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Attakora v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 1, 2013

KWAKU ATTAKORA, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants

For KWAKU ATTAKORA, Plaintiff: Boniface K. Cobbina, BONIFACE K. COBBINA, ESQUIRE, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MANNONE A. BUTLER, Defendants: Sarah L. Knapp, LEAD ATTORNEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC; Darrell Chambers, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 180

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Kwaku Attakora filed suit against Defendants the District of Columbia and Mannone A. Butler, alleging the Defendants wrongfully terminated the Plaintiff's employment with the District on the basis of his national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, D.C. Code § 2-1403.01 et seq. The Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendants interfered with and/or retaliated against the Plaintiff's exercise of his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (" FMLA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. [1] The Court granted in part the Defendants' motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, and dismissed the Plaintiff's FMLA claim without prejudice. Presently before the Court is the Plaintiff's [29] Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint for Damages. The Defendants oppose the Plaintiff's motion on the grounds the proposed amendments to the Plaintiff's FMLA claim would be futile. Upon consideration of the pleadings, [2] the

Page 181

relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court finds the Plaintiff's proposed amendments to his FMLA claim would not survive a motion to dismiss and thus are futile. Accordingly, the Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

For purposes of this motion, the Court accepts as true the well-pleaded factual allegations in the Plaintiff's proposed Second Amended Complaint. The Plaintiff is an African-American male born in Ghana. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 9-10. The Plaintiff is a citizen of the United States. Id. Since April 2008, the Plaintiff has worked as a Senior Statistician for the District of Columbia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (" CJCC" ). Id. at ¶ 11. At various points beginning in early 2010, Defendant Butler, a " native born" African-American, served as the Interim Executive Director of CJCC and the Deputy Director of CJCC, before being appointed Executive Director in May 2011. Id. at ¶ ¶ 7, 13, 19, 20.

The Plaintiff alleges that following her initial appointment as Interim Executive Director, Defendant Butler " made derogatory statements about Africans," including stating on several occasions that " [t]hese Africans are just lazy and don't like to work." Second Am. Compl. ¶ 14. In May 2010, the Plaintiff asked to use annual leave to travel to Ghana for the funeral of a relative. Id. at ¶ 15. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Butler denied the request, commenting that " [y]ou Africans always want to go and stay for a long time and I cannot let you go," and " [h]ow can anybody go to Africa?" Id. The Plaintiff generally alleges that Defendant Butler " continual[ly] bad-mouth[ed]" Africans, but does not identify any statements purportedly made by Defendant Butler after May 2010. Id. at ¶ 18.

In January 2011, the Plaintiff became ill, requiring consultation with various physicians and health care providers. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 21. The Plaintiff underwent surgery for several medical conditions in May 2011, and did not return to work until May 10, 2011. Id. at ¶ ¶ 27-29. The Plaintiff alleges that since the surgery, he continues to " be under active care of a health care provider" " on a regular basis several times a month." Id. at ¶ 29.

According to the Plaintiff, after the Plaintiff suffered an adverse reaction to certain pain medication prior to undergoing surgery, his treating physician

recommended that he seek homeopathic, naturopathic, plant medicines and " non-traditional" treatment so as to cleanse his body and lessen the pain which had become chronic; in subjecting the Plaintiff to an assortment of diagnostic tests and remedies, the Plaintiffs treating physicians also recommended to the Plaintiff that he ...

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