United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
N. MCFADDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ghogomu worked for Delta Airlines Global Services, LLC
(“DAGS”) as a ramp agent at the Tulsa
International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma. DAGS terminated Mr.
Ghogomu in May 2013, citing several infractions and incidents
during his ten months with the company. The final straw,
according to DAGS, was when Mr. Ghogomu failed to secure the
fuel cap properly on a flight from Tulsa to Detroit before
takeoff, which damaged the plane's wing when it landed.
He was fired.
Ghogomu denied that he was responsible for the fuel cap
incident and sued DAGS in the Northern District of Oklahoma,
claiming wrongful termination based on race and national
origin, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional
distress. After acrimonious litigation, where Mr. Ghogomu
accused DAGS and the district court of misconduct, the
district court determined that Mr. Ghogomu had failed to
present evidence supporting his claims and thus granted
DAGS' motion for summary judgment. Ghogomu v. Delta
Airlines Glob. Servs., LLC, 2015 WL 5971082 (N.D. Okla.
Oct. 14, 2015) (Ghogomu I). The Tenth Circuit
affirmed the decision, and the Supreme Court twice declined
review. Ghogomu v. Delta Airlines Glob. Servs., LLC,
652 Fed.Appx. 701 (10th Cir. 2016) (Ghogomu II),
cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 502 (2016), reh'g
denied, 137 S.Ct. 1137 (2017). Mr. Ghogomu now seeks a
do-over in this Court, but claim preclusion bars his suit.
subsequent lawsuit is barred by claim preclusion ‘if
there has been prior litigation (1) involving the same claims
or cause of action, (2) between the same parties or their
privies, and (3) there has been a final, valid judgment on
the merits, (4) by a court of competent
jurisdiction.'” Nat. Res. Def. Council v.
EPA, 513 F.3d 257, 260 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting
Smalls v. United States, 471 F.3d 186, 192 (D.C.
only contested issue is whether Mr. Ghogomu's current
suit involves the “same claims or cause of
action” as his Oklahoma suit. Cases share the
“same cause of action” if the two cases share the
same “nucleus of facts.” Drake v. FAA.,
291 F.3d 59, 66 (D.C. Cir. 2002). Under this rule the parties
from the previous case cannot “relitigat[e] issues that
were or could have been raised in that action.”
Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 94 (1980). Mr.
Ghogomu maintains that his current suit does not involve the
same claims or cause of action adjudicated in Oklahoma.
Mr. Ghogomu's complaint broadly describes three claims,
all three “were or could have been raised” in the
prior litigation. First, Mr. Ghogomu appears to bring tort
claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional
distress. Pl.'s Compl., ECF # 1, p. 4, Sect. IV. But the
district court explicitly considered those claims and granted
summary judgment for DAGS. Ghogomu I, 2015 WL
5971082 at *6-7.
Mr. Ghogomu alleges that DAGS conspired to commit fraud
during the Oklahoma litigation by coercing witness testimony
and lying about a surveillance video that implicated Mr.
Ghogomu in the fuel cap incident. Pl.'s Compl., ECF # 1,
p. 4-8, Sect. III, ¶¶ 1- 6, 8. He also alleges that
by crediting DAGS' corrupted evidence the district court
blessed DAGS' fraud and showed judicial bias.
Id. ¶ 6; Pl.'s Resp. to Show Cause Order,
ECF # 5, pp. 4, 6, 10. But Mr. Ghogomu raised these exact
issues in his pleadings before the Oklahoma district court,
including in his summary judgment papers. See
Pl.'s Summ. J. Papers, ECF # 13, Ex. L, p. (pp. 2, 4, 8).
He asserted that DAGS had lied about the surveillance video,
id., and he complained about “fraudulent
evidence introduced in the Court process, which includes[:]
conspiracy, perjury, intent to corrupt third parties, . . .,
and suspicious fraudulent activity and obstruction to
justice, ” Pl.'s Mot. for Recusal, ECF # 13, Ex. A,
p. 5. See also, e.g., Pl.'s Prior Dist. Ct.
Pleadings, ECF # 13, Ex. B (pp. 1-2, 9-10), Ex. J (pp. 3-4,
6). He also filed two motions aimed at the district court
judge: first demanding validation of the judge's Oath of
Office and then asking the judge to resign from the case,
citing a “perceive[d] bias” in the judge's
handling of the case. Pl.'s Mot. for Validation of Oath
and Recusal, ECF # 13, Ex. A, pp. 1-3, 5-11.
district court denied both motions. Orders Denying Mot., ECF
# 13, Ex. A, pp. 4, 12-13. And it ultimately rejected Mr.
Ghogomu's spoliation arguments and the other claims
raised in his summary judgment papers. Ghogomu I,
2015 WL 5971082 at *3-7. Mr. Ghogomu renewed his objections
on appeal, arguing that “[t]he district court relied on
tampered” evidence, “Delta Global lied about
parts of its investigation, ” and “[t]he district
court deliberately misconstrued facts and claims.”
Ghogomu II, 652 Fed.Appx. at 702. But the Tenth
Circuit affirmed the district court. Id. at 702-05.
This Court cannot do otherwise.
Mr. Ghogomu claims that the Oklahoma district court's
decision not to consider a Federal Aviation Administration
report that allegedly exonerated him in the fuel cap incident
violated the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, its implementing
regulations, and the Supremacy Clause of the United States
Constitution. Pl.'s Compl., ECF # 1, p. 4-8, Sect. III,
¶¶ 6-7. Yet again, this issue was fully litigated
in the prior action. First, Mr. Ghogomu filed a Motion to
Consider, Apply and Enforce Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) Laws, Rules, Regulations, Procedures, and Orders, which
the district court declared moot, explaining that
“[t]he Court, of course, will apply all relevant law in
its consideration of Mr. Ghogomu's claims and the
defendant's defenses.” Order Denying Mot., ECF #
13, Ex. A, p. 12. Mr. Ghogomu then asserted on appeal that
the district court had erred by failing to credit the
FAA's report. The Tenth Circuit, however, rejected his
arguments, concluding that “[t]he district court was
right: The eventual FAA report did not affect the
summary-judgment rulings.” Ghogomu II, 652
Fed.Appx. at 703. Mr. Ghogomu may not relitigate his claims
here. More generally, even if he raised new claims about the
Oklahoma district court's alleged legal errors, those
arguments could have been raised-indeed must have
been raised-on appeal in the earlier litigation and are thus
barred by claim preclusion. See Allen, 449 U.S. at
94. Mr. Ghogomu may not have a second bite at the same
these reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that Mr.
Ghogomu's claims are barred by claim preclusion and his
Complaint therefore is dismissed with prejudice. The Clerk of
Court is directed to close the case.
 Mr. Ghogomu is proceeding pro
se. Thus, the Court will apply the well-established
principle that a document filed pro se is to be
“liberally construed” and “a pro
se complaint, however unartfully pleaded, must be held
to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by