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Robinson v. Publix Super Markets, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

November 1, 2017

DAVID A. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          ROBIN L. ROSENBERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [DE 41]. The motion has been fully briefed. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is granted.

         Plaintiff David Robinson filed this case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that he had been fired by his employer-Publix Super Markets, Inc. (“Defendant”) -on the basis of his race. DE 23. Plaintiff also brought racial discrimination claims against Defendant under the Florida Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

         Plaintiff's racial discrimination claims necessarily require evidence of racial discrimination. In support of its Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant has cited evidence to support the following factual contentions:

1. Defendant issued Plaintiff a corporate credit card. DE 36 at 1.
2. In connection with his receipt of a corporate credit card, Plaintiff was required to sign an agreement. Id. at 2.
3. In that agreement, Plaintiff acknowledged that improper use of the credit card would equate to stealing from Defendant. Id.
4. During the years of Plaintiff's employment, Plaintiff developed a history of making questionable charges to Defendant on his corporate credit card. Id.
5. Plaintiff had a history of being one of the top users of similar corporate credit cards. Id.
6. Plaintiff knew that although he could use his credit card for business lunches, the target dollar amount for such a lunch was $10.00.

         A close review of Plaintiff's credit card expenditures in December of 2013 revealed the following:

In December of 2013, Bakery Administrative Support Kristen Wakeley reviewed Plaintiff's credit card statements for October 26, 2013 through November 23, 2013. Wakeley noted that Plaintiff exceeded the $10.00 limit (per person) often, and that the times and locations of his meals seemed like dinner, which were not permitted unless Plaintiff was on overnight travel. Wakeley noted several other inconsistencies. On an October 31, 2013 receipt, Wakeley noted that Plaintiff listed four associates with him at lunch but only purchased two drinks. Wakeley also found that Plaintiff listed different stores on his calendar for that day to visit. On a November 19, 2013 receipt, Wakeley noted that Plaintiff ate “lunch” at 6:51 p.m. with a manager whose store was 20 miles away from the restaurant but only five minutes away from Plaintiff's home. On a November 21, 2013 receipt, Wakeley noted that Plaintiff listed three (3) guests but that the receipt listed two (2) guests and showed that he purchased only two (2) drinks. Again, Wakeley also found that Plaintiff had different stores listed to visit in his calendar. On a November 22, 2013 receipt, Wakeley noted that Plaintiff listed three (3) guests but only purchased one (1) drink and two (2) meals. On a November 23, 2013 receipt, Wakeley noted that Plaintiff listed three (3) guests but that the receipt listed two (2) guests and showed that Plaintiff only purchased two (2) drinks. Wakeley also noted Plaintiff's calendar stated that he was not working on November 23, 2013. Wakeley also noted that Plaintiff had “lunch” at 5:53 p.m. in the evening of that same day.

Id. at 3. (citations to the record omitted). The foregoing represents only a small fraction of the record evidence that Defendant has assembled for the proposition that Plaintiff was misusing his corporate credit card. All of Defendant's evidence is properly supported with citations to the record.

         In response to Defendant's evidence, Plaintiff cites nothing at all. Although Plaintiff facially asserts that he “disputes” the foregoing, Plaintiff does not cite to any evidence. Plaintiff was made aware of the need to cite evidence in three different ways. First, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)(1) states that if a fact is disputed, the dispute must be supported by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record.” Second, Local Rule 56.1 requires a statement submitted in opposition to a motion for summary judgment to “[b]e supported by specific references to pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits on file with the Court.” Third and finally, the undersigned expressly informed Plaintiff (together with visual examples) of the requirement to cite evidence. In the Court's order setting trial at docket entry 8, the Court informed Plaintiff: “Each material fact in the statement that requires evidentiary support shall be supported by a specific ...


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