United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
PYRAMID INSTRUMENTATION & ELECTRIC CORP., ET AL.
DWAYNE KEVIN HEBERT, ET AL.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a Motion to Dismiss [doc. 8] filed pursuant to
Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure by defendants Galaxy NA, LLC (“Galaxy”)
and Erik Morgan (collectively,
id="FN1">1]. Plaintiffs Pyramid Instrumentation
& Electric Corporation and PTW Energy Services,
“plaintiffs”/”Pyramid”) oppose the
motion [doc. 11] and the defendants have filed a reply [doc.
12]. Accordingly, the matter is now ripe for review.
matter arises as a dispute between defendants Dwayne Kevin
Hebert, Erik Morgan, and their employer, Galaxy; and Hebert
and Morgan's former employer, Pyramid. Plaintiffs allege
that defendants improperly competed against them while Hebert
and Morgan were still employed by Pyramid. Doc. 1, pp. 1-8.
Namely, they contend that Hebert and Morgan improperly
diverted Pyramid employees, customers, and resources to
Galaxy while still employed by Pyramid. Id.
filed a complaint against Hebert, Morgan, and Galaxy in this
court, raising several claims under state and federal law.
Id. at 1-17. Galaxy and Morgan now bring the instant
motion to dismiss, alleging that plaintiffs have failed to
state a claim on which relief can be granted under several of
their causes of action. Doc. 8, att. 1. They also contend
that, because 28 U.S.C. § 1331 is the sole basis cited
for this court's original jurisdiction [see doc. 1, p.
2], this court will be deprived of subject matter
jurisdiction once the federal law claims are dismissed.
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows for
dismissal of a claim when a plaintiff “fail[s] to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted.” When
reviewing such a motion, the court should focus exclusively
on the complaint and its attachments. Wilson v.
Birnberg, 1');">667 F.3d 591, 595 (5th Cir. 2012). Such
motions are also reviewed with the court “accepting all
well-pleaded facts as true and viewing those facts in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Bustos v.
Martini Club, Inc., 599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010).
However, “the plaintiff must plead enough facts
‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” In re Katrina Canal Breaches
Litig., 191');">495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955');">127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974
(2007)). “A pleading that offers labels and conclusions
or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do. Nor will a complaint suffice if it tends
naked assertions devoid of further factual
enhancement.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (cleaned up). Instead, the complaint must
contain enough factual matter to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of each
element of the plaintiff's claim. Lormand v. U.S.
Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 257 (5th Cir. 2009).
Accordingly, the court's task in evaluating a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is “not to evaluate the
plaintiff's likelihood of success, ” but instead to
determine whether the claim is both legally cognizable and
plausible. Billups v. Credit Bureau of Greater
Shreveport, 2014 WL 4700254, *2 (W.D. La. Sep. 22, 2014)
(quoting Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays Bank
PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010)).
Review of Claims
first challenge plaintiffs' claims under Count I of the
complaint, which is based on violations of the Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). See doc. 1, pp.
8-9. This act prohibits, inter alia, unauthorized
access of a “protected computer” for the purposes
of obtaining information, causing damage, or perpetuating a
fraud. 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a). Plaintiffs'
CFAA claims arise from the following factual allegations:
20. On July 27, 2017, a person using Hebert's Pyramid
computer accessed and copied Pyramid's confidential and
proprietary property, including, among other things,
Pyramid's quality assurance and quality control manuals
created specifically for Pyramid's customers. Upon
information and belief, that person was Hebert. Upon
information and belief, Hebert provided Morgan and/or Galaxy
with Pyramid's confidential and proprietary ...