United States District Court, District of Columbia
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
C. Sukari Hardnett, Silver Spring, MD, for Plaintiff.
Paul Warren Mengel, III, Pilieromazza PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendant.
JAMES E. BOASBERG, District Judge.
Plaintiff George Angelich was a clinical psychologist with Defendant MedTrust, LLC, from 2009 until his dismissal in September 2011. Although his Complaint is somewhat unclear, Plaintiff's employment appears to have been terminated following an official investigation of some kind, though he was never informed of its nature or results. He thus brought this suit against MedTrust, alleging wrongful discharge, breach of contract, tortious interference with a business expectancy, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendant now moves to dismiss, asserting defects in personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, service of process, and venue. Although a number of Defendant's procedural arguments are correct, because the interests of justice favor transfer rather than dismissal and because both parties appear to concede that venue and personal jurisdiction would be proper in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court will transfer the case there.
According to the Complaint, which must be presumed true for purposes of this Motion, Angelich worked for MedTrust on a contract with the Department of Defense from October 2009 to September 2011. See Compl., ¶¶ 1, 7. MedTrust is a medical staffing company that provides contract employees to commercial and governmental entities. Id., ¶ 8. Plaintiff was employed as a clinical psychologist, serving at Fort Belvoir and Fort Myer, both of which are located in Northern Virginia. Id., ¶¶ 7-8. While employed by MedTrust, he successfully applied for a permanent position with the Department of Defense. Id., ¶¶ 9-10. The offer was later withdrawn pending an official investigation, the nature and results of which Plaintiff was never made aware. Id., ¶¶ 9-13. MedTrust subsequently informed Plaintiff by e-mail that his employment would be terminated on September 30, 2011. Id., ¶ 16.
Plaintiff's description of the investigation's background is difficult to follow, but he appears to believe that it concerned allegations that he had sexually harassed a coworker. Id., ¶¶ 17-27. On September 13, 2012, Plaintiff brought this action against MedTrust, alleging five common-law causes of action. Id. at 1. Defendant then filed the instant Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b), which the Court now considers.
Defendant argues that Plaintiff's suit should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction (Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2)), subject-matter jurisdiction (12(b)(1)), appropriate service of process (12(b)(5)), and
venue (12(b)(3)). In considering each argument, the Court must " treat the complaint's factual allegations as true ... and must grant plaintiff ‘ the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged.’ " Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc.,216 F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C.Cir.2000) (quoting Schuler v. United States, 617 F.2d 605, 608 (D.C.Cir.1979)) (internal citation omitted); see also Jerome Stevens Pharms., Inc. v. FDA, 402 F.3d 1249, 1253 (D.C.Cir.2005). The Court need not accept as true, however, " a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation," nor an inference unsupported by the facts set forth in the Complaint. Trudeau v. Fed. ...