Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

SLABY v. FAIRBRIDGE

April 1, 1998

MARY ANN SLABY, ET AL., Plaintiffs.
v.
RHODES W. FAIRBRIDGE, ET AL., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: URBINA

MEMORANDUM OPINION

 Granting All Defendants' Motions to Dismiss; Denying All Pending Motions as Moot; and Dismissing the Above-captioned Action

 I. Introduction

 Pro se plaintiff Mary Ann Slaby, on behalf of herself and Synthetic Hydrocarbons, brings this action for monetary damages based on the alleged misappropriation and mishandling of Ms. Slaby's earthquake prediction theory. Mary Ann Slaby, a self-employed author and scientist, owns Synthetic Hydrocarbons, an unincorporated business located in the District of Columbia. The plaintiff filed suit against five separate groups of defendants: (1) Rhodes W. Fairbridge; (2) the National Aeronautical and Space Administration ("NASA"); (3) the Science Journal and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (referenced collectively as "AAAS"); (4) the Journal of Geophysical Research and the American Geophysical Union (referenced collectively as "AGU"); and (5) Bob Ryan, NBC Inc., and WRC-TV NBC (referenced collectively as "NBC").

 This matter comes before the court on each of the five defendant's motions to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Upon consideration of the parties' submissions and the relevant law, the court grants the defendants' motions and dismisses the above-captioned action for failure to state to a claim.

 II. Background

 A. General Background

 The plaintiff brings claims against the defendants apparently arising from the alleged theft of her scientific theory for earthquake prediction. Plaintiff claims to have "discovered and developed a method for predicting the time, location and magnitude in the occurrence of earthquakes based on an electromagnetic signal produced by correlated sunspots." Complaint ("Compl.") P 3. The theory also supposedly predicted volcanic eruptions apparently caused by these same "signals." Id. For about a year, the plaintiff sent her unsolicited "Earthquake Prediction Newsletter" to various embassies, businesses, and media outlets, but stopped because "too many unexplained explosions or plane crashes seemed too closely linked" to places the newsletter was distributed. Compl. PP 7, 8. Plaintiff purports to link with certainty two explosions and four airplane crashes to her earthquake predictions. Compl. PP 8, 21.

 To further advance her research in earthquake theory, she submitted an unsolicited proposal for funding to NASA and submitted several manuscripts to several scientific journals for publication. Plaintiff alleges that NASA negligently handled her manuscript and that the journals unlawfully rejected her manuscripts. Compl. PP 48-50, 53-54. Presumably as part of a chain of related events, plaintiff also alleges that between 1993 and 1996 "someone" repeatedly entered her residence to delete and duplicate files from her computer. Compl. P 10. According to plaintiff, some unspecified concepts contained in the files subsequently appeared in the works of "other" scientists. Compl. PP 16-20, 83-85. The plaintiff further claims to have placed a "tag" on her work "[making] it readily and immediately traceable back to her if the ideas were used," thereby causing others "to seriously rethink using it without permission." Compl. P 22.

 As a result of these events, the plaintiff brought action asserting various federal and state claims. Although the plaintiff's complaint is difficult to comprehend, it makes ambiguous references to claims of violation of the D.C. Code, violation of the Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, negligence, and gender discrimination.

 B. Facts Specific to Each Group of Defendants

 1. Defendant Rhodes W. Fairbridge

 Defendant Rhodes W. Fairbridge is a retired Columbia University Professor of Geology who the plaintiff alleges has "an unclear employee relationship to NASA". Compl. P 48. On May 30, 1995, while attending defendant AGU's "Spring Meeting," she saw defendant Fairbridge speak. She alleges that Fairbridge "presented a graph, in the presentation of his talk before the AGU, which was contained in the stolen notes and computer files." Compl. P 18. Plaintiff claims that the graph used in Fairbridge's presentation must have been generated by an equation "written by Plaintiff and contained in her computer files which had been stolen." Compl. P 19.

 Specifically, the plaintiff claims that defendant Fairbridge made "false representations and statements" to NASA, the Science Journal, and AGU that caused the plaintiff's manuscript to be rejected for publication. Compl. P 32, 38-40. In addition, plaintiff claims that defendant Fairbridge broke into her premises and duplicated her computer files. Compl. P 36.

 2. Defendant NASA

 Plaintiff alleges that, in 1992, she submitted an unsolicited proposal for grant funding to NASA. Specifically, she requested funding to monitor electromagnetic signals to develop an early warning system for earthquakes or to construct a "graviton beam" that would interfere with an electromagnetic signal and prevent the occurrence of earthquakes. Compl. P 4. NASA denied funding for plaintiff's proposal. Compl. P 6.

 Plaintiff alleges that one of NASA's employees, defendant Dr. Rhodes W. Fairbridge, obtained unauthorized access to her proposal while it was under review at NASA. Compl. P 48. She claims that Fairbridge used the information he obtained to break into her premises and duplicated her computer files. Id. Based on this alleged unlawful entry by Fairbridge, the plaintiff contends that defendant NASA was negligent in securing her proposal.

 3. Defendants AAAS and the Science Journal ("AAAS")

 Plaintiff submitted three manuscripts for publication in the Science Journal. *fn1" Her claims arise from the rejection of these manuscripts for publication. Plaintiff asserts four claims against defendant AAAS. First, she alleges that members of AAAS gave plaintiff's "publishing ideas and models to friends and colleagues with whom they had worked in the past and owed favors." Compl. P 74. Second, the plaintiff avers that AAAS somehow obtained the proposal she sent to NASA and gave the information to "friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to pay off previous academic debts of one or more of the editors." Compl. P 76. Third, the plaintiff claims that AAAS's rejection of her manuscripts was based upon sex discrimination, in violation of 42 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.