Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moza v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 4, 2017

NASHAAT MOZA Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS CORPORATION, KINGS COUNTY HOSPITAL CENTER, ROBERT BERDING and NATALIE WOLL Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          I. LEO GLASSER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Nashaat Moza (“Moza” or “Plaintiff”) brings this action against defendants New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. (“HHC”), Kings County Hospital Center (“KCHC”), and individuals Robert Berding (“Berding”) and Natalie Woll (“Woll”). Plaintiff alleges that he was unlawfully terminated from his employment at KCHC because of his race, ethnicity, national origin and age, and brings claims for relief under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, and N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107 (“NYCHRL”). Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated herein, the motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         The following material facts, drawn from the parties' Local Civil Rule 56.1 Statements and evidentiary submissions, are undisputed unless otherwise noted.

          1. Overview of Plaintiff's Job at KCHC

         Defendant HHC is a public corporation that operates New York City's municipal hospitals, including Defendant KCHC. ECF 28, Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Facts (“Def. Rule 56.1 St.”) at ¶¶ 1, 2. Plaintiff Moza is of Egyptian national origin and is a Coptic Christian. Id. at ¶ 7. He was born in 1952, and received his medical degree in Egypt. Id. In September 2008, Moza was hired by KCHC as an Assistant Director of Risk Management. Id. at ¶ 8. Three other employees shared Moza's position title, all of whom were of Haitian descent: Patrick Belhomme (52 years old), Lany Pierre (45 years old), and Sean Lewis (27 years old). ECF 33, Opp., at p. 2. In that role, Moza was responsible for reviewing cases for reportability to the state, which included reviewing medical records, identifying incidents and events that met certain state-mandated criteria, and preparing analyses and reports for review meetings (called Root Cause Analysis) and for submission to the New York State Division of Health. Id. at ¶¶ 12, 13.

         2. Plaintiff's First Four Evaluations

         Between the start of his employment in September 2008 and June 2012, Moza received four evaluations rating him as fully competent or better. During the first two years of his employment, Moza was evaluated for the periods ending on September 2, 2009 and September 2, 2010 by his supervisor, Paulette Bainbridge (“Bainbridge”). In each evaluation, Moza received an overall performance score of C, “fully competent, ” and in some competency categories, a score of E, “exceeds expectations.” Id. at ¶¶ 15, 17; ECF 34, Plaintiff's Local Rule 56.1 Counterstatement (“Pl. Rule 56.1 St.”) at ¶¶ 15, 17; see also ECF 29, Ex. L, 2009 Eval.; ECF 29, Ex. M, 2010 Eval. In January 2011, Isabel McFarlane (“McFarlane”) replaced Bainbridge as Moza's supervisor. Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 18. McFarlane was born in 1960, and her husband is also of Egyptian national origin and a Coptic Christian. Id. at ¶ 19. McFarlane evaluated Moza on July 11, 2011 and gave him an overall performance score of S, “superior, ” for the six month period between January and July 2011. Id. at ¶ 20; see also ECF 29, Ex. N, 2011 Eval. McFarlane evaluated Moza again for the period ending on June 30, 2012 and gave him an overall performance score of E, “exceeds expectations.” Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 21; see also ECF 29, Ex. O, 2012 Eval.

         3. Late-2012 Changes in the Risk Management Department

         Towards the end of 2012, the Risk Management department experienced management changes. First, KCHC temporarily reorganized its reporting structure, and McFarlane began reporting to Defendant Robert Berding (“Berding”), the hospital's Associate Executive Director. Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 22. Berding was born in 1953, one year after Moza. Id. at ¶ 23. Around the same time, McFarlane announced she was changing roles at the hospital, which would leave a vacancy in her position as Senior Associate Director of Risk Management. Id. at ¶ 24. A job opening was posted on KCHC's website stating a preference for an applicant who was both a nurse and a lawyer. Id. at ¶¶ 24, 29; ECF 29, Ex. P, Job Posting. In December 2012, Moza, who is not a lawyer, applied for the position but was not offered the job. Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶¶ 25, 27. Instead, Defendant Natalie Woll (“Woll”), who is a nurse and a lawyer, was hired to replace McFarlane and become Moza's new supervisor, beginning in March 2013. Id. at ¶¶ 31, 32.

         4. February 2013 Evaluation

         Plaintiff claims that McFarlane's behavior towards him began to change in late 2012. Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 33. He attributes this change either to the fact that he applied for her job or because Berding did not like him and influenced McFarlane's opinion of him. Id. at ¶ 34. McFarlane, however, testified that a specific event significantly influenced her impression of Moza. Around February 2013, Moza completed a report of an incident at the hospital that was reviewed at a Root Cause Analysis meeting. Id. at ¶ 35. Following the meeting, McFarlane discovered that Moza had omitted critical facts from his report, requiring a second Root Cause Analysis meeting. Id. McFarlane testified that this was the “first time that a case had to be taken again to Root Cause, ” and that Moza's mistake was “very significant.” Id. Moza, however, contends that he excluded the pertinent information from the report under McFarlane's direction. Pl. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 36. After he fixed the report, Moza testified that McFarlane shamed him in front of his colleagues by insinuating he lacked computer skills. Id. at ¶ 37.

         In anticipation of her departure, McFarlane evaluated Moza for the period between July 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013. Although she had evaluated Moza favorably in the past, she gave him an overall performance score of NI, “needs improvement, ” on that evaluation. Id. at ¶ 38; Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 38. In the evaluation, McFarlane summarized the circumstances of Moza's deficient report, and stated that Plaintiff “[f]ailed to recognize key events in the hospital course which impacted the analysis of case, ” that he arrived late to meetings and missed deadlines, and that he struggled with teamwork and accepting criticism. Id. at ¶ 39; see also ECF 29, Ex. R, Feb. 2013 Eval.

         Moza disputes the circumstances surrounding that evaluation. He contends that on February 22, 2013, McFarlane asked him to sign a blank evaluation form. Pl. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 38. Sometime later, Moza says, Berding told him that McFarlane had evaluated Moza negatively but refused to show him the evaluation. Id. at ¶ 38. The February 2013 Evaluation itself is revealing. The evaluation contains signatures of McFarlane, Berding and Moza. McFarlane's signature is dated February 28, 2013, and Berding and Moza's are dated May 14, 2013. ECF 29, Ex. R., Feb. 2013 Eval. Additionally, the evaluation contains a handwritten note from Berding dated May 14, 2013 which states that he reviewed that evaluation with Moza in March at which time Moza was “encouraged to improve performance under new director, ” but that “employee has continued to submit unacceptable work products and disregard instructions of the new director.” Id.; see also Def. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 62.

         5. Woll Becomes Plaintiff's Supervisor in March 2013

          Woll, who is of Russian descent and was born in 1969, succeeded McFarlane in March 2013. Id. at ¶¶ 41, 42. Moza contends that Woll did not like him from the start and discriminated against him because he is Egyptian. Id. at ¶ 43; Pl. Rule 56.1 St. at ¶ 43. He identifies a number of incidents that, he says, are indicative of Woll's dislike of him. For example, Woll asked Moza to sit in the back of the room with his colleagues during Root Cause Analysis meetings, as opposed to sitting near the front to take notes as he had done in the past, and told him that she should be the one to speak on behalf of the Risk Management Department, not him. Id. at ΒΆ 45. Additionally, Moza says that Woll attempted to erode his ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.