United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
the court are “LogistiCare Solutions LLC's Motion
to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction”
(Rec. Doc. 11), “Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion
to Dismiss” (Rec. Doc. 19), “LogistiCare
Solutions LLC's Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to
Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction” (Rec.
Doc. 25), “Defendant First Transit, Inc.'s Motion
to Dismiss or, Alternatively, for More Definite
Statement” (Rec. Doc. 27), “Plaintiffs'
Opposition to First Transit's Motion to Dismiss or,
Alternatively, for More Definite Statement” (Rec. Doc.
29) and “First Transit, Inc.'s Reply Memorandum in
Support of Motion to Dismiss or, Alternatively, for More
Definite Statement” (Rec. Doc. 33), For the reasons set
forth below, IT IS ORDERED that the
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed the instant suit against LogistiCare Solutions, LLC
(“LogistiCare”), Frist Transit, Inc.
(“First Transit”) and Southeastrans, Inc. (Rec.
Doc. 1). Defendants Logisticare and First Transit have filed
Motions to Dismiss.
and First Transit are brokers of Medicaid transportation in
Louisiana (Rec. Doc. 1). The complaint names twenty-three
(23) individual plaintiffs and twenty-two (22) Business
Entity plaintiffs (Rec. Docs. 1 and 24). Plaintiffs allege
that Defendants LogistiCare and First Transit breached their
contracts when they used discretion over transportation
routes in their roles as brokers facilitating transportation
services to Medicaid beneficiaries (Rec. Doc. 1). Plaintiffs
allege that in particular the Defendants breached their
contracts by (1) not assigning trips properly to Plaintiffs;
(2) retributively taking away trips from Plaintiffs after
they complained about the Defendants business practices; and
(3) ignoring the freedom of choice of patients' rights
when selecting transportation providers.
AND LEGAL FINDINGS
Defendant LogistiCare's Motion to Dismiss
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 (b)(1) a district court
must dismiss a case if it lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over a Plaintiff's claim. Ramming v. United
States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). The Court
must grant a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction when it lacks the statutory or constitutional
power to adjudicate the case. See Home Builders Ass'n
of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010
(5th Cir. 1998). The party who invokes federal court
jurisdiction bears the burden of showing that jurisdiction is
proper. Dow Agrosciences LLC v. Bates, 332 F.3d 323,
326 (5th Cir. 2003).
ruling on a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, a court may evaluate (1) the complaint alone,
(2) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts, or (3) the
complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Den
Norske Stats v. HereMac Vof, 241 F.3d 420, 424;
Barrera-Montenegro v. United States, 74 F.3d 657,
659 (5th Cir. 1996).
LogistiCare contends that the individual Plaintiffs do not
have standing to bring a lawsuit against it. As this Court
has explained “standing is an absolute requirement for
federal jurisdiction, and without standing a plaintiff's
claim may not proceed.” Mayes v. PTP Invs.,
LLC, Case No.:13-5474, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70369, at*2
(E.D. La. May 21, 2014). Defendant provides evidence that
LogistiCare does not contract with individuals, but only
corporate entities (Rec. Doc. 11-1). Plaintiffs cite one
declaration from a sole proprietor that contracted with
LogistiCare (Rec. Doc. 19-1). However this declaration does
not demonstrate that Plaintiffs can establish privity with
LogistiCare. There is no indication that the individuals
listed in Plaintiffs' complaint have contractual privity
with LogistiCare. Given that this relationship is the basis
for subject matter jurisdiction, it is Plaintiffs burden to
demonstrate the existence of this privity. Bates,
332 F.3d at 326. Plaintiffs do not demonstrate this in their
opposition or present an alternative source of subject matter
jurisdiction. Furthermore, the corporate entities that
Plaintiffs added to their complaint do not bestow standing
upon the individually named Plaintiffs (Rec. Doc. 24). Under
Louisiana law only a corporation, not its members, may sue to
recover any damages it has sustained. Skannal v.
Bamburg, 33 So.3d 227, 240 (La.App. 2 Cir. 01/27/10).
Plaintiffs in their opposition do not provide any citations
that will allow them to establish standing for their
individual Plaintiffs (Rec. Doc. 19). Plaintiffs ask this
Court to deny the motion because this Court should not look
at the merits when evaluating a Rule 12 (b)(1) motion (Rec.
Doc. 19). Establishing subject matter jurisdiction is a
threshold question for this Court and does not rely on a
merit based analysis. Ramming v. United States, 281
F.3d at 161. This Court finds that Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss is appropriate and all claims by individual
plaintiffs should be dismissed.
Defendant First Transit's Motion to Dismiss
initial matter, the Courts analysis regarding lack of
standing for the individual Plaintiffs against LogistiCare is
instructive for First Transit's 12 (b)(1) contentions.
This Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over individual
Plaintiffs La'Dette's and Angel's claims against
First Transit because there is no contractual privity between
these two Plaintiffs and First Transit (Rec. Doc. 27-5).
Plaintiffs do not proffer any evidence or cite any authority
that establishes subject matter jurisdiction under these
circumstances. The individual Plaintiffs La'Dette and
Angel and their claims should be dismissed.
remaining portion of First Transit's motion falls under
Rule 12 (b)(6). Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure allows a party to move for dismissal of a complaint
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Such a motion is rarely granted because it is viewed
with disfavor. See Lowrey v. Tex. A & M Univ.
Sys., 117 F.3d 242, 247 (5th Cir.1997) (quoting
Kaiser Aluminum & Chem. Sales, Inc. v. Avondale
Shipyards, Inc., 677 F.2d 1045, 1050 (5th Cir. 1982)).
reviewing a motion to dismiss, courts must accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and view them in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Baker v. Putnal,
75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). However, “[f]actual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Gonzales v.
Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009)(quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949
(2009))(internal quotation marks omitted). The Supreme Court
in Iqbal explained that Twombly promulgated
a “two-pronged approach” to determine whether a
complaint states a plausible claim for relief.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. First, courts must
identify those pleadings that, “because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled ...