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Goodman v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

United States District Court, Second Circuit

September 18, 2013

VINCENT GOODMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, PORT AUTHORITY TRANS-HUDSON CORP., MARTHA GULICK, AND DONALD PERENTE, Defendants.

Neil VanderWoude, Esq., GEROSA & VANDERWOUDE, Carmel, NY, Attorney for Plaintiff VINCENT GOODMAN.

Kathleen Gill Miller, Esq., James M. Begley, Esq., Isaac M. Rethy, Esq., THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, New York, NY, Attorneys for Defendants PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK ET AL.

OPINION

ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.

Defendants Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ("Port Authority"), Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation ("PATH"), Martha Gulick ("Gulick") and Donald Parente ("Parente") (collectively "Defendants" or the "Port Authority Defendants") move for summary judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Federal Rule 56 of the Federal Rulers of Civil Procedures against Plaintiff Vincent Goodman ("Plaintiff" or "Goodman").

For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in its entirety.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Goodman filed this action on November 4, 2010, asserting claims against the Port Authority Defendants and his former employers, FJC Security Services, Inc. ("FJC"), Summit Security Services, Inc. ("Summit"), Guardian Services Industries, Inc. ("Guardian") and defendant Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ ("Local 32BJ" or the "Union") under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), the National Transit Systems Security Act ("NTSSA"), the New York State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"), the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL"), the Federal Whistleblower Act, the New Jersey Whistleblower Act, and for failure to represent and theft of services.

On February 25, 2011, Goodman filed an Amended Complaint adding claims for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and New York Labor Law § 232.

On April 12, 2011, Defendant, Local 32BJ, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. On August 4, 2011, this Court issued an Order granting Local 32BJ's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint in its entirety, and granted Goodman leave to replead.

On June 6, 2011, Goodman's claims against Guardian were settled and dismissed. On February 29, 2012, this Court issued an Order granting FJC's Motion to Dismiss in its entirety, and on April 26, 2012 this Court granted Summit's motion to dismiss in its entirety.

On March 20, 2012, Plaintiff filed its Second Amended Complaint, asserting claims against the Port Authority Defendants under Title VII, NYSHRL, NYCHRL, the NJLAD, the NJCEPA, the FLSA, the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law, the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Law, and alleging conversion, unjust enrichment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On June 28, 2013, the Port Authority Defendants filed for summary judgment. This motion was heard and marked fully submitted on September 11, 2013.

II. BACKGROUND

The Port Authority is a bi-state agency created by Compact between the States of New York and New Jersey with approval of the United States Congress. (Ch. 154, Laws of N.Y., 1921; Chi. 151, Laws of N.J., 1921; 42 U.S. Stat. 174, 1921.) Pursuant to the 1921 Compact and subsequently enacted bi-state legislation, the Port Authority operates an interstate transportation network between New York and New Jersey and airports, ports, terminals and the World Trade Center ("WTC"). These facilities include the PATH train, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Port Authority. (N.Y. Unconsol. Laws § 6861.)

During the time period covered in the complaint, from January 2004 to February 2009, the Port Authority was actively involved in the rebuilding of the PATH station at the WTC. Throughout this period, PATH hired three successive contractors to supply fire safety personnel at the temporary PATH WTC Station (the "Site"). These contractors were FJC, who had the contract from December 2003 until August 16, 2004, Summit, who replaced FJC until December 16, 2008, and Guardian, who succeeded Summit on that date and remained through the relevant period of the complaint.

Each of these three companies employed Goodman as the Senior Fire Safety Director, where he worked at the Journal Square Transportation Center ("Journal Square") but went to the Site to do inspections. Goodman was first hired by FJC in December 2003 as the Senior Fire Safety Director for the Site. He worked primarily from his office at Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey. When Summit took over the contract effective on August 16, 2004, it hired Goodman as the Senior Fire Safety Director until December 16, 2008, at which time Guardian was awarded the contract and hired Goodman in his same capacity and employed him until February 13, 2009. The Fire Safety Directors worked at the Site, monitoring the Fire Command Panel and reporting any operational problems with the panel directly to Goodman. (Deposition of Vincent Goodman, "Goodman Tr."; at 68-69; Exhibit C to Declaration of Kathleen Gill Miller ("Miller Decl.").) Goodman's job as Senior ...


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