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Scott v. Nemours/Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 8, 2017

JASON SCOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
NEMOURS/ALFRED I. DUPONT HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN, Defendant.

          Jason Scott, Dover, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Kathleen Furey McDonough, Esquire, and Stephanie E. O'Byrne, Esquire, Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jason Scott, who appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, filed a complaint on June 27, 2016, which he followed with what appeared to be an amended complaint on October 28, 2016. (D.I. 2, 6). Defendant moves to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (D.I. 10). Plaintiff opposes. (D.I. 15). Briefing on the motion is complete. Plaintiff also requests counsel and moves for issuance of a subpoena. (D.I. 13, 19).

         BACKGROUND

         At the time of his discharge, Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as a community health worker. The Complaint alleges employment discrimination by reason of race, color, sex, religion, and disability occurring on April 30, 2015, when Plaintiff's employment was terminated. (D.I. 2). The Complaint contains three counts: (1) religious discrimination; (2) retaliation; and (3) disability discrimination. (D.I. 2-2 at 2-3). Attached to the Complaint is a notice of suit rights for EEOC Charge No. 17C-2016-00158 and its corresponding charge of discrimination, presented to the Delaware Department of Labor on December 15, 2015, that alleges discrimination based upon religion and retaliation. (D.I. 2 at Exs. A, B). The charge states that Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff based upon his religion and acted in retaliation after Plaintiff engaged in protected activity. Plaintiff alleges that "he was to be reinstated after his grant expired but was discharged after he filed previous charges with the DDOL (SCO052015 despite showing success and building positive relationships during his employment." (Id. at Ex. B).

         On October 28, 2016, Plaintiff filed a second pleading again alleging employment discrimination by reason of race, color, sex, religion, and disability, occurred on April 30, 2015 when his employment was terminated and Defendant failed to hire him. (D.I. 6). Attached to the pleading is a notice of suit rights for EEOC Charge No. 17C-2015-00459 and the corresponding charge of discrimination that alleges discrimination based upon race, sex, religion, and disability.[1] (D.I. 6-1). The charge states that Plaintiff worked for Defendant from February 2011 until September 2011 as an insurance verification rep, from September 2011 until October 2012 as a "PSR, " and from October 2012 until April 30, 2015 as a community health worker. It goes on to state that Plaintiff is a qualified individual with a disability who is able to perform the essential functions of his job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

         The charge states that Plaintiff is Black Christian male with a disability. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated against him when it referred Plaintiff to an employee assistance program in 2015. Plaintiff was informed that he was going to be assigned to an "opening position but eventually got discharged." (D.I. 6-1). Plaintiff alleges that he was unfairly discharged by Defendant while he was on his day off and that he was also denied a different position with Defendant based upon his protected classes. (Id.) The Complaint and its amendment seek injunctive relief, back pay, and monetary damages. (D.I. 2, 6).

         Defendant moves for dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that the amended complaint: (1) does not reference the original complaint in any matter and, therefore, stands independently as the operative pleading; and (2) alleges no facts to support a claim of "discretionary discharge" or failure to hire.

         STANDARDS OF LAW

         Plaintiff proceeds pro se and, therefore, his pleadings are liberally construed and his complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss may be granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a court concludes that those allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007). "Though 'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.'" Daws v. Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In addition, a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has substantive plausibility. See Johnson v. City of Shelby, ___ U.S.___, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted. See Id. at 346.

         When reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, a court should follow a three-step process: (1) consider the elements necessary to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that are merely conclusions and therefore are not well-pleaded factual allegations; and (3) accept any well-pleaded factual allegations as true and determine whether they plausibly state a claim. See Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016); Williams v. BASF Catalysts LLC, 765 F.3d 306, 315 (3d Cir. 2014). Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         DISCUSSION

         The Court liberally construes Plaintiffs pleadings. In doing so, and with hindsight, the Court concludes that docket item 6 should now be construed, not as an amended complaint, but as a supplement to the original complaint. The Court thus construes the ...


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