United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN
AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY'S MOTION TO DISMISS; GRANTING
UNITED STATES TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS United States District Judge.
Tracy Davis sued the Washington D.C. transit authority and
the United States Transportation Security Administration
seeking recovery for injuries her daughter sustained from an
explosive-detecting canine. Defendants timely moved to
dismiss on various grounds. Well after the deadline for doing
so-and without seeking leave from the Court-Plaintiff filed
an opposition to the motions. The opposition amounted to
little more than two conclusory sentences asking the Court to
deny the motions.
Plaintiff filed her opposition late and never sought leave
from the Court for doing so, the Court disregards it. And
because Plaintiff did not even attempt to remedy her
late-filing by responding to the arguments made in
Defendants' motions to dismiss, the Court deems the
arguments as conceded, grants the motions, and dismisses the
Inauguration Day, 2013, Ms. Davis and her daughter A.D.
walked to the Metro Center subway station after attending the
presidential parade. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11-12, ECF No.
26. As a security measure-and at the request of the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”)
and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration
(“WMATA”)-a Monroe County, New York K-9 officer
was stationed at the entrance of the Metro station with an
explosive detection dog, which Plaintiff alleges was owned
and trained by the TSA. Am. Compl. ¶ 13, 16. According
to Ms. Davis, as she and A.D. were entering the Metro Center
station, “the TSA owned and trained dog suddenly and
ferociously attacked . . . A.D., biting her hand and causing
her injuries.” Am. Compl. ¶ 17. Ms. Davis now sues
WMATA and the TSA for negligence. Am. Compl. ¶¶
Court previously granted the United States's motion to
dismiss the complaint, but granted Plaintiff leave to amend
her complaint to name WMATA as a defendant and otherwise
refine her factual allegations. See Mem. Op., ECF
No. 23, Davis v. United States, 196 F.Supp.3d 106
(D.D.C. 2016). The Court also allowed for limited
jurisdictional discovery on the question of whether a
mandatory directive governed the training of the TSA canine,
and if one did exist, whether TSA employees followed its
command. See Davis, 196 F.Supp.3d at 121- 22.
Jurisdictional discovery closed in January 2017. See
Min. Order of Aug. 10, 2016. On February 13, 2017, WMATA
moved to dismiss. See Def. WMATA's Mot. Dismiss
(“WMATA's Mot. Dismiss”), ECF No. 30. Three
days later, the TSA moved to dismiss. See Def.
TSA's Mot. Dismiss (“TSA's Mot.
Dismiss”), ECF No. 31. Without ever moving for an
extension of time, Plaintiff filed an opposition to both
motions on March 23, 2017. See Pl.'s Opp'n
Defs.' Respective Mots. Dismiss (“Pl.'s
Opp'n”), ECF No. 32.
the case caption, signature block, and certificate of
service, Plaintiff's opposition is just over a half of a
page in length. See Pl.'s Opp'n. Of that
half-page, only two sentences could be classified as anything
but formalities or background. See Pl.'s
Opp'n ¶¶ 2-3. Those paragraphs read as follows:
2. The TSA supplied a canine to the sheriff's office that
eventually bit the minor plaintiff without cause or
3. Plaintiffs should be permitted to proceed with their case
against Defendants to prove that whether [sic] the TSA knew
or should have known that the canine was a danger to the
Pl.'s Opp'n ¶¶ 2-3. The TSA filed a reply
to this opposition, arguing that the Court should treat its
motion as conceded both because Plaintiff filed the
opposition over 20 days late, and because she did not
meaningfully respond to its motion. See Def.
TSA's Reply Supp. Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 33. Presumably
because Plaintiff's opposition did not address WMATA or
the arguments it raised in its motion to dismiss, WMATA did
not file a reply.
other reasons, WMATA moved to dismiss on the grounds that it
has sovereign immunity in cases involving “an exercise
of a governmental function, ” which includes “the
exercise of its police functions.” WMATA's Mot.
Dismiss at 5-7. The TSA moved to dismiss on the grounds that
it is entitled to sovereign immunity under the
“discretionary function exception” to the Federal
Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), because TSA's
canine training decisions are “grounded in ...