United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
CHARLES A. WOODS, Plaintiff,
MANNᵃఐ FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY U.S. LLC, MANNᵃఐ USA, INC., and MANNᵃఐ FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY GROUP, INC., Defendants.
C. Keesler, Judge
MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on "Defendants'
Motion To Compel" (Document No. 23). This motion has
been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b), and immediate review is appropriate.
Having carefully considered the motion and the record, the
undersigned will grant the motion.
A. Woods ("Plaintiff or "Woods") initiated
this action with the filing of his "Complaint"
(Document No. 1-1) in the Superior Court of Gaston County,
North Carolina on May 25, 2017. "Defendants' Notice
Of Removal" (Document No. 1) was filed on October 10,
2017. Mannứꙺ Filtration Technology U.S. L.L.C.,
Mannứꙺ Filtration USA, Inc., and Mannứꙺ Filtration
Technology Group, Inc. (together, "Defendants" or
"Mannứꙺ") then filed a "Motion To
Dismiss" (Document No. 4) on October 16, 2017.
Defendants' "Motion To Dismiss" was
subsequently denied as moot after Plaintiff filed an
"Amended Complaint" (Document No. 8) on November 6,
2017. See (Document No. 9).
to the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff was employed by
Defendants for forty-three (43) years - between 1972 and
2015. (Document No. 8, p. 3). Plaintiff purportedly never
took any time off until 2015, after he was diagnosed with
prostate cancer. Id. Following surgery in April
2015, Plaintiff contends he was able to return to work in
August 2015. (Document No. 8, p. 4). However, Plaintiff
asserts that Defendants refused requests for reasonable
accommodations based on Plaintiff's physical
difficulties, refused requests to transfer to a comparable
job, refused requests for leave under the Family and Medical
Leave Act (“FMLA”), and refused to allow him to
return to work. (Document No. 8, pp. 4-5).
renewed “Motion To Dismiss” (Document No. 10) was
filed on November 20, 2017. The Court subsequently directed
Plaintiff to file a “Second Amended Complaint, ”
and the renewed motion to dismiss was also denied as moot.
See (Document No. 16, 18, 19).
“Second Amended Complaint” asserts eight (8)
counts, which include claims of: race discrimination;
retaliation; violation of the FMLA; violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); wrongful
discharge in violation of the public policy of North
Carolina, pursuant to the North Carolina Equal Employment
Practices Act (“NCEEPA”) N.C. Gen.Stat. 143; and
violation of the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act
(“NCWHA”). (Document No. 18, pp. 7-14).
parties' “Certification And Report Of Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(F) Conference And Discovery Plan” (Document No. 20)
was filed on August 23, 2018. The Court then issued its
“Pretrial Order And Case Management Plan”
(Document No. 22) on August 29, 2018. The “…Case
Management Plan” includes the following deadlines: Rule
26 Disclosures - September 30, 2018; Discovery Completion -
February 28, 2019; Dispositive Motions - March 28, 2019; and
Trial - September 2, 2019. (Document No. 22). The
“…Case Management Plan” also states that
“[f]ailure to comply with any of the provisions of this
Order which causes added delay or expense to the Court may
result in the imposition of sanctions as provided by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” (Document No. 22, p.
January 25, 2019, the pending “Defendants' Motion
To Compel” (Document No. 24) was filed. The motion to
compel asserts that Plaintiff has failed to provide his
initial disclosures or any responses to Defendants'
discovery requests. (Document No. 24).
February 8, 2019, a day after his response to the pending
motion was due, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking additional
time to file a response. (Document No. 26). Plaintiff also
stated that he would “provide these remaining discovery
responses” on Monday, February 11, 2019. (Document No.
26, p. 2). The Court allowed Plaintiff additional time but
noted that: “the instant motion is not timely filed
since Plaintiff's response to the motion to compel was
due by February 7, 2019; moreover, it does not appear that
Plaintiff's counsel fully complied with the requirement
of consultation pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(b).”
(Document No. 27).
Response To Defendants' Motion To Compel” (Document
No. 28) was filed on February 11, 2019;
“Defendants' Reply To Plaintiff's Response To
Defendants' Motion To Compel” (Document No. 29) was
filed on February 14, 2019.
pending motion is now ripe for review and disposition.