United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
GREGORY TODD COOK, ET AL.
WARRIOR ENERGY SERVICES, CORPORATION D/B/A SPC RENTALS
MAURICE HICKS, Jr. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Warrior Energy Services, Corporation
d/b/a SPC Rentals' (“SPC Rentals”) Rule
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss. See Record Document 21.
Plaintiffs have opposed the motion. See Record
Document 27. For the reasons set forth below, SPC
Rentals' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (Record Document
21) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Gregory Todd Cook, Cody Hollier, William McEachern, Dillon
Robbins, Frankie Pyles, John Frasier, Brad Nix, Duane Meeks,
Vernon Casey Jones, Blake Isgitt, Landon Russell, Jonathan
Romine, Brian Jones, John Matassa, Jeremy Evans, and Onolet
Ontrell Rhodes filed the instant civil action in 2015 against
SPC Rentals asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards
Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) and Louisiana law.
See Record Document 1. They amended their complaint
twice in August 2015 and a third time in January 2016.
See Record Documents 3, 4 & 20. Thus, the
instant motion is addressed to Plaintiffs' Third Amended
Complaint. See Record Document 20.
Rentals is in the business of performing labor and furnishing
services and materials, machinery and supplies in connection
with oil and gas drilling, completion and workover
operations. See id. at ¶ 7. Under the name
Superior Pressure Control, SPC Rentals also provides labor,
services, and equipment for oil and gas well pressure
control. See id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiffs were
employed by SPC Rentals and assigned to the Minden, Louisiana
location. See id. at ¶ 1. Plaintiffs
operated machinery, tools, and equipment - primarily well
pressure control equipment used in connection with oil and
gas drilling, well completion, and workover operations.
See id. at ¶ 10. Plaintiffs were either pump
operators or grease operators. See id. at ¶ 11.
were salaried. See id. at ¶ 21. In addition to
salary, they were paid a day rate for each day worked at a
well site. See id. Plaintiffs were assigned 12
hour-shifts, but allege that they actually worked for a
longer period of time each shift. See id. at ¶
15. Plaintiffs allege that “to perform their duties as
required, [they] regularly worked 13 to 14 hours each shift
and not infrequently worked 16, 18 and 24 hours when assigned
to operate equipment and perform other labor at well site
locations.” Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiffs
allege that SPC Rentals knew they worked more than 40 hours
in a workweek at well site locations. See id. at
¶ 20. Plaintiffs allege that SPC Rentals “assigned
[them] to work more than 40 hours in the workweek, ”
yet they were not paid for overtime work. Id. at
¶ 23. Plaintiffs assert that SPC Rentals labeled them as
“supervisors” to avoid paying overtime
compensation. Id. at ¶ 25. Plaintiffs maintain
they were not supervisors. See id. at ¶ 26.
upon the above facts, Plaintiffs assert FLSA claims for
failure to pay overtime. They also assert a “failure to
pay wages timely” claim under La. R.S. 23:633. This
Louisiana state law claim is based on SPC Rentals'
“failure to make timely payment of [Plaintiffs']
salaries and day rates.” Id. at ¶¶
of Plaintiffs were subjected to “en masse” drug
testing in July 2015. Id. at ¶¶ 44-45.
These Plaintiffs “were corralled with approximately 40
of their co-workers in a room at the Minden, Louisiana
office, where the Defendant had arranged for collection from
the Plaintiffs[‘] hair, urine and breath samples . . .
for substance abuse testing.” Id. at ¶
45. “Some of the . . . Plaintiffs were ordered to
report to collection sites elsewhere for the collection of
the same type of samples.” Id. The drug
testing was carried out under the direct supervision of SPC
Rentals' Safety Director. See id. at ¶ 46.
Plaintiffs allege that “as a direct result of the
manner in which the Safety Director conducted the drug
testing . . ., they were defamed and suffered invasions of
privacy.” Id. at ¶ 50.
Court has reviewed the Third Amended Complaint and finds that
the incorporation by reference clause is sufficient. The
adoption contains sufficient specificity and clarity for this
Court to determine the nature and extent of the
incorporation. Thus, this Court will be guided by the Third
Rentals has now moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims in
their entirety. See Record Document 21.
Alternatively, SPC Rentals asks the Court to require
Plaintiffs to provide a more definite statement pursuant to
Rule 12(e). See id. SPC Rentals argues
“that this should be Plaintiffs' last opportunity
to state their claims.” Id. This alternative
request under Rule 12(e) is DENIED, as the Court holds the
Third Amended Complaint is not so vague or ambiguous that SPC
Rentals cannot reasonably prepare a response. Moreover,
motions for more definite statement are disfavored because
discovery is generally the correct vehicle to obtain
information necessary for trial. See Bazal v. Belford
Trucking Company, 442 F.Supp. 1089 (S.D.Fla.1977);
Erickson v. Hunter, 932 F.Supp. 1380, 1384 (M.D.
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) changed from the old, more
plaintiff-friendly “no set of facts” standard to
a “plausibility” standard found in Bell
Atlantic v. Twombly and its progeny. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Under this standard,
“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).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” the
pleading does not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court generally
“may not go outside the pleadings.” Colle v.
Brazos County, Texas, 981 F.2d 237, 243 (5th Cir. 1993).
Courts must also accept all allegations in a complaint as
true. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
However, courts do not have to accept legal conclusions as
facts. See Id. Courts considering a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only obligated to allow those
complaints that are facially plausible under the
Iqbal and Twombly standard to survive such
a motion. See id. at 678-679, 129 S.Ct. at
1949-1950. If the complaint does not meet this standard, it
can be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. See id. Such a dismissal ends
the case “at the point of minimum expenditure of time
and money by the parties and the court.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558, 127 S.Ct. at 1966.
first Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, SPC Rentals argued
that Plaintiffs failed to plead specific factual allegations,
such as dates of employment, rates of pay, or hours of
overtime worked in support of their FLSA claims. See
Record Document 10-1 at 10-12. SPC Rentals also maintained in
its first motion that Plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient
facts to support willfulness. See Record Document
10-1 at 12-13.
February 2017, this Court denied as moot SPC Rentals'
first Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss in light of the Third
Amended Complaint. See Record Document 29. The Court's
review of the Third Amended Complaint reveals that the
aforementioned deficiencies have been cured. Plaintiffs
allege dates of employment, salary plus day rate pay
structure, hours of overtime work, and established workweek
schedules. Plaintiffs also make factual allegations relating
to willfulness, namely that SPC Rentals (1) knew that
Plaintiffs worked more than 40 hours in a workweek at well
site locations; (2) regularly assigned Plaintiffs to work
shifts “8 overtime hours to more than 55 overtime hours
in a workweek”; (3) intentionally misclassified
Plaintiffs as supervisors to avoid paying overtime; and (4)
was sued for similar overtime violations in other various
jurisdictions. Record Document 20 at ¶¶ 20-36. At
this stage, these factual allegations must be accepted as
true and raise a right to relief above the speculative level.