United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
DR. GAY M. STORY
OUR LADY OF THE LAKE PHYSICIAN GROUP
RULING AND ORDER
W. deGRAVELLES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court is a Motion for Partial Dismissal of the Amended
Complaint filed by Defendant Our Lady of the Lake Physician
Group (“Defendant”). (“Motion, ” Doc.
24). Plaintiff Dr. Gay M. Story (“Plaintiff”) has
filed an Opposition, (Doc. 27), and Defendant has filed a
Reply in further support of the Motion, (Doc. 28).
reasons discussed below, the Motion is granted.
is a 46-year-old African-American woman who started working
for Defendant on March 8, 2015. (Doc. 19 at 2).
Plaintiff's “base salary was working for a base
compensation under the initial two-year term of the
employment agreement.” (Id.). After that,
Defendant had discretion to convert her base compensation
from a fixed salary to a compensation model based on other
mid-October 2016, Plaintiff asked to meet with Dr. Curtis
Chastain, Defendant's President and Medical Director, to
discuss Plaintiff's upcoming contract renewal in March
2017. (Id.). Plaintiff told Chastain that she was
concerned about her “patient numbers” affecting
her compensation. (Id.). Chastain asked Plaintiff to
draft an email so that there would be “something to
discuss with the Board.” (Id.). Plaintiff sent
Chastain an email asking to negotiate a “partially set
salary” to allow her time to build up her patient
population. (Id.). She also cited reasons why she
could not work a full-time workweek, citing “chaos and
turmoil, ” poor supervision, understaffing, and other
issues in the clinic where she worked. (Id. at 2-4).
sending the email, Plaintiff received an email indicating
that Chastain and Vice President of Operations Ladonna Green
wanted to meet with Plaintiff and discuss her request, and
this meeting occurred on November 11, 2016. (Id. at
4). Present at the meeting were Plaintiff, Chastain, Green,
and Vice President of Finance Jamy Richard. (Id.).
During the meeting, Chastain, Green, and Richard
“[i]mmediately” began attacking Plaintiff about
her patient numbers and falsely accused her of denying
patient referrals. (Id.). Plaintiff tried to
“steer” the conversation back toward issues
identified in her email, but Chastain stood up, opened the
door, and said “this meeting is over.”
(Id.). Plaintiff contends that she had received no
reprimands and had no record of malpractice or disciplinary
action before the meeting. (Id.).
minutes later, Green called to advise Plaintiff that she was
being placed on administrative leave because Plaintiff had
not agreed with “the proposal.” (Id.).
Plaintiff asked, “what proposal?, ” and Green
said Plaintiff was “insubordinate as she raised her
November 14, 2016, Green told Plaintiff that Defendant had
decided to terminate her without cause. (Id. at 5).
The next day, Plaintiff submitted an appeal letter
“raising allegations of unlawful discrimination against
her in placing her on administrative leave and attempting to
discharge her without due process and for treating her rudely
and unfairly in the November 11 meeting.”
November 22, 2016, Plaintiff received a letter from Vice
President of Human Resources Ann Bollone informing Plaintiff
that she was terminated “effective November 22,
2016.” (Id.). Defendant has sent three
separation notices concerning the termination to the
Louisiana Workforce Commission; Plaintiff alleges that these
notices have been inconsistent. (Id. at 5-6).
Specifically, Plaintiff maintains that the separation notices
variously represented that her date of separation was either
November 15, 2016 or November 22, 2016; and that
Plaintiff's “reason for separation” was
either “terminated/fired” or
alleges retaliation; discrimination on account of age, race,
and sex; and a state tort claim under Louisiana Civil Code
article 2315. (Id. at 6-7). The paragraph stating
Plaintiff's retaliation claim reads as follows:
[Plaintiff] reiterates the allegations set forth in
paragraphs 1 through 25 above. [Plaintiff] complained in
writing to high-ranking officials about unlawful
discrimination against her, and [Defendant] singled
[Plaintiff] out for adverse treatment by firing her in direct
retaliation for her complaints of unlawful discrimination.
(Id. at 7).
Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC and
received a Notice of Right to Sue letter dated September 5,
2017. (Doc. 7-1). This lawsuit was filed September 18, 2017.
DISCUSSION A. General Standards
Johnson v. City of Shelby, Miss., ___ U.S. ___, 135
S.Ct. 346 (2014), the Supreme Court explained that
“[f]ederal pleading rules call for a ‘short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ' Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); they do not
countenance dismissal of a complaint for imperfect statement
of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.” 135
S.Ct. at 346-47 (citation omitted).
Rule 8(a), the Fifth Circuit has explained:
The complaint (1) on its face (2) must contain enough factual
matter (taken as true) (3) to raise a reasonable hope or
expectation (4) that discovery will reveal relevant evidence
of each element of a claim. “Asking for [such]
plausible grounds to infer [the element of a claim] does
not impose a probability requirement at the pleading
stage; it simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal [that the elements of
the claim existed].” Lormand v. U.S. Unwired,
Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 257 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)).
the above case law, the Western District of ...