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Alston v. Park Pleasant, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

November 10, 2016, Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a); February 15, 2017, Filed

No. 16-1464

Opinion

 [*170]  OPINION1

RESTREPO, Circuit Judge.

Joanie Alston appeals the District Court's grant of summary judgment to Park Pleasant, Inc., her former employer, in her suit for employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.2 Alston also appeals the District Court's denial of her motion for spoliation sanctions. We will affirm.

As we write solely for the benefit of the parties, we set out only the facts necessary for the discussion that follows.3 In August 2011, Alston was hired by Park Pleasant, Inc., to be the Director of Nursing at its eponymously-named adult care facility. Initially, Alston's supervisor was Nancy Kleinberg, with whom Alston had personal rapport and from whom Alston received positive work reviews. In February 2012, Kleinberg was [**2]  promoted, and her role as Alston's supervisor was filled by Carmella Kane. Kane and Alston clashed almost immediately, and repeatedly, although the parties dispute the extent and underlying causes of the conflict. Alston discussed with both Kane and Kleinberg that she was unhappy with her role after Kleinberg's promotion.

On June 21, 2012, Alston, Kleinberg, Kane, and HR director Sonjii West had a meeting in which Kane explained to Alston that Alston's performance was not meeting expectations, and the group laid out an improvement plan for Alston. Five days after that meeting, Alston missed work to have a biopsy, an absence for which she gave advance notice. On July 12, she was diagnosed with early-stage DCIS, a type of *** cancer.

Alston's relationship with her supervisors at Park Pleasant continued to deteriorate. By late July, Kleinberg and Kane instituted weekly meetings at which Alston's duties and performance were discussed and memorialized. Park Pleasant terminated Alston in early August of 2012.

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679 Fed. Appx. 169 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2668 **; 2017 WL 627381

JOANIE ALSTON, Appellant v. PARK PLEASANT, INC.

Notice: NOT PRECEDENTIAL OPINION UNDER THIRD CIRCUIT INTERNAL OPERATING PROCEDURE RULE 5.7. SUCH OPINIONS ARE NOT REGARDED AS PRECEDENTS WHICH BIND THE COURT.

PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

Prior History:  [**1] On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. No. 2-14-cv-07237). District Judge: Honorable Gerald J. Pappert.

Alston v. Park Pleasant, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142821 (E.D. Pa., Oct. 21, 2015)

CORE TERMS

disability, cancer, major life activity, spoliation, limits, summary judgment, motion for sanctions, impairment, cell

Business & Corporate Compliance, Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Federal & State Interrelationships, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Labor & Employment Law, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burden Shifting, Scope & Definitions, Disabilities Under ADA, Disabilities Under ADA, Mental & Physical Impairments, Major Life Activities, Substantial Limitations, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Evidence, Relevance, Preservation of Relevant Evidence, Spoliation