United States District Court, D. Delaware
JOHN C. GARDOSKI, Plaintiff,
PATS AIRCRAFT, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, d/b/a ALOFT AEROARCHITECTS, Defendant.
William D. Fletcher, Jr., Gary E. Junge, Schmittinger &
Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, DE - attorneys for Plaintiff
Margaret M. DiBianca, Smith Katzenstein Jenkins LLP,
Wilmington, DE - attorneys for Defendant
NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the motion of Defendant Pats Aircraft, LLC,
d/b/a ALOFT Aeroarchitects ("Defendant" or
"ALOFT") to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, asserting that
Plaintiff John G. Gardoski ("Plaintiff) has failed to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (D.I. 6). For
the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Defendant's
motion to dismiss.
was employed by Defendant from April 2006 to February 13,
2017. (D.I. 1 ¶¶ 9, 12, 16). During his employment,
Plaintiff held the position of "Materials Stockroom
III" at Defendant's Georgetown, Delaware location
and was assigned to work during the first shift.
(Id. ¶ 10). On or about January 1, 2017,
Plaintiff took approved medical leave, pursuant to the Family
Medical and Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. §
2601 et seq., due to his affliction with colon
cancer. (Id. ¶ 12). While Plaintiff was on
approved medical leave, Defendant placed another employee -
who had previously worked the second shift - into the vacancy
created by Plaintiffs absence. (Id. ¶ 14). On
February 13, 2017, Plaintiff returned to work from leave.
(Id. ¶ 12). That same day, Plaintiff was given
a letter stating that he was being terminated "as a
result of a workforce reduction," and was "eligible
for rehire and [was] welcome to apply for any positions"
that might be available in the future. (Id. ¶
19, Ex. B). Additionally, Plaintiff was given a document
titled "Agreement and General Release" (the
"Release"), which outlined a release of claims
against Defendant in exchange for consideration in the amount
of $4, 699.20. (Id. ¶ 20, Ex. C). The Release
includes the following provisions that are relevant to
ALOFT's motion (id, ):
4. General Release of Claims.
Employee knowingly and voluntarily releases and forever
discharges the Employer . . ., of and from any and all
claims, known and unknown, asserted or unasserted, which
Employee has or may have against [ALOFT] as of the date of
execution of this Agreement and General Release, including
but not limited to, any alleged violation of. . . any other
federal, state or local law, rule, regulation or ordinance;
any public policy, contract, tort or common law. . .
8. Governing Law and
Interpretation, This Agreement and General
Release shall be governed and conformed in accordance with
the laws of Delaware ....
11. Entire Agreement. This
Agreement and General Release sets forth the entire agreement
between the Parties hereto, and fully supersedes any prior
agreements or understandings between the Parties.
Employee acknowledges that Employee has not relied on any
representations, promises, or agreements of any kind made to
Employee in connection with Employee's decision to accept
this Agreement and General Release .... (emphasis
EMPLOYEE IS ADVISED THAT EMPLOYEE HAS UP TO
FORTY-FIVE (45) DAYS TO CONSIDER THIS AGREEMENT AND GENERAL
RELEASE. EMPLOYEE ALSO IS ADVISED TO CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY
PRIOR TO EMPLOYEE'S SIGNING OF THIS AGREEMENT AND GENERAL
EMPLOYEE MAY REVOKE THIS AGREEMENT AND GENERAL
RELEASE FOR A PERIOD OF SEVEN (7) CALENDAR DAYS FOLLOWING THE
DAY EMPLOYEE SIGNS THIS AGREEMENT AND GENERAL
EMPLOYEE FREELY AND KNOWINGLY, AND AFTER DUE
CONSIDERATION, ENTERS INTO THIS AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE
INTENDING TO WAIVE, SETTLE AND RELEASE ALL CLAIMS EMPLOYEE
HAS OR MIGHT HAVE AGAINST RELEASEES.
February 17, 2017, Plaintiff signed the Release.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that he relied upon the
statement that he was "eligible for rehire and 
welcome to apply for any position that [ALOFT] may have open
in the future," when he executed the Release. (D.I. 1
¶ 30). Following his termination, Plaintiff
learned that his direct supervisor told colleagues that it
was concerns of future job performance and attendance related
to Plaintiffs cancer diagnosis that led to his termination.
(Id. ¶¶ 21-22, 24). Moreover, Plaintiff
learned his supervisor said he "would not hire Plaintiff
in the future." (Id. ¶ 23).
October 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint alleging that
his was fraudulently induced into signing the Release, and
that had he known that Defendant had no intention of rehiring
him in the future, he would not have executed the agreement.
(Id. ¶ 31). Plaintiff also alleges that because
he took approved FMLA leave: (1) he was "subject to the
alleged RIF," (2) his position was not held for him, and
(3) he suffered an "adverse decision  causally related
to his medical leave," in violation of the statute.
(Id. ¶¶ 33-38). Plaintiff asserts that
FMLA claims are not covered under the Release or,
alternatively, that the Release is voidable because he relied
on Defendant's fraudulent misrepresentation that he would
be re-hirable at a later date. (See, e.g., D.I. 8 at
complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). When reviewing a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court conducts a two-part
analysis. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203,
210 (3d Cir. 2009). First, the Court separates the factual
and legal elements of a claim, accepting "all of the
complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but
[disregarding] any legal conclusions." Id. at
210-11. Second, the Court determines "whether the facts
alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show ... a
'plausible claim for relief.'" Id. at
211 (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009)). A claim is facially plausible where "plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Further, "[t]he complaint must state enough facts to
raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence of [each] necessary element" of the plaintiffs
claim. Wilkerson v. New Media Tech. Charter Sch.
Inc., 522 F.3d 315, 321 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal
issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but
whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support
the claims." In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec.
Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1420 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)). The
court may grant a motion to dismiss only if, after
"accepting all well pleaded allegations in the complaint
as true, and viewing them in the light most favorable to
plaintiff, [the] plaintiff is not entitled to relief."
Id. "In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a
court must consider only the complaint, exhibits
attached to the complaint, matters of public record, as well
as undisputed authentic documents if the complainant's
claims are based upon these documents." Mayer v.
Belichick, 605 F.3d 223, 230 (3d Cir. 2010) (emphasis