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.

Lee v. District of Columbia

August 25, 2010

JOSEPH LEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Re Document No.: 3

MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The plaintiff brings suit against the defendant under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.,*fn1 challenging the defendant's termination of his employment with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. The defendant moves to dismiss, asserting that the plaintiff did not timely file his charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or commence proceedings under District of Columbia law before bringing his claim.*fn2 Because the court determines that the plaintiff timely filed his charge of discrimination with the EEOC and that he properly instituted proceedings under District of Columbia law, the court denies the defendant's motion to dismiss.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Until 2008, the plaintiff had been employed as an officer with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections for approximately twenty years. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 15. On June 25, 2008, the defendant terminated the plaintiff's employment, stating that the plaintiff had fallen asleep on the job in March 2008. Id. ¶ 15. According to the plaintiff, he suffers from advanced diabetes, which he claims constitutes a disability under the ADA, and which causes low blood sugar levels, rendering it difficult for him to stay awake. Id. ¶¶ 6, 10-11. The plaintiff asserts that he had informed his superiors and the defendant's human resources personnel of his condition prior to his termination. Id. ¶ 11.

In February 2008, the defendant assigned the plaintiff to a night shift guarding inmates receiving treatment at Howard University Hospital. Id. The plaintiff claims that he informed the defendant that, as a result of his diabetes, he would need to take mid-shift breaks between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. to enable him to stay alert. Id. The plaintiff states that the defendant refused this request and that, as a result, he was accused of falling asleep on the job*fn3 and was therefore terminated. Id. ¶ 14-15.

The plaintiff states that he filed a charge of disability discrimination with the EEOC on or about January 16, 2009, and that after the EEOC issued him a "right to sue" letter, he timely filed a complaint in this court. Id. ¶ 16. On October 28, 2009, the defendant filed this motion to dismiss, which is now ripe for adjudication. See generally Def.'s Mot. On October 30, 2009, the plaintiff filed his opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss. See generally Pl.'s Opp'n. The defendant did not file a reply in support of its motion. As the motion is now ripe for adjudication, the court turns to the applicable legal standard and the parties' arguments.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard for a Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(6)

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The complaint need only set forth a short and plain statement of the claim, giving the defendant fair notice of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests. Kingman Park Civic Ass'n v. Williams, 348 F.3d 1033, 1040(D.C. Cir. 2003) (citing FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2) and Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). "Such simplified notice pleading is made possible by the liberal opportunity for discovery and the other pretrial procedures established by the Rules to disclose more precisely the basis of both claim and defense to define more narrowly the disputed facts and issues." Conley, 355 U.S. at 47-48 (internal quotation marks omitted). It is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead all elements of his prima facie case in the complaint, Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 511-14 (2002), or "plead law or match facts to every element of a legal theory," Krieger v. Fadely, 211 F.3d 134, 136 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Yet, "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (abrogating the oft-quoted language from Conley, 355 U.S. at 45-56, instructing courts not to dismiss for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that "no set of facts in support of his claim [] would entitle him to relief"). A claim is facially plausible when the pleaded factual content "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

In resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must treat the complaint's factual allegations -- including mixed questions of law and fact -- as true and draw all reasonable inferences therefrom in the plaintiff's favor. Macharia v. United States, 334 F.3d 61, 64, 67 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Holy Land Found. for Relief & Dev. v. Ashcroft, 333 F.3d 156, 165 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Browning, 292 F.3d at 242. While many well-pleaded complaints are conclusory, the court need not accept as true inferences unsupported by facts set out in the complaint or legal conclusions cast as factual allegations. Warren v. District of Columbia, 353 F.3d 36, 40 (D.C. Cir. 2004); Browning, 292 F.3d at 242. ...


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.