The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard W. Roberts United States District Judge
Plaintiff brings this breach of contract action against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA").*fn1 This matter is before the Court on IBT's motion to dismiss. The Court has considered the motion, plaintiff's opposition and IBT's reply, and for the reasons discussed below, the IBT's motion will be granted.
Plaintiff, a former employee of the Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc. ("AB") in St. Louis,
Missouri, Compl. at 9, states that he joined the IBT in May 1979. Id. at 9-10. In a rather rambling fashion, his complaint recounts events leading to and following his termination in 2003, which occurred after he "call[ed] a supervisor a liar in a company union meeting." Id. at 15.
In July 2003, there was an "AB-IBT union contract arbitration hearing" at which plaintiff "was represented by his local IBT union." Compl. at 2; see id. at 15. After the arbitration hearing ended, plaintiff's "local business agent and the IBT attorney told [plaintiff that] . . . the union would not be doing anymore [sic] to help [him] in a tough case." Id. "After all, [plaintiff] openly admitted calling the supervisor a liar, and showed no remorse." Id.
According to plaintiff, he discovered in 2008 that "the charge against [him] was not only bogus, [but also] failed as a matter of law." Compl. at 16. "No reasonable mind would believe that . . . AB or the IBT failed to research whether the . . . misconduct charge was supportable under federal labor law regarding union contract employees." Id. In plaintiff's view, the IBT "rush[ed] to distance [itself] after [the] arbitration because the case was so hard." Id. at 15.
Plaintiff contends that the IBT breached its contract with him, Compl. at 1, and he "is seeking actual damages of $2.5 million, plus punitive and special damages in a bench trial." Id. at 9.
A. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)
The IBT moves to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the ground that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint. See Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002). "[T]he complaint is construed liberally in the plaintiff['s] favor, and [the Court] grant[s] plaintiff the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged." Kowal v. MCI Comm'cns Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1994). The Court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986).
A complaint survives a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) only if it "contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw [a] reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.,129 S.Ct. at 1949 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). "A complaint alleging facts which are merely consistent with a defendant's liability . . . stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). A pro se complaint "must be held to less stringent standards than [are] formal pleadings drafted by lawyers," Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted), but it, too, "must plead 'factual matter' that permits the court to infer 'more than the mere possibility of misconduct.'" Atherton v. District of Columbia Office of the Mayor, 567 F.3d 672, 681-82 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (quoting Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950).
B. Duty of Fair Representation
Plaintiff does not mention the contract or contract provision allegedly breached by the IBT. Leaving aside plaintiff's references to securities fraud, whistleblower complaints and conspiracies among AB, IBT and the United States Department of Labor, see generally Compl. at 2-6, 10-14, the Court discerns a single claim against the IBT: it failed its contractual obligation under a ...