United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY United States District Judge
Lawrence Rogers filed this suit against Defendant Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA ”)
asserting claims of negligence and negligent hiring,
training, and supervision. Pending before the Court is
Defendant WMATA 's Revised Motion for Partial Dismissal,
ECF No. 9, seeking to dismiss Count Two of the Complaint on
sovereign immunity grounds. Upon consideration of the
relevant pleadings, briefing,  legal authorities, and the record
as a whole, the Court GRANTS WMATA's
Revised Motion for Partial Dismissal because Mr. Rogers has
failed to file an opposition to this Motion and because
sovereign immunity shields WMATA from his Count Two
Rogers originally filed this action in the Superior Court for
the District of Columbia on May 16, 2019. Compl. at 1. WMATA
removed the case to this Court on June 19, 2019 pursuant to
D.C. Code § 9-1107.10, which grants the district courts
original jurisdiction over suits against WMATA and allows for
removal of such suits in the manner provided by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Mr.
Rogers has not objected to the removal of this action.
Complaint, Mr. Rogers alleges that he was a WMATA Metrobus
passenger on or about May 18, 2016. Compl. ¶ 9. Mr.
Rogers was standing in the aisle at the front of the bus and
holding onto the grab bars. Id. ¶ 10. When the
Metrobus stopped at a planned stop, the Metrobus Operator
began to activate the wheelchair lift for use by a passenger
with disabilities. Id. ¶ 11. At that point, the
wheelchair lift “suddenly slammed back down and landed
on” Mr. Roger's ankle and foot, injuring him.
Id. ¶ 12. Based on these alleged events, Mr.
Rogers has brought two claims against WMATA and requests
$250, 000, plus interest and costs, in damages. Id.
at 5. Count I of his Complaint alleges negligence in the
operation of the wheelchair lift. Id. ¶¶
13-22. Count II alleges negligent hiring, training, and
supervision by WMATA. Id. ¶¶ 23-26.
filed its Revised Motion for Partial Dismissal, which seeks
dismissal of Count II on Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6)
grounds, on June 25, 2019. See ECF No. 9. Mr. Rogers was
to file his response by July 10, 2019. See June 24,
2019 Minute Order. As of the date of this Memorandum Opinion
and accompanying Order, the Court has not received any
response from Mr. Rogers.
Local Civil Rule 7(b)
Rule 7(b) is a ‘docket-management tool that facilitates
efficient and effective resolution of motions[.]'”
Cohen v. Bd. of Trustees of the Univ. of the D.C.,
819 F.3d 476, 480 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (quoting Fox v. Am.
Airlines, Inc., 389 F.3d 1291, 1294 (D.C. Cir. 2004));
see Jackson v. Todman, 516 F . App'x 3 (D.C.
Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (affirming district court's
dismissal of case because appellant failed to file opposition
to motion to dismiss). It provides that if a party does not
file a memorandum of opposing points and authorities within
“14 days of the date of service or at such other time
as the Court may direct, ” that “Court may treat
the motion as conceded.” LCvR 7(b).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) challenges a
court's jurisdiction to hear the case. “Under Rule
12(b)(1), the party seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of a
federal court-plaintiff in the present action-bears the
burden of establishing that the court has
jurisdiction.” Wright v. Foreign Serv. Grievance
Bd., 503 F.Supp.2d 163, 169-70 (D.D.C. 2007),
aff'd, No. 07-5328, 2008 WL 4068606 (D.C. Cir.
Mar. 17, 2008). In determining whether the court has
jurisdiction, “the court need not limit itself to the
allegations of the complaint, ” and “may consider
such materials outside the pleadings as it deems appropriate
to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the
case.” Chandler v. Roche, 215 F.Supp.2d 166,
168 (D.D.C. 2002).
the motion to dismiss stage, counseled complaints, as well as
pro se complaints, are to be construed with
sufficient liberality to afford all possible inferences
favorable to the pleader on allegations of fact.”
Settles v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 429 F.3d 1098,
1106 (D.C. Cir. 2005). “The court need not, however,
accept inferences unsupported by the facts alleged or legal
conclusions that are cast as factual allegations.”
Chandler, 215 F.Supp.2d at 168. And because a court
has an affirmative obligation to determine whether it has
subject-matter jurisdiction, “plaintiff['s] factual
allegations in the complaint . . . will bear closer scrutiny
in resolving a 12(b)(1) motion than in resolving a 12(b)(6)
motion for failure to state a claim.” Wright,
503 F.Supp.2d at 170 (internal quotation marks omitted)
(quoting Grand Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police v.
Ashcroft, 185 F.Supp.2d 9, 13-14 (D.D.C. 2001)).
Court grants WMATA's Revised Motion for Partial Dismissal
on two grounds. First, Mr. Rogers failed to file any
opposition to the Revised Motion or ask for any extension to
file an opposition. Pursuant to the Court's Minute Order
dated June 24, 2019, Mr. Rogers was to file any opposition to
WMATA's Revised Motion by July 10, 2019. Mr. Rogers, who
is represented by counsel in this action, failed to file any
response to the Revised Motion by July 10, 2019, or indeed at