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Rivera v. Rochester Genesee Reg'l Transp. Auth.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

April 10, 2015

ENIO R. RIVERA, MICHAEL TALTON, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROCHESTER GENESEE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, JOHN TIBERIO, Individually, Defendants

For Enio R. Rivera, Michael Talton, Plaintiffs: Christina A. Agola, LEAD ATTORNEY, Brighton, NY.

For Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Defendant: Roy R. Galewski, LEAD ATTORNEY, Joshua D. Steele, Harris Beach LLP, Pittsford, NY; Kyle William Sturgess, Scott D. Piper, Harris Beach PLLC, Pittsford, NY.

For John Tiberio, Individually, Defendant: Paul F. Keneally, LEAD ATTORNEY, Underberg & Kessler LLP, Rochester, NY; Roy R. Galewski, LEAD ATTORNEY, Joshua D. Steele, Harris Beach LLP, Pittsford, NY.

Page 389

DECISION AND ORDER

DAVID G. LARIMER, United States District Judge.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Enio R. Rivera commenced this action against his employer, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (" RGRTA" ) and two of its employees, asserting claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on race and national origin, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the New York State Human Rights Law (" HRL" ).

On April 21, 2008, the Court granted a motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims against defendant Dominic Folino, who was a co-worker of Rivera. 2008 WL 1809323. On January 26, 2011, the Court granted a motion for summary judgment by the remaining defendants, RGRTA and Rivera's supervisor John Tiberio, and dismissed the complaint in its entirety. 761 F.Supp.2d 54.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued initial and amended opinions vacating, reversing and remanding in part. See 702 F.3d 685 (2d Cir. 2012); 743 F.3d 11 (2d Cir. 2014). The Second Circuit's initial decision affirmed this Court's dismissal of Rivera's claims, except as to his hostile work environment claim against RGRTA. As to that claim, the court vacated this Court's judgment, and remanded for further proceedings, based on its conclusion that there were material questions of fact relating to Rivera's hostile work environment claim against RGRTA.

The court added, however, that " [a]lthough Rivera named Tiberio as a defendant pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981, he produced insufficient evidence that Tiberio helped create a hostile work environment." 702 F.3d at 696 n.7. Thus, the Second Circuit found no substantive basis for a claim against Tiberio. Thus, Rivera's only remaining claim, at that point, was against RGRTA, subject to this Court's further findings and rulings on remand.

After further proceedings and factual findings by this Court, 2013 WL 5964489 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 8, 2013), the Second Circuit

Page 390

later determined that plaintiff had not properly appealed this Court's dismissal of the claims against Tiberio, due to plaintiff's failure to serve any papers on Tiberio's counsel, and plaintiff's designation of Tiberio as a " defendant," not as a " defendant-appellee," in its papers on appeal. The Court of Appeals therefore granted Tiberio's motion to amend its earlier decision to remove him from the caption. See 743 F.3d at 15-16 n.2. The Second Circuit did not, however, retract or call into question its earlier ruling that there was no basis for a claim that Tiberio had helped create a hostile work environment, as to Rivera.

On November 13, 2014, this Court issued a Pretrial Order (Dkt. #88), which in part provided that RGRTA was " to file a second summary judgment motion by January 23, 2015 ... ." Id. at 1. RGRTA filed a motion for summary judgment on January 23, and plaintiff has ...


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