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Dover v. Med Star Washington Hospital Center, Inc.

United States District Court, District Circuit

October 30, 2013

ROBERTA DOVER, Plaintiff,
v.
MED STAR WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER, INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Gladys Kestsjler United States District Judge

On May 4, 2012, Plaintiff Roberta Dover ("Dover" or "Plaintiff") brought an action in D.C. Superior Court against her former employer Defendant Medstar Washington Hospital Center ("WHC") and Defendants Paul Higgins, William Mullins, and Marie Boursiquot, WHC employees and managers (collectively, "Defendants") . On May 9, 2013, Defendants removed the case to this court.

The matter is presently before the Court on Plaintiff s Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint [Dkt. No. 12] and Defendants' Motion for Section 1927 Sanctions [Dkt. No. 13]. Upon consideration of the Motions, Oppositions, and Replies, the entire record herein, and for the reasons stated below, Plaintiff s Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint is granted in part and denied in part, and Defendants' Motion for Sanctions is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

On May 4, 2012, Plaintiff filed her initial Complaint in D.C. Superior Court. The Complaint alleged intentional interference with prospective advantage and economic expectancy (Counts. I and II), intentional misrepresentation (Count III), and defamation (Count IV) . Plaintiff sought an injunction, back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

On April 22, 2013, after the original date for the close of discovery, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint adding several factual allegations and seven new claims. Her new claims alleged wrongful discharge (Count I), breach of contract (Counts II and III), breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (Count IV), negligence (Count V), negligent supervision (Count VI), and intentional interference with business relations (Count IX). Her original intentional interference claims became Count VII and VIII.[1]

On May 9, 2013, Defendants removed the case to this Court, arguing that the new claims required an interpretation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") between MedStar and the Nurses United of the National Capital Region ("Nurses United"). Defendants argued that the common-law claims were preempted by section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), thus requiring removal to this Court.

On May 16, 2013, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint [Dkt. No. 3]. They sought to dismiss Claims I-VI, arguing that the claims should be dismissed under the LMRA for failure to file within the statute of limitations, failure to allege a breach of the duty of fair representation by a union, and failure to exhaust remedies under the CBA prior to bringing suit. Plaintiff's Opposition was due June 3, 2013, but no opposition was filed.

Instead, a month and a half after the Opposition was due, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint [Dkt. No. 12]. Plaintiff's proposed Second Amended Complaint consists of five claims: negligent supervision (Count I), failure to pay overtime under D.C. Code §§ 32-1301, et seq. (Count II), and intentional interference with prospective advantage, economic expectancy, and business relations (Counts III-V). Defendants filed an Opposition [Dkt. No. 14] and Plaintiff filed a Reply [Dkt. No. 16]. The matter is now ripe for consideration.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that leave to amend a pleading "shall be freely given when justice so requires." The Supreme Court has noted that a district court should grant leave to amend a complaint "[i]n the absence of any-apparent or declared reason - such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc." Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). However, "[w]ithin these bounds, a district court has discretion to grant or deny leave to amend under Rule 15(a)." Atchinson v. Dist. of Columbia, 73 F.3d 418, 426 (D.C. Cir. 1996).

III. ANALYSIS

A. Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint

Defendants object to the two new claims Plaintiff raises in her proposed Second Amended Complaint. First, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claim for negligent supervision (Count I) was conceded when Plaintiff failed to respond to arguments raised in Defendants' Motion to Dismiss against a similar claim for negligent supervision in the First Amended Complaint. Second, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claim for failure to pay overtime (Count II) is ...


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