Joseph Townsend v. AutoZone Stores, LLC, No. 17-3468 (8th Cir. 2018)

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Court Description: Per Curiam - Before Loken, Colloton and Benton, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Employment discrimination. The district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant on plaintiff's retaliatory transfer and termination claims is affirmed without comment. [ September 06, 2018
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United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 17-3468 ___________________________ Joseph Townsend lllllllllllllllllllllPlaintiff - Appellant v. AutoZone Stores, LLC; AutoZone Stores, Inc. lllllllllllllllllllllDefendants - Appellees AutoZone Development, LLC; AutoZone Texas, LLC; AutoZoners, LLC lllllllllllllllllllllDefendants Randy Magness lllllllllllllllllllllDefendant - Appellee ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas - Texarkana ____________ Submitted: August 1, 2018 Filed: September 7, 2018 [Unpublished] ____________ Before LOKEN, COLLOTON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. In this employment discrimination action, Joseph Townsend appeals the district court’s1 adverse grant of summary judgment on his retaliation claims against Randy Magness. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms. Upon de novo review, this court agrees with the district court’s summary judgment decision. See Hutton v. Maynard, 812 F.3d 679, 683 (8th Cir. 2016) (standard of review). In his retaliatory-transfer claim, Townsend did not raise a genuine dispute regarding whether his lateral transfer constituted an adverse employment action. See Jackman v. Fifth Judicial Dist. Dep’t of Corr. Servs., 728 F.3d 800, 804 & n.4 (8th Cir. 2013) (setting forth elements of retaliation claim). In the retaliatory-discharge claim—which relied primarily on a “cat’s paw” theory—Townsend did not raise a genuine dispute regarding whether a biased individual influenced the decision to terminate his employment, or whether a causal connection existed between his termination and any statutorily protected conduct. See Qamhiyah v. Iowa State Univ. of Sci. & Tech., 566 F.3d 742, 742-46 (8th Cir. 2009) (discussing “cat’s paw” theory); see also Hutton, 812 F.3d at 684 (to proceed under indirect method of proof, plaintiff must show causal connection). The judgment is affirmed. See 8th Cir. R. 47B. ______________________________ 1 The Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. -2-