Law School Case Brief
Bordelon v. Bd. of Educ. - 811 F.3d 984 (7th Cir. 2016)
Summary judgment is appropriate if the movant shows 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(a). This requires that there be no genuine issue of material fact, and the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute will not defeat summary judgment. The evidence supporting a factual assertion must represent admissible evidence. Conclusory statements, not grounded in specific facts, are not sufficient to avoid summary judgment. Rule 56 demands something more specific than the bald assertion of the general truth of a particular matter, rather it requires affidavits that cite specific concrete facts establishing the existence of the truth of the matter asserted.
On January 28, 2011, the Local School Council in charge of Kozminski Community Academy voted to not renew the contract of long tenured principal Lionel Bordelon. Bordelon, who was 63 at the time, believed that his supervisor and Chief Area Officer for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, Dr. Judith Coates, manipulated and exercised undue influence over the Council's decision. Bordelon alleged that Coates did so because of his age, which, if true, would violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 623. The district court granted summary judgment to the Board on Bordelon's claim of age discrimination.
Did the district court err in granting summary judgment to Board of Education of the City of Chicago on Bordelon's age discrimination claim under the ADEA, 29 U.S.C.S. § 623?
The Court held that the district court properly granted summary judgment to Board of Education of the City of Chicago on Bordelon's age discrimination claim under the ADEA, 29 U.S.C.S. § 623, because he had not constructed a convincing mosaic of circumstantial evidence that would have allowed a jury to infer intentional discrimination by the board. Bordelon failed to show that Coates influenced the council's decision by relying on the cat's paw theory of liability because Bordelon did not point to evidence that Coates actually harbored discriminatory animus against him.
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