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Judge Won’t Do Kaiser Lawyers’ Work

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Kaiser Permanente's request to dismiss an employment discrimination lawsuit did nothing to refute the plaintiff's claims, a federal judge said in denying the hospital chain's motion.

Sam Chiles sued Kaiser Permanente Medical Group for racial and age discrimination, harassment and creation of a hostile work environment in violation of state and federal law. He claims that after he transferred to the hospital chain's Santa Rosa, Calif. facility, supervisors threw racial comments at him, bullied him, and treated him differently from other employees.

Kaiser filed a motion for summary judgment on Nov. 7, 2013, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James said Kaiser failed to clearly state Chiles' claims, much less argue against them with the usual claim-by-claim methodology. She noted that it's not the court's duty to align Kaiser's counterarguments with Chiles' claims.

"Plaintiff has asserted distinct claims," James said in her two-page order. "Rather than address each of plaintiff's claims individually defendant merely launches into argument devoid of citation to either the record or supporting legal authorities. It is not the court's responsibility to scour the record to identify the allegation underlying each claim at issue and organize the parties' arguments to determine whether there is a legal basis to grant or deny summary judgment. The parties' briefs and statements of fact should make clear what plaintiff's claims are and the parties' competing evidentiary support for their positions."

James dismissed the motion without prejudice, however, giving Kaiser an opportunity to cure its deficiencies.

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