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Amedee v. Shell Chemical LP

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

April 19, 2018

LEAH MICHELLE AMEDEE
v.
SHELL CHEMICAL LP

         SECTION “B” (2)

          ORDER AND REASONS

         Before the Court is Defendant Shell Chemical LP-Geismar Plant's (“Defendant Shell”) “Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue or, alternatively, to Transfer Venue” (Rec. Doc. 15) and Plaintiff Leah Amedee's (“Plaintiff”) “Response in Opposition” (Rec. Doc. 16). Also before the Court is Defendant Shell's Motion for Leave to File Reply (Rec. Doc. 18). For the reasons provided below, IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Shell's Motion for Leave to File Reply is GRANTED and Defendant Shell's proposed pleading (Rec. Doc. 18-2) shall be filed into the record.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Shell's Motion to Dismiss or in the alternative Transfer Venue (Rec. Doc. 15) is DENIED insofar as it seeks to dismiss Plaintiff's claims for improper venue and GRANTED insofar as it seeks to transfer Plaintiff's case to the Middle District of Louisiana. Plaintiff's FMLA claim is hereby TRANSFERRED to the Middle District of Louisiana pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and Plaintiff's ADA claim TRANSFERRED to the Middle District of Louisiana pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), where venue is proper on all claims.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint against Defendant Shell in October 2017. Rec. Doc. 1. Subsequent to enrolling highly competent counsel, she filed an amended complaint on January 30, 2018. Rec. Doc. 7. Plaintiff's complaint alleges two causes of action: 1) a claim under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), and 2) a claim pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). Rec. Doc. 7). In relevant part, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Shell failed to provide her with requested seating to accommodate her chronic back condition, as well as wrongful termination while she was on protected leave. Id. at 3-4.

         While pro se, Plaintiff originally filed this case in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Rec. Doc. 16 at 5-6. Defendant Shell now moves this Court to transfer this case to the Middle District of Louisiana. Rec. Doc. 15. Defendant Shell contends that Plaintiff's claims arise exclusively out of her employment with Defendant Shell at its Geismar facility, located in the Middle District of Louisiana. Rec. Doc. 15.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff's complaint makes allegations pursuant to FMLA and the ADA. As a result we analyze venue under both statutes respectively. Venue requirements pursuant to a FMLA claim are set forth under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). The statute contains a general venue provision, delineating that:

A civil action may be brought in-
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such action.

28 U.S.C.A. § 1391 (2011).

         Unfortunately, the FMLA claim is governed by general venue principles while her ADA claim is governed by special venue provisions set forth in Title VII. See In re HorseshoeEntm't, 337 F.3d 429, 432 ...


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