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Nyambal v. AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

January 26, 2016


          For Eugene Nyambal, Plaintiff: John M. Shoreman, LEAD ATTORNEY, MCFADDEN & SHOREMAN, LLC, Washington, DC USA.

         For Allied Barton Security Services, LLC, Defendant: Richard Scott Schrager, Edward Clark Bacon, BACON, THORNTON & PALMER, LLP, Greenbelt, MD USA.

         Memorandum Opinion

         Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Eugene Nyambal (" Mr. Nyambal" ) filed this lawsuit against AlliedBarton Security Services LLC (" AlliedBarton" ) based on the company's role in facilitating his removal from the International Monetary Fund (" IMF" ) and the World Bank's Washington, D.C. locations. Compl., ECF No. 1-3. Mr. Nyambal alleges that AlliedBarton and the IMF conspired to retaliate against him after he accused the IMF of participating in corrupt practices. Id. Specifically, Mr. Nyambal alleges claims against AlliedBarton for tortious interference with his business relationships, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[1] Id. AlliedBarton moves to dismiss Mr. Nyambal's claims. Upon consideration of the motion, the response thereto, the applicable law, and the entire record, AlliedBarton's motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         AlliedBarton provides security services to the IMF and World Bank's Washington D.C. offices. Id. at ¶ 2. This lawsuit arises from several encounters Mr. Nyambal, an economist in the field of international development, had with AlliedBarton staff between 2009 and 2014. Id. at ¶ 1.

         Mr. Nyambal served as a senior advisor to Executive Director Laurean Rutayisire, an IMF board member, until 2009. Id. While at the IMF, Mr. Nyambal was responsible for advising member countries during economic aid negotiations with the aim of protecting IMF resources on behalf of its shareholders. Id. at ¶ 5. Mr. Nyambal previously worked at the World Bank. Id. In 2009, Mr. Nyambal " raised serious concerns" about the lack of transparency and potential corruption relating to a mining project between the IMF and the Cameroon government. Id. at ¶ 6. On June 25, 2009, Mr. Nyambal's employment at the IMF was terminated " without notice or explanation" . Id. at ¶ 7. He was immediately barred from entering his office, his personal effects were confiscated, and all files pertaining to his work on the Cameroon mining project were removed from his office. Id.

         A. Mr. Nyambal's 2009 Encounter with AlliedBarton.

         In July 2009, Mr. Nyambal entered a publicly-accessible credit union located in the IMF building to conduct a personal business transaction. Id. at ¶ 8. Mr. Nyambal claims that two AlliedBarton security officers " accosted and escorted" him from the credit union " in full view of the public and a professional colleague who had accompanied him into the premises." Id. [2]

         Mr. Nyambal claims that this incident was the first in a series that demonstrate the IMF and AlliedBarton's civil conspiracy against him, aimed at retaliating against him for his public denunciations of the IMF's role in the Cameroon mining project. Id. at ¶ 9. Specifically, Mr. Nyambal claims the IMF " blacklisted" him by placing his name and photograph on the World Bank's " No Admit List", a list enforced by AlliedBarton and " ordinarily maintained for people deemed to represent a security threat to the World Bank and its staff." Id. at ¶ 10.

         B. Mr. Nyambal's July 2013 Encounter with AlliedBarton.

         In July 2013, nearly four years after Mr. Nyambal was physically removed from the credit union, he was denied entry to the building and thus not allowed to attend a meeting at the World Bank. Id. at ¶ 11. Mr. Nyambal claims he was " humiliated in the presence of many professional acquaintances." Id. Mr. Nyambal contacted the IMF, the World Bank, and AlliedBarton for an explanation. Id. at ¶ 12. Neither AlliedBarton nor the IMF responded to Mr. Nyambal's inquiry. Id. The World Bank denied giving AlliedBarton the instruction to place Mr. Nyambal's information on the No Admit List. Id. at ¶ 11-12.

         C. Mr. Nyambal's October 2013 Encounter with AlliedBarton.

         Several months later, in October 2013, Mr. Nyambal and his colleagues again sought to enter the World Bank to attend its Annual Meeting and " meet with government officials and secure contracts." Id. at ¶ 13. Mr. Nyambal alleges he obtained a three-day visitor pass, but was once again denied entry. Id. Mr. Nyambal argues he was " publicly humiliated in the presence of former colleagues, professional acquaintances and government officials." Id. Mr. Nyambal alleges that the World Bank's Human Resources Department indicated that it did not know why his access was restricted and that the World Bank did not place him on the No Admit List. Id.

         D. Subsequent Events.

         In November 2013, an article entitled " IMF Whistleblower Banned from the World Bank" was published on the Free Beacon's website. Compl. at ¶ 14; Pl.'s Mem. Opp., ECF No. 9 at 7. Mr. Nyambal claims that publicity about his " blacklisting" tarnished his reputation and resulted in the loss of several employment opportunities in the development community. Compl. at ¶ 10. For example, Mr. Nyambal's work on a project with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ceased after authorities were informed by an unspecified source that he was blacklisted from the World Bank. See id. at ¶ 15. Although Mr. Nyambal has written a few articles, he stopped working on his next book due to " financial and emotional distress." Id. Mr. Nyambal claims he can " barely sleep more than 4 hours a night and has been under anti-depressants sleeping pills, and heart medication for an extended period of time" to cope with his " public humiliation, and cruel inhumane treatment" by AlliedBarton and the IMF. Id. at ¶ 21.

         E. Mr. Nyambal's Communication with the World Bank.

         In June 2014, the World Bank denied responsibility for the placement of Mr. Nyambal's name on the No Admit List. Id. at ¶ 16. At a June 5, 2014 meeting with the World Bank and AlliedBarton, Mr. Nyambal alleges that AlliedBarton acknowledged that Mr. Nyambal's " blacklisting of October 9, 2013, was triggered by the information provided by the IMF to the World Bank through AlliedBarton" and " that the July 23, 2013, blacklisting was triggered by a technical error in the process of changing Mr. Nyambal's access status from 'former staff member' to 'visitor.'" Id. at ¶ 17.

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard of Review.

         A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242, 352 U.S.App.D.C. 4 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The pleading must contain a " short plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). The pleading standard does not require detailed factual allegations, but should be " more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Id. at 678. Naked assertions without factual enhancements or formulaic recitations of the elements of a cause of action will not suffice. Id. Rather, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint " must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. Plausibility ...

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