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A Dispute of Material Facts Precludes Summary Judgment

In the case of Zarza v. Bd. Of Regents of the Univ. of Michigan, 6th Cir. No. 22-1776 (May 5, 2023), a federal appellate court held that, because a jury could reasonably believe either the supervisor’s or the University’s account of an alleged retaliatory termination, the trial court’s grant of summary judgment was inappropriate.

In this case, the supervisor argued that summary judgment was inappropriate because the university used the alleged complaints about the supervisor as a reason to terminate the supervisor in retaliation for testifying on behalf of a coworker in work-related injury. In response, the university argued that the university received numerous complaints about the supervisor and therefore had just cause for termination. The federal appellate court agreed with the supervisor.

In support of its decision in favor of the supervisor, the appellate court explained that, because a reasonable juror could find that the University acted with “retaliatory motives” based upon the evidence presented by the supervisor, the trial court’s motion for summary judgment in favor of the University was inappropriate.

To read this case, click here.

NOTE: This case was not decided on the merits. The final; outcome of the jury trial may result in a judgment for either party.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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