United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Laytonya Sayles claims that her employer, defendant Saint
Louis University, unlawfully terminated her employment on
account of her race and disability, in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e, et seq., and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§
12101, et seq. Because the undisputed evidence before
the Court shows that Sayles released all claims of
discrimination against the University, I will grant the
University's motion for summary judgment on Sayles'
judgment must be granted when the pleadings and proffer of
evidence demonstrate that no genuine issue of material fact
exists and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Torgerson v.
City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th
Cir. 2011) (en banc). I must view the evidence in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party and accord her the
benefit of all reasonable inferences. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 379 (2007). Initially, the moving
party must demonstrate the absence of an issue for trial.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once a motion is properly
made and supported, the nonmoving party may not rest upon the
allegations in her pleadings or in general denials of the
movant's assertions, but must instead come forward with
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial. Id. at 324; Torgerson, 643 F.3d at
1042. A verified complaint is equivalent to an affidavit for
summary judgment purposes. Hanks v. Prachar, 457
F.3d 774, 775 (8th Cir. 2006) (per curiam).
nonmoving party fails to properly address an assertion of
fact made by the movant, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
permit me to consider the fact undisputed. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)(2). The Local Rules of this Court, however, require it.
Under Local Rule 4.01(E), moving parties must include a
statement of uncontroverted material facts with their
memorandum, with citations to the record if the fact(s) are
established by the record.
Every memorandum in opposition shall include a statement of
material facts as to which the party contends a genuine issue
exists. Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with
specific references to portions of the record, where
available, upon which the opposing party relies. The opposing
party also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph
number from movant's listing of facts. All matters
set forth in the statement of the movant shall be deemed
admitted for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically
controverted by the opposing party.
E.D. Mo. L.R. 4.01(E) (emphasis added). A party's pro se
status does not excuse them from complying with the rule.
See Bennett v. Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., 295 F.3d
805, 808 (8th Cir. 2002). Accordingly, I deem admitted any
statement of fact that Sayles did not specifically controvert
in response to the University's motion.
Before the Court on the Motion
following recitation of undisputed facts is taken from
Sayles' verified complaint, the University's
Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts, and my
independent review of the record. The facts stated in the
University's Statement are deemed admitted because Sayles
did not specifically controvert them in response to the
motion for summary judgment. Further, because a party cannot
rely on unsworn/unattested declarations or statements to
support or oppose a motion for summary judgment, I do not
consider the unsupported factual averments made in
Sayles' unsworn response to the University's motion.
Banks v. Deere, 829 F.3d 661, 667-68 (8th Cir.
Sayles was a Senior Financial Assistant at St. Louis
University. On May 30, 2017, the University informed Sayles
that it was eliminating her position and that her employment
would be terminated. On or around that same date, the
University presented Sayles with a Mutual Agreement of
Separation, Waiver, and Release (Release Agreement).
had worked at the University for ten years. When the
University informed Sayles' of her termination on May 30,
she was on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act as a
result of being involved in a motor vehicle accident that
occurred on April 12, 2017.
10, 2017, Sayles signed a Charge of Discrimination alleging
that the University discriminated against her in her
employment on account of her race and
disability. The charge was filed with the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights and the EEOC on July 19, 2017.
12, 2017, Sayles executed the Release Agreement, which
provided, in part:
Release by Employee. In consideration of the
payment, benefits and rights provided to Employee under the
terms of this Agreement, Employee, for and on behalf of
Employee and Employee's heirs and assigns, hereby forever
releases the [University], and each and every one of its past
and present trustees, officers, employees, insurers,
attorneys, agents or representatives (collectively, the
“University Releasees”), from any and all manner
of claims, complaints or causes of action of any kind and
nature whatsoever, which Employee may have or claim to have
against the University Releasees by reason of ...