United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court is Defendant Frymaster, L.L.C.'s
(“Frymaster”) Motion to Dismiss (Record Document
6) Plaintiff Fred Walpool's (“Walpool”)
Complaint (Record Document 1) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on grounds that Walpool
has not asserted the factual allegations to support his
claims and make them plausible. If the Court declines to
dismiss Walpool's action, Defendant moves to dismiss
Walpool's claim for consequential damages for emotional
injury. For the reasons contained in the instant Memorandum
Ruling, Frymaster's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED
IN PART and GRANTED IN PART.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
began his employment with Frymaster in March 1994 as a
welder. See Record Document 16 at 2. In August 2015,
Walpool requested that he be allowed to use intermittent
leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)
so that he could provide transportation for his wife's
physical therapy, necessitated by her stroke. See
id. The intermittent leave was approved on September 4,
2015, through October 23, 2015. See id. Walpool
attests that he complied with all obligations required under
the FMLA, as well as Frymaster's policies. See
id. However, on September 8, 2015, just four days after
Walpool's intermittent FMLA leave was approved, he was
terminated from Frymaster for being “absent without
notice.” See id.
April 21, 2017, Walpool filed the instant action asserting
claims under the FMLA, 29 U.S.C. § 2611 et seq
against his former employers Frymaster or Manitowoc Company,
Inc. (“Manitowoc”). See Record Document
1. Walpool alleges that his former employers interfered with
his substantive rights under the FMLA, and subsequently
discharged him in retaliation for exercising his right to
FMLA leave. See id. at 3. Walpool seeks damages for
past and future lost salary and benefits, liquidated damages
equal to his compensatory damages, with interest, and costs,
including attorneys' fees. See id. at 4.
7, 2017, Walpool filed a Voluntary Motion to Dismiss
Manitowoc, requesting that Manitowoc be dismissed without
prejudice. See Record Document 4. On July 11, 2017,
Frymaster filed its Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. See Record
Document 6. Frymaster seeks dismissal of Walpool's FMLA
claims alleging that Walpool “has not asserted the
factual allegations to support his claims and make them
plausible.” See id. Subsequent to Frymaster
filing its motion, Walpool filed his First Amended Complaint
on August 18, 2017. See Record Document 16.
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sanction dismissal where the
plaintiff fails “to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A pleading states a
claim for relief when, inter alia, it contains a “short
and plain statement ... showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief ...” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To withstand 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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009),
citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127
S.Ct. 1955 (2007). A claim is facially plausible when it
contains sufficient factual content for the court “to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Plausibility
does not equate to possibility or probability; it lies
somewhere in between. See id. Plausibility simply
calls for enough factual allegations to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence to support
the elements of the claim. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. Although the court must accept as
true all factual allegations set forth in the complaint, the
same presumption does not extend to legal conclusions.
See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1949. A
pleading comprised of “labels and conclusions” or
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” does not satisfy Rule 8. Id.
Nevertheless, “[t]he notice pleading requirements of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and case law do not require
an inordinate amount of detail or precision.”
Gilbert v. Outback Steakhouse of Florida Inc., 295
Fed.Appx. 710, 713 (5th Cir. 2008) (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted).
context of employment discrimination claims, “the
ordinary rules for assessing the sufficiency of a complaint
apply, ” and a plaintiff need not establish a prima
facie case of employment discrimination in his
complaint. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema, 534 U.S. 506,
511, 122 S.Ct. 992, 997 (2002). In other words,
“[s]pecific facts are not necessary; the statement need
only give the defendant fair notice of what the …
claim is and the ground upon which it rests.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93, 127 S.Ct. 2197,
2200 (2007). “This simplified notice pleading standard
relies on liberal discovery rules and summary judgment
motions to define disputed facts and issues and to dispose of
unmeritorious claims.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S.
at 512, 122 S.Ct. at 998.
considering a motion to dismiss, courts generally are limited
to the complaint and its proper attachments. Dorsey v.
Portfolio Equities, Inc., 540 F.3d 333, 338 (5th
Cir.2008) (citation omitted). However, courts may rely upon
“documents incorporated into the complaint by
reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial