Anne Mcardle Obtains Summary Judgment For Midland County Fairgrounds In Civil Rights Lawsuit; Lloyd Wilkerson -V- Midland County Agricultural And Horticultural Society D/B/A Midland County Fairgrounds, Midland County Circuit Court
Plaintiff was employed as the head of maintenance at the Midland County Fairgrounds and filed an age discrimination claim for violations of the ELCRA after he was terminated. Upon the close of discovery, we filed a motion for summary disposition arguing that plaintiff could not establish a prima facie case of discrimination because he was not “replaced” within the meaning of the law. The court agreed, dismissing plaintiff’s complaint. The court first held that there was no direct evidence of discrimination. The court next held that plaintiff was not “replaced” as plaintiff’s job was “redefined” and plaintiff’s “replacement” did not perform all of the same duties as the plaintiff. Some of plaintiff’s duties were outsourced, and the remaining duties were absorbed by the three remaining crew members. Because no employee performed the same tasks as plaintiff, the court held that a younger employee did not replace the plaintiff and he could not establish a prima facie case of age discrimination. The court also held that even if plaintiff could establish a prima facie case of age discrimination, plaintiff could not show that defendant’s reasoning for his termination was pretextual.