United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge
action, Plaintiff Jacqui Swanson asserts federal and state
claims of disability discrimination in employment against
Defendant Correct Care Solutions, Inc. The matter is before
the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
(ECF No. 31.) Following a review of the summary judgment
record and after consideration of the parties' arguments,
I recommend the Court grant Defendant's motion.
Defendant's Statement of Material Facts
Correct Care Solution (CCS) provides healthcare services to
correctional institutions throughout the country.
(Defendant's Statement of Material Facts (DSMF) ¶ 1,
ECF No. 32.) During the relevant time period, CCS contracted
with the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) to provide
healthcare services to inmates at the Mountain View
Correctional Facility in Charleston, Maine. (Id.
Partridge was employed by CCS as the Health Services
Administrator at the Correctional Facility. (Id.
¶ 3.) Jeffrey Morin was employed by the MDOC as the
Superintendent of the Mountain View facility. Mr. Morin was
responsible for, among other things, the safety and security
of the inmates at Mountain View as well as the staff who
worked at Mountain View. (Id. ¶ 4.)
September 1, 2014, Plaintiff applied for a position with CCS
as a Registered Nurse at Mountain View. As part of that
process, Plaintiff completed an employment application and
attached her resume. (Id. ¶ 12.) The application
form, which Plaintiff read, stated that the facility
“would conduct a background investigation for purposes
of issuing security clearance, ” and that in the event
of an unsatisfactory finding, Plaintiff would be
“denied a security clearance and any offer of
employment [would] be withdrawn immediately, or [her]
employment with CCS [would] be terminated.”
(Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff further
“authorize[d] investigation of all statements contained
in [the] application and agree[d] that if any material or
willful misrepresentation or omission has been made [therein]
or the results of an investigation are not satisfactory for
any reason, any offer of employment made … by CCS may
be withdrawn immediately, or … employment with CCS
will be terminated immediately….” (Id.
application, Plaintiff stated that her nursing license had
been placed on probation for substance abuse and was
reinstated early due to successful treatment. (Id.
¶ 16.) Plaintiff has a history of addiction to narcotic
medications and alcohol. (Pl.'s Statement of Additional
Material Facts (PSAMF) ¶ 53, ECF No. 36.) From 2008 to
present, Plaintiff has not used any narcotic medications
except Suboxone as prescribed. (Id. ¶ 54.)
September 9, 2014, Ms. Partridge interviewed Plaintiff for
the Registered Nurse overnight shift position at Mountain
View. (DSMF ¶ 24.) In that position, Plaintiff would be
the only nurse on duty and would have keys to the medical
cabinet, which contained controlled substances. (Id.
of CCS's hiring process, Ms. Partridge attempted to
obtain a copy of Plaintiff's nursing license. (DSMF
¶ 27.) Due to a problem with the Maine Board of Nursing
website, Ms. Partridge was unable to view the complete
history of Plaintiff's nursing license and the prior
restrictions. (Id. ¶ 28.) Before Ms. Partridge
extended an offer of employment to Plaintiff, Ms. Partridge
had obtained a page from the Board of Nursing web site that
showed two disciplinary actions, a Consent Agreement dated
May 12, 2009, and a Board Order dated March 7, 2013. (PSAMF
¶ 73; Partridge Ex. 7, ECF No. 30-8.) Ms. Partridge
could have obtained more information by contacting the Board,
but did not do so. (DOSMF ¶ 28.) She was able to verify
that Plaintiff had a valid nursing license at the time of the
hiring process. (DSMF ¶ 29.) The MDOC did a criminal
background check and reported to Ms. Partridge that the check
did not preclude Plaintiff's employment at the
Correctional Facility. (PSAMF ¶ 75.)
September 23, 2014, Ms. Partridge offered Plaintiff a
position as a Registered Nurse at Mountain View.
(Id. ¶ 30.) The offer letter, which Plaintiff
accepted and understood, specifically stated that she
“must obtain and keep a valid security clearance
throughout [her] employment with CCS in order to be eligible
for continued employment with CCS.” (Id.
¶ 31.) Plaintiff's job description also stated that
the position required Plaintiff to maintain a security
clearance. (Id. ¶ 32.) The Security Policy in
the Team Member Manual further stated that Plaintiff's
employment was “contingent upon initial and continued
security clearance as defined by institutional
policies” and that “[a]ny CCS team member who
loses security clearance will no longer be employable by CCS
and will be terminated.” (Id. ¶ 33.)
Plaintiff did not have any performance issues during her
employment with CCS. (Id. ¶ 34.)
soon after Plaintiff was hired, based on certain information
received by Ms. Partridge and Mr. Morin, Mr. Morin asked a
member of law enforcement to obtain some public records
regarding Plaintiff. Through this effort, Mr. Morin learned
that Plaintiff's nursing license had been suspended due
to drug diversion when Plaintiff was employed by a previous
employer. (Id. ¶ 38.)
October 14, 2014, Mr. Morin spoke with Ms. Partridge about
the drug diversion information he obtained. Ms. Partridge
informed Mr. Morin that Plaintiff had not disclosed her
history of drug diversion when she applied for the position
with CCS or during the interview process. (Id.
¶ 39; DOSMF ¶ 39.) At her deposition, Plaintiff
recounted her conversation with Ms. Partridge about
Plaintiff's history regarding the diversion of drugs as
Q. Okay. And so when - when Kim Partridge interviewed you,
you didn't say - you didn't say anything to her about
drug diversion either?
Q. Okay. All right. On -
A. Well, actually, I think I did because she - we talked
about why my license was suspended.
Q. Okay. What -
A. I did talk to her about diversion. We didn't talk
about any specific place. She didn't ask and I didn't
Q. What specifically did you say to her?
A. I do believe it was vague in the sense that I just said,
you know, I had struggled and lost some jobs, the Board of
Nursing found out about it.
A. So it was very - but she was aware that it was reported to
the Board of Nursing that I was misappropriating medications.
Q. Did you - did you tell her that you had been accused of
diverting drugs from a patient?
A. I can't say I used those words direct - that exactly,
Q. Okay. As you sit here today, can you say under oath that
you used the word diverted drugs? The words diverted drugs?
A. No. I did not - I don't recall using the word
diversion. I might have, I don't re - I can't say
Q. Okay. You just told her that your license had been
suspended or revoked or?
A. Put on a probationary period because it was never
A. It was never revoked. For using drugs specifically is what