United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
PERCY MARTIN ET AL.
AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS, LP ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant P3 Global Personnel, LLC's motion
to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
and 12(b)(6). The Court grants the motion because
plaintiffs' complaint does not allege facts that entitle
them to relief.
Percy and Linda Martin bring this action against Percy
Martin's former employer for alleged workplace
harassment. Percy Martin is a health, safety, and
environmental consultant. Defendant P3 Global Personnel, LLC, a
provider of skilled and professional personnel, allegedly
hired Martin to do contract work for defendant American
Midstream, Partners, LP, on American Midstream's natural
gas Main Pass 260 Platform. According to plaintiffs, on
February 7, 2017, Percy Martin was inspecting fire
extinguishers on the platform when he entered a tool room and
found a hangman's noose resting on the work
table. Plaintiffs allege that the noose was
placed in an open and obvious location so that he would see
it upon entering the tool room.
seeing the noose, Percy Martin allegedly photographed its
location and reported the incident to his supervisor, David
Cooper. Cooper allegedly admitted to Martin that
he had seen the noose and taken it apart, and that he was
hoping that Martin had not seen it. Plaintiffs allege that
defendants Global and American Midstream subsequently failed
to investigate the incident or take remedial steps to assure
Percy Martin of his safety.
August 30, 2018, plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging
assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress,
negligent infliction of emotional distress, a hostile work
environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, workplace harassment on the basis of sex and race
under Title VII, and constructive discharge under Title
Percy Martin seeks damages for emotional distress and lost
wages and benefits. Linda Martin seeks damages for emotional
distress for her vicarious fear for her husband's life
after the noose incident.
p3 Global Personnel, LLC has filed a motion to dismiss
plaintiffs' claims for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs
oppose the motion.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) governs challenges to a
court's subject matter jurisdiction. “A case is
properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
when the court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to
adjudicate the case.” Home Builders Ass'n of
Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th
Cir. 1998) (quoting Nowak v. Ironworkers Local 6 Pension
Fund, 81 F.3d 1182, 1187 (2d Cir. 1996)). “Courts
may dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on any
one of three bases: (1) the complaint alone; (2) the
complaint supplemented by undisputed facts in the record; or
(3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Clark v.
Tarrant County, 798 F.2d 736, 741 (5th Cir. 1986)
(citing Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 413 (5th
Cir. 1981)). Furthermore, plaintiff bears the burden of
demonstrating that subject matter jurisdiction exists.
See Paterson v. Weinberger, 644 F.2d 521, 523 (5th
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a party must plead
“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 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the
party pleads facts that allow the court to “draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678. A court must
accept all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.
See Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232
(5th Cir. 2009).
legally sufficient complaint must establish more than a
“sheer possibility” that the party's claim is
true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. It need not contain
detailed factual allegations, but it must go beyond labels,
legal conclusions, or formulaic recitations of the elements
of a cause of action. Id. In other words, the face
of the complaint must contain enough factual matter to raise
a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal relevant
evidence of each element of the party's claim.
Lormand, 565 F.3d at 257. The claim must be
dismissed if there are insufficient factual allegations to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, or if it is apparent from
the face of the complaint that there is an insuperable bar to
relief, Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).
Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1)
argues first that plaintiffs' claims under Title VII must
be dismissed because Percy Martin failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing this
proceeding with a civil action under Title VII, a plaintiff
must file a timely administrative charge with the EEOC.
See Price v. Choctaw Glove & Safety Co., 459
F.3d 595, 598 (5th Cir. 2006). In Louisiana, a plaintiff has
300 days from the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory
practice to file a charge with the EEOC. See Conner v.
La. Dep't of Health and Hosps., 247
Fed.Appx. 480, 481 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing La. R.S. 51:2231
et seq.); 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1). Once the
EEOC issues a right-to-sue letter, a Title VII plaintiff must
sue within 90 days of receiving the letter. 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(1); Taylor v. Books A Million, Inc., 296
F.3d 376, 379 (5th Cir. 2002).
point to their right-to-sue letter from the EEOC as evidence
of their compliance with all administrative
requirements. The right-to-sue letter indicates that
plaintiffs filed this action within 90 days of receipt,
but it does not include an original filing date. Nor do
plaintiffs provide the date on which they originally filed
their claim with the EEOC. The Court therefore cannot
conclusively determine whether plaintiffs timely filed their
EEOC claim. But, even assuming that plaintiffs have
properly exhausted their administrative remedies, their
claims still must be dismissed because they have failed to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)