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Thompson v. Housing

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

June 18, 2019

JOSEPH THOMPSON, JR.
v.
HOUMA TERREBONNE HOUSING, ET AL.

         SECTION "F"

          ORDER AND REASONS

          MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's amended complaint for failure to state a claim. For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.

         Background

         This is an employment discrimination case. Joseph Thompson, Jr., pro se, sued the Houma Terrebonne Housing Authority, Gene Burke, Larry Vauclin, and Barry Bonvillian, alleging:

I believe I was discriminated against because I have filed a previous complaint against the company Houma Terrebonne Housing Authority. I also believe I was discriminated against because of my race, black; in regards to the previous complaint I filed with HUD, Houma Courier, FBI, and etc. I have been denied the right to a [sic] education on my job, EPA underpayment.

         Before the expiration of his two-year employment contract, Mr. Thompson alleges that Houma Terrebonne Housing Authority Board of Commissioners fired him on February 8, 2018; three white board members voted to fire him: Chairman Barry Bonvillian, Gene Burke, and Larry Vauclin. In a Charge of Discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 13, 2018, Mr. Thompson checked boxes indicating that he had been subject to race discrimination and retaliation; he also wrote:

I. I began my employment with the above Respondent on April 6, 2017 most recently as an Executive Director. On February 8, 2018 I was discharged after a special meeting was called by Chairman Barry Bonvillian, Gene Burks and Larry Vauclin. The company employs over 200 persons.
II. On January 25, 2018, a special meeting was held to terminate my employment. I was hospitalized from January 20, 2018 until January 25, 2018. I had no previous write-ups or complaints against me. I believe Mr. Bonvillian retaliated against me for refusing to commit illegal acts involving contracts and parish property. Mr. Bonvillian would ask me to give contracts to his friends without it going up for public bid. I refused to do so. Mr. Bonvillian also requested that I sell scatter sites to his friends but again I refused. On another occasion, Mr. Bonvillian wanted me to go to lunch with a contractor. I refused once again. On February 8, 2018 Mr. Bonvillian breached my contract after he terminated my employment.
III. I believe I have been discriminated against based on my race (Black) and retaliated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended.

         On July 30, 2018, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter. On October 9, 2018, proceeding pro se, Mr. Thompson filed this lawsuit and was granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis.[1] The defendants moved to dismiss Mr. Thompson's complaint for failure to state a claim. On February 6, 2019, the Court granted the motion to dismiss without prejudice, affording Mr. Thompson an opportunity to amend his complaint.

         After being granted two extensions, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. In his amended complaint, Mr. Thompson restates the original complaint verbatim, includes a list of witnesses that the plaintiff plans to call in support of his claims, states that Bonvillian mistreated him along with other members of the “black community, ” and, finally, states that he was wrongfully fired because of his race and because he refused to break the law. The defendants now move to dismiss the amended complaint.

         I.

         In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court “accept[s] all well-pleaded facts as true and view[s] all facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” See Thompson v. City of Waco, Texas, 764 F.3d 500, 502 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Doe ex rel. Magee v. Covington Cnty. Sch. Dist. ex rel. Keys, 675 F.3d 849, 854 (5th Cir. 2012)(en banc)). But in deciding whether dismissal is warranted, the Court will not ...


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