United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
BYRAM HEALTHCARE CENTERS, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
J. BARBIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Defendant's
Counterclaim (Rec. Doc. 31) filed by Plaintiff, Byram
Healthcare Centers, Inc. (“Byram”), an opposition
thereto (Rec. Doc. 32) filed by Defendant, Christi Rauth
(“Rauth”), and a reply (Rec. Doc. 35) filed by
Byram. Having considered the motion, the parties'
submissions, the record, and the applicable law, the Court
finds, for the reasons expressed below, that the motion
should be DENIED.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND FACTS
is a company that sells medical products in the area of
urology, incontinence, diabetes, and ostomy. Rauth began
working for Byram in October 2013. Around that time, the
parties entered into a Confidentiality/HIPAA Agreement
(“confidentiality agreement”) whereby Rauth
agreed not to disclose any confidential information to any
third parties. (Rec. Doc. 31 at 2.) During the course of her
employment, Rauth was promoted to Product Manager for Urology
and Incontinence, where she was responsible for short and
long-term strategic marketing of these products. On November
21, 2016, Rauth informed Byram that she had accepted
employment with a company called United Seating and Mobility,
LLC d/b/a Numotion (“Numotion”), which competes
directly with Byram in the field of urology and incontinence
medical supplies. This litigation arises from circumstances
surrounding Rauth's transition from Byram to Numotion.
last day of employment at Byram was December 2, 2016. Rauth
alleges that she intended to begin working at Numotion on
December 12, 2016. However, Byram filed suit against Rauth in
this Court on December 5, 2016, alleging that she
misappropriated certain confidential information belonging to
Byram in preparation for her employment with Numotion. Byram
alleges that between August and September of 2016, Rauth sent
twenty-four emails containing confidential or trade secret
information to her personal email account for her use after
she left Byram. (Rec. Doc. 1 at 4-9.) Byram further alleges
that Rauth's actions breached the terms of the
confidentiality agreement. Id. at 14. Along with its
verified complaint for injunctive relief and damages, Byram
also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order
requesting, among other things, that Rauth be enjoined from
working at Numotion until it could be determined whether
Rauth had disclosed any confidential information. (Rec. Doc.
2 at 4.)
the Court ruled on the motion for a temporary restraining
order, the parties filed a motion for a joint stipulated
order on December 13, 2016, which the Court granted the next
day. (Rec. Docs. 17, 18.) The joint stipulated order withdrew
Byram's request to preclude Rauth from working at
Numotion. (Rec. Doc. 18 at 2.)
February 7, 2017, Rauth filed a counterclaim. Rauth alleges
that Byram violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“LUTPA”) by requesting a temporary restraining
order enjoining Rauth from working at Numotion and that it
breached the confidentiality agreement in bad faith.
filed the instant motion to dismiss Rauth's counterclaim
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on March
21, 2017. This motion is now before the Court on the briefs
and without oral argument.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a 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). The complaint must “give the
defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.” Dura Pharm., Inc. v.
Broudo, 544 U.S. 336, 346 (2005). The allegations
“must be simple, concise, and direct.”
Rule 12(b)(6), a claim may be dismissed when a plaintiff
fails to allege any set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief.” Taylor v. Books
A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d 376, 378 (5th Cir. 2002)
(citing McConathy v. Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Corp., 131
F.3d 558, 561 (5th Cir. 1998)). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead enough facts to
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the
plaintiff pleads facts that allow the court to “draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. A court must accept
all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S.
Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232 (5th Cir. 2009);
Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996).
The court is not, however, bound to accept as true legal
conclusions couched as factual allegations. Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678. “[C]onclusory allegations or legal
conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not
suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss.”
Taylor, 296 F.3d at 378.