ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
E. Walker, Justice.
the Court is Defendant RC Management, LLC's motion for
summary judgment. A hearing was held on this motion on
February 8, 2018. For the following reasons, Defendant's
motion is granted in part and denied in part.
following facts are not in dispute. In March 2014, Plaintiff
worked four or five shifts as a trainee at the Yarmouth,
Maine McDonald's, which was owned and operated by
Defendant. (Def.'s S.M.F. ¶¶ 4-6.) During her
brief tenure, Plaintiff alleges she experienced three
incidents involving sexual harassment. (Id. ¶
7.) The first incident occurred on March 22, 2014 when her
coworkers discussed a couple "having sex" at prom.
(Id. ¶ 9.) This discussion was brief and
involved no profane or slang words. (Id.
¶¶ 10-11.) The second incident occurred on March
29, 2014 when a coworker discussed a woman breastfeeding in
the restaurant and rubbed his chest in a sexual manner.
(Id. ¶¶ 15-16.) A supervisor told the
coworker to "shut up," and the coworker immediately
stopped the behavior. (Id. ¶ 17.) The third
incident occurred on March 30, 2014 when a coworker was
discussing "how to make babies" and used the word
"sperm" during a conversation about evolution and
the passing of genetic material. (Id. ¶¶
20-21 & n.2.) Following this incident, a coworker asked
Plaintiff if she was okay, and she responded "yes."
(Id. ¶ 23.)
complained to management about the three incidents.
(Pl.'s S.M.F. ¶ 2.) After meeting with Plaintiff, a
manager spoke to and issued a written warning to one of the
coworkers about whom Plaintiff had complained, and the
coworker apologized. (Def.'s S.M.F. ¶¶ 28-30.)
Plaintiff did not return to work in April 2014. (See
id. ¶ 31; Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s S.M.F.
¶ 31.) Plaintiff did not remain at McDonald's long
enough to receive an expected apology from another coworker
who was involved. (Def.'s S.M.F. ¶ 32.) Plaintiff
claims these incidents were traumatic and that she was
offended by them because the only time she ever recalls
hearing about sex in high school was from an education
teacher. (Id. ¶¶ 35-38.)
saw a counselor while she was a high school student, and she
reported to medical professionals that she experienced
symptoms of depression as a teenager. (Pl.'s S.M.F.
¶¶ 10-11.) Plaintiff claims the incidents at
McDonald's caused her to experience a psychological
breakdown that included symptoms such as hallucinations,
hearing voices that are not there, believing she or someone
else could teleport, and believing other people are demons or
warlocks. (See id. ¶ 18; Def.'s S.M.F.
¶¶ 40-47.) Although Plaintiff claims entitlement to
past and ongoing damages for psychiatric, emotional, and
financial damage, including costs of psychiatric treatment,
she has not designated any expert witnesses. (Def.'s
S.M.F. ¶¶ 40, 50.) Defendant's medical expert,
Dr. Carlyle B. Voss, has opined that Plaintiffs experience at
McDonald's could not be connected to her psychotic break
to a reasonable medical certainty. (See id.
Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate if, based on the parties'
statements of material fact and the cited record, there is no
genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. M.R. Civ. P. 56(c);
Dyer v. Dep't of Transp., 2008 ME 106, ¶
14, 951 A.2d 821. "A material fact is one that can
affect the outcome of the case. A genuine issue of material
fact exists when the factfinder must choose between competing
versions of the truth." Dyer, 2008 ME 106,
¶ 14, 951 A.2d 821 (internal citation and quotation
marks omitted). When deciding a motion for summary judgment,
the court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party. Id.
moving party's motion for summary judgment is properly
supported, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to
respond with specific facts indicating a genuine issue for
trial in order to avoid summary judgment. M.R. Civ. P. 56(e).
When a defendant moves for summary judgment, the plaintiff
must respond with evidence establishing a prima facie case.
Watt v. UniFirst Corp., 2009 ME 47, ¶ 21, 969
A.2d 897. The evidence proffered by the plaintiff "need
not be persuasive at that stage, but the evidence must be
sufficient to allow a factfinder to make a factual
determination without speculating." Estate of Smith
v. Cumberland Cnty., 2013 ME 13, ¶ 19, 60 A. 3d
759. If a plaintiff fails to present sufficient evidence,
then the defendant is entitled to a summary judgment.
Watt, 2009 ME 47, ¶ 21, 969 A.2d 897.
Liability for sexual harassment
support a claim for sexual harassment based on a hostile work
environment, a plaintiff must prove the following elements:
(1) that he (or she) is a member of a protected class; (2)
that she was subject to unwelcome sexual harassment; (3) that
the harassment was based upon sex; (4) that the harassment
was sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the
conditions of plaintiffs employment and create an abusive
work environment; (5) that sexually objectionable conduct was
both objectively and subjectively offensive, such that a
reasonable person would find it hostile or abusive and the
victim in fact did perceive it to be so; and (6) that some
basis for employer liability has been established.
2009 ME 47, ¶ 21, 969 A.2d 897. Defendant
primarily argues Plaintiff has not proffered evidence to