United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SEGAL HUVELLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant Walsh Group's motion to dismiss,
or in the alternative, for summary judgment pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 56. For the
reasons that follow, defendant Walsh Group's motion is
denied without prejudice, and plaintiff is granted leave to
amend his complaint.
Cecil Holt was injured while working as a construction worker
on the roof of 402 Tingey Street, SE in Washington DC
(hereinafter, “the Premises”). (Pl.'s Compl.
¶¶ 8, 15.) On April 14, 2017, plaintiff brought
suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
against Walsh Group, the owner of the Premises, and various
subcontractors performing work there. (Pl.'s Compl.
¶¶ 2-7.) Defendants removed the case to federal
court based on diversity jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §
Walsh Group then filed this motion arguing that plaintiff
erroneously named Walsh Group as the supervisor of the
construction site on the Premises when Walsh Construction Co.
II, LLC (hereinafter “Walsh Construction”) was
actually responsible for supervising the construction site.
Plaintiff counters that (1) defendant Walsh Group was
involved in or responsible for the Premises, (2) a motion to
dismiss would be premature because plaintiff requires
additional discovery to determine which Walsh entity had
control over the Premises and the relationship between
defendant Walsh Group and Walsh Construction, and (3)
plaintiff should be granted leave to amend his complaint
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 if Walsh
Construction is indeed the proper defendant.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citation omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. “In ruling on a
motion to dismiss, the Court may consider not only the facts
alleged in the complaint, but also documents attached to or
incorporated by reference in the complaint and documents
attached to a motion to dismiss for which no party contests
authenticity.” Demissie v. Starbucks Corp. Office
& Headquarters, 19 F.Supp.3d 321, 324 (D.D.C. 2014);
see also Kaempe v. Myers, 367 F.3d 958, 965 (D.C.
succeed on a motion for summary judgment, defendant must
demonstrate that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute
as to a material fact exists “if the evidence is such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). This Court is generally
reluctant to grant summary judgment when the parties have not
had a full and fair opportunity to conduct discovery. See
Convertino v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 684 F.3d 93, 99
(D.C. Cir. 2012); Taylor v. FDIC, 132 F.3d 753,
765-66 (D.C. Cir. 1997); see also Baker v.
Henderson, 150 F.Supp.2d 13, 16 (D.D.C. 2001).
Walsh Group is a holding group that claims to own no shares
in Walsh Construction, and to have never held itself out as
Walsh Construction's agent. (Glimco Decl. ¶¶
6-8.) However, Walsh Group shares an address, telephone
number, and fax number with Walsh Construction. (Pl.'s
Exs. 3-6; Glimco Decl. ¶¶ 4-5.) Plaintiff has also
provided an affidavit swearing that he observed
“numerous signs on the work site identifying Walsh as
the general contractor” and spoke with several Walsh
employees both on and off the Premises. (Pl.'s Ex. 2.)
reviewing plaintiffs' complaint and the attached and
incorporated documents that the Court may consider at this
stage, this Court denies the motion to dismiss; plaintiff has
stated a facially plausible negligence claim against
defendant Walsh Group. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
This Court also denies the motion for summary judgment
because material facts remain regarding (1) defendant Walsh
Group's control over the Premises and (2) defendant Walsh
Group's relationship with Walsh Construction. See
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
addition, this Court grants plaintiff leave to amend his
complaint to add Walsh Construction as a party. Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2); Canuto v. Mattis, No. CV 16-2282 (EGS),
2017 WL 3437662, at *4 (D.D.C. Aug. 10, 2017); Johnson v.
Veterans Affairs Med. Ctr., 133 F.Supp.3d 10, 13 (D.D.C.
reasons stated above, it is hereby
that defendant's motion to dismiss/motion for summary
judgment IS DENIED ...