Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Martin v. American Midstream Partners, LP

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 15, 2019

PERCY MARTIN ET AL.
v.
AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS, LP ET AL.

         SECTION “R” (4)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          SARAH S. VANCE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before 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).[1] The Court grants the motion because plaintiffs' complaint does not allege facts that entitle them to relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] Plaintiffs allege that the noose was placed in an open and obvious location so that he would see it upon entering the tool room.[5]

         Upon seeing the noose, Percy Martin allegedly photographed its location and reported the incident to his supervisor, David Cooper.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

         On 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 VII.[9] Percy Martin seeks damages for emotional distress and lost wages and benefits.[10] Linda Martin seeks damages for emotional distress for her vicarious fear for her husband's life after the noose incident.[11]

         Defendant 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.[12] Plaintiffs oppose the motion.[13]

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)

         Federal 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 Cir. 1981).

         B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

         To 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).

         A 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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1)

         Defendant argues first that plaintiffs' claims under Title VII must be dismissed because Percy Martin failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing this lawsuit.[14]

         Before 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).

         Plaintiffs point to their right-to-sue letter from the EEOC as evidence of their compliance with all administrative requirements.[15] The right-to-sue letter indicates that plaintiffs filed this action within 90 days of receipt, [16] 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.[17] 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.

         B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

         1. Hostile ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.