PEARLENE DEWAR V GRACE HOSPITALAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
May 26, 1998
Wayne Circuit Court
LC No. 94-431114 CK
Before: Hood, P.J., and MacKenzie and Doctoroff, JJ.
Plaintiff, a former employee of defendant, brought suit alleging that defendant breached an oral
employment contract and discriminated against her because of her age and race in violation of the Civil
Rights Act, MCL 37.2101 et seq.; MSA 17.428(1) et seq. The trial court subsequently granted
summary disposition in favor of defendant pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10). Plaintiff appeals as of right.
On appeal, plaintiff contends that the trial court erred in granting summary disposition pursuant
to MCR 2.116(C)(10) because there were genuine issues of material fact as to the existence of an oral
just cause employment contract, as well as age and race discrimination. We disagree.
The initial burden of supporting a motion for summary disposition pursuant to MCR
2.116(C)(10) is on the moving party to specifically identify the matters which have no disputed factual
issues by affidavits, deposition, admissions, or other documentary evidence. Patterson v Kleiman,
447 Mich 429, 432; 526 NW2d 879 (1994). Then, the party opposing summary disposition has the
burden of showing that a genuine issue of material fact does exist through evidentiary materials. Skinner
v Square D Co, 445 Mich 153, 160; 516 NW2d 475 (1994). The existence of a disputed fact must
be established by admissible evidence. Cox v Dearborn Heights, 210 Mich App 389, 398; 534
NW2d 135 (1995). Affidavits must be made on the basis of personal knowledge and must set forth
with particularity such facts that would be admissible as evidence to establish or deny the grounds stated
in the motion. SSC Associates Ltd Partnership v General Retirement System of City of Detroit,
192 Mich App 360, 364; 480 NW2d 275 (1991). Opinions, conclusory denials, unsworn averments,
and inadmissible hearsay do not satisfy the court rule because disputed facts must be established by
admissible evidence. Id.
In this case, defendant filed a motion for summary disposition and attached documentary
evidence to show that plaintiff was an at-will employee and that she was not discriminated against
because of her age or race. Plaintiff therefore had the burden of showing that a genuine issue of material
fact existed through admissible evidence. Cox, supra, p 398.
The documentation that plaintiff attached to her reply to defendant’s motion for summary
disposition did not constitute sworn affidavits as defined by MCR 2.119(B). All of plaintiff’s
documentation constituted unsworn opinions, averments, or inadmissible hearsay in the form of letters
and therefore did not satisfy the court rule that disputed facts must be established by admissible
evidence. SSC Associates Ltd Partnership, supra, p 364. Since plaintiff did not present any
admissible evidence to show a genuine issue of material fact, defendant was entitled to judgment in its
favor as a matter of law. The trial court properly granted summary disposition for defendant pursuant to
/s/ Harold Hood
/s/ Barbara B. MacKenzie
/s/ Martin M. Doctoroff