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Middleton v. United States Department of Labor

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 10, 2018

EVELYN L. MIDDLETON, pro se, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TREVOR N. McFADDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Evelyn L. Middleton, pro se, has sued the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”). The DOL seeks to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint under, among other defenses, the doctrine of res judicata. Because there has already been exhaustive litigation between the same parties involving the same cause of action and there has been a final, valid judgment on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction, res judicata precludes further litigation of Ms. Middleton's claims related to her retirement account. As a separate basis for dismissal, her claims fail to state a claim on which relief can be granted.[1] Accordingly, the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be granted, and the Second Amended Complaint will be dismissed with prejudice. The Plaintiff's pending Motion for Summary Judgment will also be denied as moot.

         I.

         Ms. Middleton filed a complaint with the DOL in June 2001 alleging that her former employer, Centra Health, and her retirement benefits planning company, American General Company, mishandled her retirement account. Second Am. Compl. (“SAC”) 2, ¶ 1, ECF No. 22. She contends that, as a result of her complaint, DOL won a $19 million claim against American General in 2002 and that she never received those funds. Id. at 4, ¶ 9. Ms. Middleton also asserts that she subsequently dealt with several DOL officials who allegedly made “verbal and written misrepresentations” regarding her complaint. Id. at 13 at “Bases for Injury” ¶¶ 2, 4. She bases her claims on ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., and the FTCA, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671 et seq., alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duties by the DOL. Id. at 1-2, ¶¶ A, C. Ms. Middleton has filed or attempted to file at least 18 lawsuits in the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia related to this cause of action. See, e.g.:

Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States Department of Labor, 4:06-cv-00072 (E.D. Va.) (Dismissed pursuant to motion by Friedman, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States Department of Labor et al., 4:07-cv-00080 (E.D.Va.) (Voluntary dismissal);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service, 4:10-cv-00072 (E.D. Va.) (Dismissed sua sponte by Friedman, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America and Department of Treasury, 4:10-cv 00088 (E.D. Va.) (Dismissed sua sponte by Friedman, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America and Department of Treasury, 4:11-cv 00029 (E.D. Va.) (Dismissed sua sponte by Davis, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America, 4:1l-cv-00059 (E.D. Va.) (FTCA claim dismissed pursuant to motion by Davis, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America, 4:1l-cv-00142 (E.D. Va.) (Originally filed in Williamsburg/James City County Circuit Court as Evelyn Middleton v. Lawrence R. Leonard and Jerome Friedman and removed to federal court; dismissed pursuant to motion by Davis, J. and imposed pre-filing restrictions);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America, 4:12-cv-00129 (E.D. Va.) (Dismissed pursuant to motion by Davis, J.);
Evelyn Middleton v. United States of America, 6:12-cv-00022 (W.D. Va.) (Dismissed pursuant to motion by Moon, J.);
Evelyn L. Middleton v. United States of America, 6:12-cv-00041 (W.D. Va.) (Dismissed pursuant to motion by ...

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