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MAHONEY v. BEACON CITY SCH. DIST.

December 23, 1997

NANCY MAHONEY, Plaintiff, against BEACON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT and BEACON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 BARRINGTON D. PARKER, JR., U.S.D.J.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff moved to amend her complaint and defendants cross moved to dismiss the complaint. By Order dated April 28, 1997, this Court directed the plaintiff to serve and file an amended complaint by May 12, 1997 and granted defendants leave to renew their summary judgment motion at that time. Plaintiff's amended complaint removed David Shaw, Bruce Hustis, and Richard Sagar as defendants and alleged only one claim--a claim for wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting illegal discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Defendants then renewed their summary judgment motion.

 While defendants continue to assert that the amended complaint does not meet the applicable pleading requirements, this motion is confined to whether plaintiff's claims are time-barred. Defendants contend that plaintiff's claim for retaliation accrued on August 12, 1993, and that a charging affidavit filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on June 14, 1995 was untimely. As a result, defendants argue that this action is barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff, on the other hand, concedes the late filing, but contends that mental problems that she experienced justify the tolling of the limitations period. Alternatively, she contends that the facts necessary to permit her to assert her claim were fraudulently concealed from her. For the reasons stated below, I find that plaintiff's claims are time-barred and grant the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

 FACTS

 On a motion for summary judgment, "as a general rule, all ambiguities and inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts should be resolved in favor of the party opposing the motion." Brady v. Town of Colchester, 863 F.2d 205, 210 (2d Cir. 1988). The following facts are construed accordingly.

 Plaintiff was employed by the Beacon City School District (the "District") from January 30, 1990 to July 28, 1993. On June 30, 1992, plaintiff sent a letter to the District's Director of Pupil Services, Bruce Hustis, complaining of a verbal attack on her that she characterized as a "chauvinistic, unprofessional barrage of personal venom." Pursuant to District policy, this letter was not placed in plaintiff's employment file. When plaintiff's attorneys subsequently requested plaintiff's complete files, this letter was not included. Ms. Mahoney, however, apparently kept a copy of the letter in her personal correspondence files that she kept at work and had her son bring home after her termination.

 On December 22, 1992, plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident that left her seriously injured. Ms. Mahoney offers subsequent reports of two doctors to document the impact of these injuries on her mental capacities and to support her contentions that her diminished capacity justifies the tolling of the statute of limitations.

 In a report dated September 21, 1994, Marian Rissenberg, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist, found that plaintiff's "recall occurred in an atypical manner, in 'telegraphic' form, and one of the two stories dealt with emotionally loaded (for her) material, on which she seemed to block." Dr. Rissenberg stated, however, that "there is no evidence of impairment of primary memory functions." Susan Goodman, M.D., a Board Certified Psychiatrist, reported on May 25, 1995, that Ms. Mahoney "is oriented in all spheres." While she described Ms. Mahoney's short term memory as "impaired," she further noted that

 
when we first met, Ms. Mahoney's long term memory seemed grossly intact . . . although she did require notes to recall the names of doctors and dates of different events, and reported feeling she had forgotten many things that used to come easily to mind. Quite recently she has remembered events at work from both before and after the accident which she had forgotten for years.

 On May 5, 1993, plaintiff wrote Dr. Sagar, the District Superintendent, and requested "a three (3) month unpaid medical leave of absence, effective April 27, 1993." On May 11, 1993, Lorretta Neilson, Clerk of the Board, wrote plaintiff that her request had been granted, effective April 27 through July 27, 1993.

 On July 6, 1993, three weeks before plaintiff's leave was to expire, Dr. Sagar wrote to Ms. Mahoney seeking information about her plans to return to ...


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