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Hillware v. New Orleans Saints

United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

May 13, 2015

LORETTA HILLWARE
v.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, ET AL.

SECTION: "S" (4)

ORDER

MARY ANN VIAL LEMMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motions Compel Arbitration filed by defendants, Tom Benson, Dennis Lauscha, Vicky Neumeyer, Michael Stanfield, and Derek Henderson (Docs. #20 & 25), are GRANTED as unopposed, and plaintiff is ordered to submit her claims against them to binding arbitration.[1] This matter is hereby STAYED and ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSED pending the arbitration.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss filed by defendants, the National Football League, Roger Goodell and Jay Bauman (Doc. #26) is GRANTED, and plaintiff's claims against them are DISMISSED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Arbitration of her claims against the National Football League, Roger Goodell and Jay Bauman (Doc. #30) is DISMISSED AS MOOT.

BACKGROUND

This matter is before the court on a motion to dismiss filed by defendants, the National Football League ("NFL"), Roger Goodell and Jay Bauman.

Plaintiff, Loretta Hillware, proceeding pro se, [2] filed this action against the NFL, Roger Goodell, Jay Bauman, Tom Benson, Vicky Neummeyer, Michael Stanfield, and Derek Henderson in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After reviewing Hillware's complaint, Chief United States District Judge Loretta A. Preska determined that Hillware alleged "that her former employer, the New Orleans Saints Football Club ("Saints"), subjected her to discrimination on the basis of her sex[, ]" and the court construed Hillware's "claims as arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17." On December 11, 2014, the court transferred Hillware's suit to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and it was assigned Civil Action Number 14-2964. Thereafter, Hillware filed an amended complaint.

On November 12, 2014, Hillware filed an identical action in the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court, Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, and then filed the same amended complaint in that action. The only difference is that she named the New Orleans Saints as a defendant in the state court action. On April 2, 2015, New Orleans Louisiana Saints, LLC removed that action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. It was assigned Civil Action Number 15-1025. The two identical actions have been consolidated.

The NFL, Goodell and Bauman moved to dismiss Hillware's claims against them. Goodell and Bauman argue that Hillware failed to state any claims against them because their names are not mentioned anywhere in the complaint or amended complaint. The NFL argues that Hillware has not stated a claim against it because she alleges sex and race discrimination claims related to her employment with the New Orleans Saints, which is a separate entity from the NFL. The NFL also argues that Hillware failed to properly state a claim for failure to hire because she did not specify the positions for which she applied with the NFL or demonstrate that the positions were filled by someone outside the protected class. Hillware did not file an opposition to this motion.

ANALYSIS

A. Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face must be pleaded. In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 & 1973 n. 14 (2007)). A claim is plausible on its face when the plaintiff pleads facts from which the court can “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl., 127 S.Ct. at 1965. The court “must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” In re S. Scrap Material Co., LLC, 541 F.3d 584, 587 (5th Cir. 2008). However, the court need not accept legal conclusions couched as factual allegations ...


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