United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
IMMACULATA N. ANYANWU
STATE OF LOUISIANA
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9)
filed by Defendant. Plaintiff filed an opposition. (Doc. 13).
For the reasons stated herein, the Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 9) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN
PART. Plaintiff is granted ten days from the date of
this order to file a supplemental and amended complaint with
respect to her Title II ADA, Title VII Civil Rights Act, and
alleges that she was hired by Defendant to work as a
Registered Nurse (RN) at the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health
System in February of 2007.(Doc. 1 at p. 2). At some point in
2012, Plaintiff took medical leave and then returned to work
in November of 2012 with unspecified work restrictions.
Plaintiff was thereafter terminated, (Id.)
alleges that Defendant was aware of Plaintiffs work
restrictions and disability at the time it hired her in 2007.
She further alleges that the only reason she was terminated
was because of her disability. (Doc. 1 at p. 3). Plaintiff
brings claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the
Family Medical Leave Act. (Id. at p. 1). Defendant
seeks the dismissal of Plaintiffs Title I ADA and Title VII
Civil Rights Act claims, asserting (1) that the Court does
not possess subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs Title
I ADA claim because of the Eleventh Amendment, and (2) that
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for relief under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a claim is"
'properly dismissed for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction when the court lacks the statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate' the claim."
In re FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prods. Liab. Litig.,
668 F.3d 281, 286 (5th Cir. 2012) (quoting Home Builders
Ass'n v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th
Cir. 1998)). In order to "prevent[ ] a court without
jurisdiction from prematurely dismissing a case with
prejudice," a court should consider a Rule 12(b)(1)
motion for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction before
addressing any motions that concern the merits of a case.
Id. at 286-87 (citing Ramming v. United
States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001)).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is analyzed under the
same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).
Benton v. United States, 960 F.2d 19, 21 (5th Cir.
1992). That standard seeks to determine whether "a
complaint... contain[s] 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)). "[F]acial plausibility"
exists "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556). Hence, the complaint need not set out "detailed
factual allegations," but something "more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action" is required.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. "Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level." Id.
Title I ADA
complaint alleges general ADA violations, and Plaintiff
specifies in her opposition that she brings suit under Title
I of the ADA. Title I prohibits employers from discriminating
against qualified individuals with disabilities in job
application procedures, hiring, and firing among other
aspects of employment. 42 U.S.C. § 12112. Defendant
claims that Plaintiffs Title I ADA claim is barred by the
Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution. The
Eleventh Amendment provides that "[t]he Judicial power
of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any
suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of
the United States by Citizens of another State, or by
Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State." The Eleventh
Amendment bars private suits in federal court against states,
including suits against state agencies. Quern v.
Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 339 (1979). Pennhurst State
Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-100
(1984); Aguilar v. Tex. Dep't of Criminal
Justice, 160 F.3d 1052, 1054 (5th Cir.1998). The Supreme
Court has held that Congress did not abrogate Eleventh
Amendment immunity in Title I of the ADA and thus a plaintiff
cannot bring a Title I ADA suit against the state seeking
money damages. Board of Trustees of Univ. of Alabama v.
Garrett, 531 U.S. 356, 374 (2001).
Plaintiff brings a Title I ADA claim against the State of
Louisiana through the Louisiana Department of Health, Office
of Behavioral Health. (Doc. 1 at p. 2). The United States
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has already determined
that a predecessor to the Louisiana Department of Health, the
Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources, is an
alter ego of the state and is therefore entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity. Darlak v. Bobear, 814 F.2d 1055,
1059 (5th Cir. 1987). Moreover, courts in this circuit have
uniformly held that the Louisiana Department of Health is
entitled to Eleventh Amendment Immunity. E.g., Amir
El, 2016 WL 7012277 at *2. Accordingly, the Court
concludes that Plaintiffs Title ADA claim is barred by the