United States District Court, D. Oregon
Stephen Monfils. Pro se plaintiff.
S. Hicks, Jordan Ramis PC, Robyn L. Stein, Jordan Ramis PC,
Of Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. SIMON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Casey Stephen Monfils, pro se, filed claims against
his former employer American Property Management under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and
Oregon workplace anti-discrimination law. He alleges that
Defendant failed to accommodate his disability by making him
work more than eight hours per day and by making him lift
heavy objects. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant
discriminated against him by failing to promote him. Finally,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated against him
for filing a workers compensation claim. Plaintiff moves for
summary judgment on his failure to accommodate claim.
Defendant moves for summary judgment on all of
Plaintiff's claims. For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is denied and
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.
is entitled to summary judgment if the “movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the burden of
establishing the absence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986). The court must view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the non-movant and draw all reasonable
inferences in the non-movant's favor. Clicks
Billiards Inc. v. Sixshooters Inc., 251 F.3d 1252, 1257
(9th Cir. 2001). Although “[c]redibility
determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing
of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions,
not those of a judge . . . ruling on a motion for summary
judgment, ” the “mere existence of a scintilla of
evidence in support of the plaintiff's position [is]
insufficient.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 255 (1986). “Where the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine
issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citation
and quotation marks omitted).
parties file cross-motions for summary judgment, the court
“evaluate[s] each motion separately, giving the
non-moving party in each instance the benefit of all
reasonable inferences.” A.C.L.U. of Nev. v. City of
Las Vegas, 466 F.3d 784, 790-91 (9th Cir. 2006)
(quotation marks and citation omitted); see also Pintos
v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 674 (9th Cir.
2010) (“Cross-motions for summary judgment are
evaluated separately under [the] same standard.”). In
evaluating the motions, “the court must consider each
party's evidence, regardless under which motion the
evidence is offered.” Las Vegas Sands, LLC v.
Nehme, 632 F.3d 526, 532 (9th Cir. 2011). “Where
the non-moving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the
moving party need only prove that there is an absence of
evidence to support the non-moving party's case.”
In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig., 627 F.3d 376, 387
(9th Cir. 2010). Thereafter, the non-moving party bears the
burden of designating “specific facts demonstrating the
existence of genuine issues for trial.” Id.
“This burden is not a light one.” Id.
The Supreme Court has directed that in such a situation, the
non-moving party must do more than raise a
“metaphysical doubt” as to the material facts at
issue. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. A pro se
litigant is held to the same standard in responding to a
motion for summary judgment as a represented party, and thus
must go beyond bare allegations in the pleadings and
establish with evidentiary support that there exists a
genuine dispute of material fact. See Bias v.
Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1219 (9th Cir. 2007).
worked as a residential property manager for American
Property Management from May 2007 until November 2015.
Plaintiff has a permanent injury in his neck and right thigh
that seriously restricts his ability to lift heavy objects
and causes him pain. Plaintiff underwent surgery in 1989,
which resulted in two fused discs in his neck, and again in
2005 for three more fused discs and currently has five fused
discs in his neck. Plaintiff also developed nerve damage that
resulted in a permanent injury to his right thigh. He
experiences weakness when walking and standing. Plaintiff was
accepted into the Oregon Preferred Worker Program
(“OPWP”) for permanently disabled workers. OPWP
provides various subsidies and benefits for employers of
disabled workers and their disabled employees.
2007, Plaintiff applied for a position with Defendant and
interviewed with Larry Bricker (“Bricker”). When
Defendant hired Plaintiff in May 2007 as a residential
manager for one of Defendant's apartment complexes,
Plaintiff disclosed his Preferred Worker status and provided
Bricker with a note from his doctor describing
Plaintiff's vocational restrictions. Those restrictions
prohibited Plaintiff from lifting more than ten pounds and
limited his standing and walking to what was tolerable.
Plaintiff was given a description of his job duties and
answered “no” when asked if he was aware of any
condition that could impair his ability to perform the duties
listed. OPWP provided Plaintiff with a special ergonomic desk
and chair to address his neck disability, and Bricker
provided Plaintiff with a light hand-truck to accommodate
Plaintiff's lifting restrictions and a Bluetooth headset
to accommodate his neck injuries.
after starting his employment with Defendant, however,
Plaintiff realized that the income from the residential
manager position would not be enough to meet his financial
obligations. He began to take on other jobs for Defendant. In
2007, he was assigned the task of inspecting and installing
smoke alarms in 2, 400 apartments. This involved carrying a
backpack containing smoke alarms, a 25-pound drill, and a
2007, Plaintiff was involved in a car accident that caused
additional injury to his neck. Five weeks after the accident,
Plaintiff's doctor advised that he could return to work,
but could only work two hours per day. Later, his doctor
permitted him to work four hours per day, and eventually,
sometime in July of 2008, Plaintiff returned to work with a
medical restriction allowing no more than eight hours per
day. Plaintiff filed a workers' compensation claim in
connection with the accident, but his claim was denied by
2008, Plaintiff received a new project that involved cleaning
swimming pools, which required him to lift 50-pound
containers and work 60-70 hours per week. Defendant's
Bricker repeatedly told Plaintiff not to lift heavy items,
but Plaintiff saw no alternative that would get the job done.
In early 2008, Bricker moved to a different department and
Plaintiff submitted a letter of interest for Bricker's
position. Plaintiff did not get the job, and Mike Williamson
(“Williamson”) was hired and became
Plaintiff's supervisor. Around the same time, Plaintiff
sought, and received, a position managing one of
Defendant's larger apartment complexes.
2008 until 2014, Plaintiff continued to volunteer for
additional tasks, and was assigned additional tasks, beyond
his eight hour per day (40 hour per week) work restriction.
Plaintiff also states that he had “down time”
during the day and could take on additional sedentary work
for Defendant from his apartment. In 2014, Plaintiff went to
Williamson's office and told Williamson that
Plaintiff's medical restrictions prevented him from