Strickland v. Prime Care of Dothan

Full title: SHILOH STRICKLAND, PLAINTIFF v. PRIME CARE OF DOTHAN, DEFENDANT

Court: United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

Date published: Aug 18, 2000

Facts

Prime Care operates two medical clinics, one in Dothan, Alabama, and one in Daleville, Alabama. In 1994, Dr. Terry Ullmann (“Ullmann”) purchased the clinic from a local hospital, and he, along with four other physicians, began a general medical practice. On September 14, 1998, Strickland began working at Prime Care’s Dothan Clinic as a medical assistant. As per company policy, Strickland was initially placed in a ninety-day probationary period.

On or about October 21, 1998, Strickland informed Prime Care that she was pregnant. On or about October 29, 1998, Ullmann, Angie Smith (“Smith”), Strickland’s immediate supervisor, and Jenny Herring (“Herring”), the director of human resources, met and decided to terminate Strickland. This suit followed.

Issue

Decision

Keeping in mind that “summary judgment is not [often] a proper vehicle for resolving claims of employment discrimination which … turn on an employer’s motivation and intent,” Pearson v. Macon-Bibb County Hosp. Auth., 952 F.2d 1274, 1280 (11th Cir.1992), only a position not easily reconciled with the Seventh Amendment would pretermit the trial of these facts in favor of a judicial termination about the merits of this suit. Although it may be true, as Prime Care has pointed out, that this suit presents no facts that indicate a landslide victory for Strickland, it is equally true that, even if all of the weight of the evidence runs counter to her, Strickland is entitled to have a jury resolve the issue. See Walker, 53 F.3d at 1563 (Johnson, J. specially concurring) (noting that “the factfinder must evaluate the credibility of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence. This task is peculiarly the province of the jury.”).

For these reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Prime-Care of Dothan is DENIED.

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