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Awodiya v. Ross University School of Medicine

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

May 14, 2019

OLUWAMUYIWA AWODIYA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, Defendant.

          OLUWAMUYIWA AWODIYA, PRO SE

          ORDER

          ROY K. ALTMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon a sua sponte review of the record. On April 11, 2019, the Defendant, Ross University School of Medicine (“Defendant” or “RUSM”), filed a Motion for Leave to File a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 175]. On April 17, 2019, the Plaintiff, Oluwamuyiwa Awodiya, filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Alteration [ECF No. 178] of the Court's March 2, 2019 Omnibus Order [ECF No. 154]. The Court has carefully reviewed the parties' written submissions, their responses and replies, and the applicable law.

         I. The Defendant's Motion for Leave to File a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment

         Pursuant to the original Scheduling Order [ECF No. 37] in this case, “[a]ny and all pretrial motions, including motions for summary judgment . . . must be filed no later than eighty (80) days prior to the trial date.” Id. Trial in this matter was initially set for March of 2019. Id. The Defendant filed its Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 120] on January 4, 2019. The Defendant now seeks to file what amounts to a second motion for summary judgment long after the deadline imposed in the Court's original Scheduling Order has passed. While Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not prohibit the filing of multiple motions for summary judgment, [1] the Defendant must show good cause under Rule 16(b)(4) for deviating from the Court's initial scheduling deadlines.

         In its Motion for Leave, the Defendant contends that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”) do not apply in Dominica, which is where the relevant acts in this case occurred. While that may be true, this argument was available to the Defendant when it filed its initial Motion for Summary Judgment in January of 2019. The record reveals that no new discovery has taken place since then, nor has the Defendant introduced any new evidence that might warrant construing the Motion for Leave as one for reconsideration. In any event, because the Defendant has failed to show good cause, its Motion For Leave [ECF No. 175] is DENIED.

         II. The Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration and Alteration[2] of the Omnibus Order

         To succeed on a failure to accommodate claim, including both an ADA and an RA claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he: 1) has a disability; 2) is an otherwise qualified individual; and 3) was discriminated against because of his disability. See Holly v. Clairson Indus., LLC, 492 F.3d 1247, 1256 (11th Cir. 2007).

         In his Motion for Reconsideration, the Plaintiff argues that the Court misapplied the standard that applies at summary judgment for determining whether he “has a disability.” Pl. Mot. Reconsideration 6. Generally speaking, there are three grounds that justify reconsideration of a Court's order on summary judgment: 1) an intervening change in controlling law; 2) the availability of new evidence or an expanded factual record; and 3) the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. See Woide v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n, 705 Fed.Appx. 832, 836 (11th Cir. 2017) (quoting Del. Valley Floral Grp., Inc. v. Shaw Rose Nets, LLC, 597 F.3d 1374, 1383) (Fed. Cir. 2010)).

         The Plaintiff contends that his medical diagnoses-attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder-require a per se finding that the Plaintiff “has a disability” for purposes of both the ADA and the RA. While the amendments to the ADA the Plaintiff cites (Pl. Mot. Reconsideration 8-10) certainly lowered the threshold that plaintiffs must meet in order to establish disability, those amendments did not, as the Plaintiff claims, eliminate the requirement that plaintiffs must make an individualized showing that their alleged disability substantially limits a major life activity. Solodar v. Old Port Cove Lake Point Tower Condo. Ass'n, Inc., No. 12-80040-CIV, 2013 WL 3892986, at *9 (S.D. Fla. July 26, 2013) (noting that the question of whether the plaintiff is substantially limited, even after the 2008 amendments, created a question of fact that could not be resolved at summary judgment stage). In other words, medical diagnoses, without more, do not satisfy the first prong of a failure to accommodate claim.

         But, even if the Plaintiff could show that his medical diagnoses, standing alone, satisfied this first prong, he does not explain how he is entitled to summary judgment on the remaining elements of his failure to accommodate claims. In its Omnibus Order, for instance, the Court found that a disputed issue of material fact exists as to whether the Plaintiff ever made a request for an accommodation [ECF No. 154 at 10]. The Plaintiff does not even address this finding in his Motion. Accordingly, the Plaintiff's Motion [ECF No. 178] is DENIED.

         III. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f)(3)

         Although district courts have discretion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4) to grant parties leave to file a second summary judgment motion, the Court finds that the more prudent course in this case is to ...


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