United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
J. CORY CORDOVA
LSU AGRICULTURAL & MECHANICAL COLLEGE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, ET AL.
D. CAIN, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is a Motion to Dismiss [docs. 7, 22] filed by
defendants Louisiana State University Agricultural and
Mechanical College Board of Supervisors (“LSU Board of
Supervisors”), Dr. Karen Curry, Dr. Nicholas Sells, and
Kristi Anderson under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(4), 12(b)(5), and 12(b)(6).
suit arises from the termination of plaintiff Dr. J. Cory
Cordova from his Internal Medicine residency/“house
officer” program at the University Hospital and Clinics
(“UHC”) at Lafayette General Hospital in
Lafayette, Louisiana. The house officer program at UHC is
operated under contract with Louisiana State University
Agricultural and Mechanical College (“LSU”).
See doc. 1, att. 2, pp. 2-16 (original complaint);
id. at 183- 97 (amended complaint). Cordova filed
suit in the 15th Judicial District Court, Lafayette Parish,
Louisiana, on March 29, 2019, against the LSU Board of
Supervisors, UHC Internal Medicine program director
Dr. Karen Curry, UHC Medicine Department Head/Section Chief
Dr. Nicholas Sells, and LSU Director of Graduate Medical
Education Kristi Anderson (collectively, “LSU
defendants”); as well as attorney Christopher C.
Johnston and the Gachassin Law Firm (“Gachassin
defendants”). Id. He alleges, in relevant part,
that the LSU defendants denied him his right to due process
under the state and federal constitutions and committed a
breach of contract under state law by dismissing him from the
house officer program. Id. at 192-93. In his prayer
for relief he asks for “all costs, [and] expenses of
these proceedings, and attorney's fees . . . .”
Id. at 197.
defendants removed the case to this court under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 & 1343. Doc. 1. They now move to
dismiss the claims against them, alleging that (1) LSU Health
Sciences Center (the entity named in the original complaint)
is not the proper defendant; (2) Cordova has not identified
the basis of his claim for costs and attorney fees; and (3)
Curry, Sells, and Anderson cannot be held liable on the
breach of contract claim because Cordova did not have a
contract with them. Doc. 22, pp. 1-3. They also assert that
Cordova has failed to properly effect service on any of the
LSU defendants. Cordova opposes the motion in all respects.
Rule 12(b)(6) Motion
12(b)(6) allows for dismissal of a claim when a plaintiff
“fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” When reviewing such a motion, the court
should focus on the complaint and its attachments. Wilson
v. Birnberg, 667 F.3d 591, 595 (5th Cir. 2012). The
court can also consider matters of which it may take judicial
notice, including matters of public record. Hall v.
Hodgkins, 305 Fed. App'x 224, 227 (5th Cir. 2008)
(unpublished) (citing Lovelace v. Software Spectrum
Inc., 78 F.3d 1015, 1017-18 (5th Cir. 1996) and
Norris v. Hearst Trust, 500 F.3d 454, 461 n. 9 (5th
motions are also reviewed with the court “accepting all
well-pleaded facts as true and viewing those facts in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Bustos v.
Martini Club, Inc., 599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010).
However, “the plaintiff must plead enough facts
‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” In re Katrina Canal Breaches
Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). Accordingly, the court's task is not to evaluate
the plaintiff's likelihood of success, but instead to
determine whether the claim is both legally cognizable and
plausible. Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays Bank
PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010).