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United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division
January 25, 2022, Decided; January 25, 2022, Filed
Before the Court are Plaintiff Vanessa Landgrave's ("Landgrave") Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, (Dkt. 15), and Defendant ForTec Medical, Inc.'s ("ForTec") Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction or, Alternatively, Motion for Summary Judgment, (Dkt. 16). Having considered the parties' submissions, the record, and the applicable law, the Court will grant Landgrave's motion for summary judgment and deny ForTec's motion to dismiss or for summary judgment.
This is an action under the Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA" or the "Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq., for ForTec's failure to grant leave to Landgrave, as allegedly required by the FMLA, and Landgrave's subsequent departure from the company. ForTec owns and rents medical equipment and provides technicians to medical facilities to assist surgical staff in operating the equipment. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 8-9; Pearson Dep., Dkt. 15-4, at. 14). Landgrave [**2] worked as a surgical laser technician for ForTec. (Pearson Dep., Dkt. 15-4, at 20). She was initially employed by On Call Surgical from 2015 until 2018, when ForTec acquired the company and hired her. The hiring process took place through the human resources department at ForTec's corporate headquarters in Hudson, Ohio. (Jones Dep., Dkt. 15-3, at 15; Def.'s Interrog. Answers, Dkt. 15-1, at 4). More than fifty employees work at the Hudson office. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 15-2, at 22-23; Pearson Dep., Dkt. 15-4, at 14; Def.'s Interrog. Answers, Dkt.15-1, at 4.). Like all surgical laser technicians, Landgrave was a remote employee, without a fixed worksite. (Pearson Dep., Dkt. 15-4, at.15, 20-21; Jones Dep., Dkt. 15-3, at 52). She lived in Hewitt, Texas while employed by ForTec. (Compl., Dkt. 1, at 1). Her "Org Level" was "South Central" and her "Ops Location" was Austin. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 12; Jones Decl., Dkt. 16-6, at 1, 3). Landgrave never went to the Hudson headquarters. (Landgrave Dep., Dkt. 16-1, at 54). ForTec claims her contact with Hudson was limited to administrative, human resources, information technology, and billing issues. (Cooper Decl., Dkt. 16-5, at 1). It further [**3] claims that she had more contact with the sales representatives, other technicians, and the manager in her [*808] region. (Id.; Landgrave Dep., Dkt. 16-1, at 45-47). Most of Landgrave's cases were located in Texas, but occasionally she traveled to other states. (Cooper Decl., Dkt. 16-5, at 1).
ForTec's "customer care (scheduling) team" in Hudson receives orders for service from hospitals and clinics for its surgical equipment that are processed through its software application, ForSite, and sent out to the relevant territories. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 23-24, 26-27). The order for service requests contain information including the procedure's date, time, name, and location, the patient and physician name, the customer's name and notes, the physician's case notes, and the pricing. (Jones Dep., Dkt. 15-3, at 52). Hudson employees confirm the case information the day before the case, and update and confirm the order form. (Revenue Recognition Examples, Dkt. 18-9, at 1; Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 28:15-19). Employees in each region then pass the orders on to technicians like Landgrave. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 27). The technicians take surgical equipment from storage facilities in their [**4] region to the medical facilities where they are needed and assist the medical providers during surgery. (Pearson Dep., Dkt. 15-4, at 20; Cooper Decl., Dkt. 16-5, at 1). In Texas, storage facilities are located in Dallas, Waco, and Round Rock. (Landgrave Dep., Dkt. 16-1, at 48-49). After a procedure is complete, the technician prepares a report including case details, items used, and final disposition, and sends their report to the Hudson office. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 29-32; Revenue Recognition Examples, Dkt. 18-9, at 2). If there is a problem with a report, such as missing or duplicate information, or a technician marks a case for review, the Sales Support team in Hudson reviews the case, makes corrections if necessary, verifies the report, and sends it to accounting. (Cooper Dep., Dkt. 16-2, at 30-31; Revenue Recognition Examples, Dkt. 18-9, at 2). Hudson employees can also reopen the case and ask the technician to make the corrections.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
581 F. Supp. 3d 804 *; 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12922 **
VANESSA LANDGRAVE, Plaintiff, v. FORTEC MEDICAL, INC., Defendant.
employees, summary judgment, remote, worksite, eligibility, good faith, site, summary judgment motion, material fact, assigned, region, motion to dismiss, eligible employee, human resources, ineligible, nonmovant, asserts, genuine, cases, lack of subject matter jurisdiction, homebase, instructions, regulations, undisputed, resources, surgical, emailed, courts, rights, affirmative defense