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Saad v. Hexagon Metrology, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Rhode Island

July 8, 2019

DAVID SAAD, Plaintiff,
v.
HEXAGON METROLOGY, INC., Defendant.
v.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CENTERS OF THE SOUTHWEST, P.A., Third Party Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN J. MCCONNELL, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendant Hexagon Metrology, Inc. ("Hexagon") moves for summary judgment on all counts of Plaintiff David Saad's Complaint. ECF No. 27. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS Hexagon's Motion for Summary Judgment in its entirety.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Mr. Saad began working for Hexagon as an Assistant Marketing Manager in March 2015. Before being hired, Mr. Saad took a pre-employment drug test and a pre-employment physical performed by Third-Party Defendant, Occupational Health Centers of the Southwest, P.A. ("Concentra"). Susan Booth, Hexagon's Manager of Health and Weil-Being, scheduled the tests with Concentra and received a fax from Concentra showing that Mr. Saad passed his pre-employment physical and drug test.

         Soon after he started working for Hexagon, Mr. Saad experienced performance issues. As a result of his performance deficiencies, Mr. Saad met with Bridget Benedetti, Hexagon's Director of Marketing and Communications, and was provided with a below standards performance review. Ms. Benedetti also placed Mr. Saad on a written Performance Improvement Plan ("the Plan") that outlined six performance areas of concern and five action areas for improving performance. Mr. Saad's Plan explicitly stated that the completion date for the Plan was June 15, 2015, Mr, Saad's progress would be assessed, and a final determination on whether he raised his performance to a satisfactory level would be made. The Plan also warned that if Mr. Saad's performance did not improve sufficiently, his employment would be reviewed for further action, up to and including termination. Mr. Saad signed the Plan.

         After Mr. Saad was placed on the Plan, there were reports of Mr. Saad's insubordination including his disparaging Ms. Benedetti to other Hexagon personnel. At one point, Adam Redford, Hexagon's Trade Show and Events Manager, met with Ms. Benedetti to relay his concerns that Mr. Saad was having a negative effect on the team because of his negative comments.

         Four days after the improvement deadline in the Plan, Ms. Benedetti and Glenn Wambolt, Hexagon's then-Director of Human Resources, met with Mr, Saad. They discussed his poor job performance and criticisms of Ms. Benedetti. Mr. Saad denied making the remarks.

         Nevertheless, Ms. Benedetti and Mr. Wambolt decided to terminate Mr. Saad's employment effective June 22, 2015. At all relevant times including at the time of termination, neither Ms. Benedetti nor Mr. Wambolt had knowledge that Mr. Saad suffered from a medical condition or had been prescribed OxyContin while employed at Hexagon.

         Separately, on June 8, 2015, Mr. Saad contacted Concentra about his desire to increase his dosage of OxyContin. Concentra's Physician's Assistant, Melissa Mills, contacted Mr. Saad's primary care physician who told Ms. Mills that he had referred Mr. Saad to a specialist for managing his alleged chronic pain. On June 16, 2015, Ms. Mills contacted Ms. Booth at Hexagon and indicated that Mr. Saad wanted to increase his dosage of OxyContin. The same day that Ms. Booth learned of Mr, Saad's prescription drug use and medical condition, she met with Mr. Saad and asked if he "required an accommodation" for his condition. Mr. Saad replied that he did not.

         On June 17, 2015, Ms. Booth received a note from Mr. Saad's primary care physician stating that Mr. Saad could work on a higher dosage of OxyContin.[1] Ms. Booth accepted the note and Mr. Saad continued to work at Hexagon until he was terminated on June 22, 2015.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings, discovery and disclosure materials on file, affidavits, and any other admissible material in the record demonstrate 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. To determine whether summary judgment is suitable, the court analyzes the record in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and draws all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. See Cadle Co. v. Hayes, 116 F.3d 957, 959 (1st Cir. 1997).

         The burden falls first on the movant to aver an absence of genuine issue of material fact which requires resolution at trial. See Nat'l Amusements, Inc. v. Town of Dedham,43 F.3d 731, 735 (1st Cir. 1995) (Citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, All U.S. 317, 324 (1986)). The burden then shifts to the nonmovant who must oppose the motion by presenting facts to show a genuine issue of material fact remains. Id. A factual issue is genuine if it "may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., All U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A fact is material if it holds the power to "sway the outcome of the litigation under applicable law." Nat'l Amusements, 43 F.3d at 735. The nonmovant must rely on more than "effusive rhetoric and optimistic surmise" to establish a genuine issue of material fact. Cadle, 116 F.3d at 960. Rather, the evidence relied on by the nonmovant "must have substance in the ...


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