar
"Action" as "Articles of Merger" and
lists Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. as the "Merger
Survivor" and LIN Television Corporation as the
"Merger Non Survivor." Id.
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving
party bears the initial responsibility of informing the court
of the basis of its motion, and identifying those portions of
"'the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact."
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)
(quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
the moving party meets its initial burden of demonstrating
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the burden
then shifts to the nonmoving party to present "specific
facts" showing a "genuine issue for trial."
Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Stefanchik, 559 F.3d 924,
927-28 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and
designate facts showing an issue for trial. Bias v.
Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1218 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324).
substantive law governing a claim determines whether a fact
is material. Suever v. Connell, 579 F.3d 1047, 1056
(9th Cir. 2009). The court draws inferences from the facts in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Earl v.