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Nyambal v. AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 17, 2018

EUGENE NYAMBAL, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLIEDBARTON SECURITY SERVICES, LLC Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          EMMET G. SULLIVAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         On January 26, 2016, the Court dismissed plaintiff Eugene Nyambal's (“Mr. Nyambal”) suit against defendant AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC (“AlliedBarton”) for damages related to the company's alleged role in facilitating his removal from the International Monetary Fund's (“IMF”) and the World Bank's Washington, D.C. locations. See Nyambal v. AlliedBarton Security Servs., LLC, 153 F.Supp.3d 309 (D.D.C. 2016). Shortly thereafter, Mr. Nyambal filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the Court clearly erred when it dismissed his defamation claim. See Recons. Mot., ECF No. 17. Mr. Nyambal also filed a motion for leave to file a supplemental memorandum in light of newly discovered evidence in support of his motion for reconsideration. See Mot. to Suppl., ECF No. 36. Having considered both motions, the responses and replies thereto, and the applicable law, the Court DENIES Mr. Nyambal's motion to file a supplemental memorandum in support of his motion for reconsideration and GRANTS his motion for reconsideration. The Court finds that Mr. Nyambal stated a defamation claim.

         II. Background

         The factual background of this case is thoroughly set out in the Court's prior Opinion and will not be repeated in full. See Nyambal, 153 F.Supp.3d at 312-13. To provide context, however, the Court summarizes the case's procedural history and the facts relevant to Mr. Nyambal's defamation claim.

         A. Procedural History

         Mr. Nyambal filed suit against AlliedBarton in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on October 9, 2014. Compl., ECF No. 1-3. AlliedBarton removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and filed a motion to dismiss. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1.; Am. Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 7. On January 26, 2016, the Court dismissed Mr. Nyambal's complaint, finding that he failed to state a claim against AlliedBarton for: (1) tortious interference with business relationships; (2) defamation; (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (4) civil conspiracy. See Nyambal, 153 F.Supp.3d at 315-19.

         On February 23, 2016, Mr. Nyambal filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the Court wrongly dismissed his defamation claim. See Recons. Mot., ECF No. 17. On October 26, 2017, Mr. Nyambal filed a motion for leave to file a supplemental memorandum in support of his motion for reconsideration in light of newly discovered evidence. See Mot. to Suppl., ECF No. 36. Both motions are opposed.[1]

         B. Relevant Facts

         Defendant AlliedBarton provides security services to the IMF and the World Bank, international organizations that promote global economic development. Compl., ECF No. 1-3 ¶¶ 2-4. Plaintiff Mr. Nyambal is a “distinguished economist, ” who served as a senior advisor at the IMF until he was fired in June 2009, purportedly in retaliation for raising “serious concerns” about the lack of transparency and potential corruption in a Cameroon mining project. Id. ¶¶ 1, 6-7. In order to “silence and punish” Mr. Nyambal for whistleblowing, the IMF and AlliedBarton allegedly conspired to “blacklist [him] by posting his name and picture on the World Bank's ‘No Admit List.'” Id. ¶ 10. Based on the information within an IMF “blacklisting memo, ” AlliedBarton “place[d] his name and picture on the World Bank's ‘No Admit' list, which . . . prevent[s] individuals deemed a security threat from entering the premises.” Id. ¶¶ 16, 20. As a result, Mr. Nyambal was denied access to the World Bank in July 2013[2] and October 2013. Id. ¶¶ 11, 13.

         On October 9, 2013, Mr. Nyambal sought to enter the World Bank with a colleague to attend the World Bank's Annual Meeting to “meet with government officials and secure contracts.” Id. ¶ 13. Despite having a three-day pass, Mr. Nyambal was denied access, which “publicly humiliated [him] in the presence of former colleagues, professional acquaintances, and government officials.” Id. At least one potential client was “advised” that Mr. Nyambal was on the World Bank's and the IMF's Do Not Admit lists. Id. ¶ 15. Mr. Nyambal's contract negotiations “have come to a halt” as a result of this alleged blacklisting. Id.

         On June 5, 2014, Mr. Nyambal met with representatives from the World Bank and AlliedBarton. Id. ¶ 17. The World Bank “declined” any responsibility for Mr. Nyambal's inclusion on the Do Not Admit list. Id. ¶ 16. The World Bank also sent him a redacted version of the IMF's “blacklisting memo, ” which confirmed that his name was included on the Do Not Admit list. Id. According to Mr. Nyambal, AlliedBarton allegedly “acknowledged that Nyambal's blacklisting [in October 2013] was triggered by the information provided by the IMF to the World Bank through AlliedBarton.” Id. ¶ 17.

         III. Mr. Nyambal's Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Memorandum in Support of his Motion for Reconsideration

         Mr. Nyambal moves to file a supplemental memorandum in support of his motion for reconsideration “pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) and 15(d). . . .” See Mot. to Suppl., ECF No. 36-2 at 1. However, neither Rule 15(a) nor Rule 15(d) allow Mr. Nyambal to file a supplemental memorandum in support of a motion. Rule 15(a)(2) provides that “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(emphasis added). Rule 15(d) provides that “the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any . . . event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d)(emphasis added). Plainly, Rule 15 allows a party to amend or supplement pleadings; however, motions are not considered pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(a) (defining pleadings); Fed.R.Civ.P. 7(b) (distinguishing a motion from a pleading); see also Sokos v. Hilton Hotels ...


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