Whitfield v. American Storage and Transport, Inc.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: SO ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Brown's Report is adopted in its entirety as an order of the Court. Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and plaintiffs claims are dismissed. The Cle rk of Court is respectfully directed to close this case and, in accordance with Rule 5(b)(2)(C) and Rule 77(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, serve a copy of this order upon the pro se plaintiff by mailing a copy of the order to his last known address. CM to pro se plaintiff. Ordered by Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein on 1/16/2014. (Florio, Lisa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
ALDEN T. WHITFIELD,
AMERICAN STORAGE AND TRANSPORT, INC.,
IN CLERK'S OFFICE
US DISTRICT COURT E 0 N y
LONG ISLAND OFFICE
On May 5, 2012, prose plaintiff, Alden T. Whitfield ("plaintiff'), filed an amended
complaint against American Storage and Transport, Inc. ("defendant"), alleging violations of the
Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). [Docket Entry No. 5]. On May 31, 2013, defendant
moved for summary judgment. [Docket Entry No. 38]. Now before the Court is the Report and
Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown dated November 21, 2013 (the "Report")
recommending that the Court grant defendant's motion for summary judgment. [Docket Entry
No. 43]. Plaintiff has filed objections to the Report ("Pl. Obj.") [Docket Entry No. 46]. For the
reasons that follow, all objections are overruled, and the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Brown's
Report in its entirety.
Standard of Review
Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a magistrate judge to conduct
proceedings of dispositive pretrial matters without the consent of the parties. Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b ). Any portion of a report and recommendation on dispositive matters to which a timely
objection has been made is reviewed de novo. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
However, "when a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates the
original arguments, the Court will review the report strictly for clear error." Frankel v. City of
N.Y., Nos. 06 Civ. 5450, 07 Civ. 3436, 2009 WL 465645, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2009). The
Court is not required to review the factual findings or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge
as to which no proper objections are made. See Thomas v. Am, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). To
accept the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge on a dispositive matter to which no
timely objection has been made, the district judge need only be satisfied that there is no clear
error on the face of the record. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); Johnson v. Goord, 487 F. Supp. 2d
377, 379 (S.D.N.Y. 2007), aff'd, 305 F. App'x 815 (2d Cir. Jan. 9, 2009); Baptichon v. Nevada
State Bank, 304 F. Supp. 2d 451,453 (E.D.N.Y. 2004), affd, 125 F. App'x 374 (2d Cir. Apr. 13,
2005). Whether or not proper objections have been filed, the district judge may, after review,
accept, reject, or modify any of the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(l); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Although the objections to a report and recommendation of a pro se party should be
accorded leniency, "even a prose party's objections ... must be specific and clearly aimed at
particular findings in the magistrate's proposal, such that no party be allowed a second bite at the
apple by simply relitigating a prior argument." Pinkney v. Progressive Home Health Servs., No.
06-CV-5023, 2008 WL 2811816, at *I (S.D.N.Y. July 21, 2008) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted); see also Walker v. Vaughan, 216 F. Supp. 2d 290,292 (S.D.N.Y. 2002).
Magistrate Judge Brown has recommended that defendant's summary judgment motion
be granted and plaintiffs complaint dismissed. Magistrate Judge Brown concluded that
plaintiff's physical condition precluded him from performing the position for which he was
originally hired, and "[d]efendant is not required to create a new [light duty] position to
accommodate plaintiff's physical limitations." Report at I 3.
In his objections to the Report, plaintiff argues that defendant's summary judgment
motion should be denied because defendant "violated the American with Disabilities Act by
failing to accommodate my request for 'Reasonable' accommodation," and"[d]efendant cannot
and have not presented sufficient evidence that Reasonable Accommodation could not
reasonably be made and the accommodation would impose an undue hardship." Pl. Obj. 2.
These objections are mere reiterations of plaintiffs original arguments. Plaintiff continues to
misunderstand what is required of defendant by the ADA. As Judge Brown properly concluded,
defendant's failure to create "a light-duty position in the warehouse that does not exist" does not
violate the ADA. Report at 13. Therefore, plaintiff's objections regarding reasonable
accommodation are overruled.
Plaintiffs other objections are irrelevant to Judge Brown's Report. Specifically, plaintiff
argues that defendant falsely alleged that plaintiff requested a cash settlement instead of a
reasonable accommodation, and that defendant falsely accused plaintiff of lying in his
application to proceed in forma pauperis. Pl. Obj. I, 2. These objections are "clearly aimed at
particular findings," given that they are unrelated to Magistrate Judge Brown's conclusion that
defendant is not required to create a new light-duty position to accommodate plaintiff. Pinkney,
2008 WL 2811816, at *I. Therefore, plaintiff's additional objections are overruled.
For the foregoing reasons, Magistrate Judge Brown's Report is adopted in its entirety as
an order of the Court. Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and plaintiffs
claims are dismissed. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to close this case and, in
accordance with Rule 5(b)(2)(C) and Rule 77(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, serve a
copy of this order upon the pro se plaintiff by mailing a copy of the order to his last known
s/ Sandra J. Feuerstein
Sandra J. Feuerstein
United States District Judge
Dated: January 16,2014
Central Islip, New York
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