United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
VERONICA HAMPTON, ET AL.
MCDERMOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET AL.
E. WALTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants
McDermott International, Inc. (“McDermott”) and
CB&I, LLC (“CB&I”) pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Record Document 35. Plaintiff Sergio Hernandez
(“Hernandez”) opposes the motion. See
Record Document 44. Also before the Court is a Motion to
Dismiss filed by Defendant Brock Services, LLC
(“Brock”). See Record Document 54.
Plaintiff Tristan Greene (“Greene”) opposes the
motion. See Record Document 72. For the reasons
assigned herein, both motions are GRANTED.
Veronica Hampton (“Hampton”), Hernandez, Greene,
and Ethan Champion filed this cause of action on their own
behalf and for others similarly situated against McDermott,
CB&I, Brock, and Sun Industrial Group (collectively
“Defendants”) for alleged violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §
201 et seq., and the Louisiana Wage Payment Act
(“LWPA”), La. R.S. 23:631. See Record
Document 27 at ¶¶ 1-7. Defendants employed
Plaintiffs in a variety of labor-based positions at the
Cameron LNG Project, a liquefied natural gas facility that
was under construction in Hackberry, Louisiana. See
id. at ¶ 2.
allege that Defendants violated the FLSA by failing to pay
them statutorily required overtime for all hours worked in
excess of forty hours per week. See id. at ¶ 4.
Plaintiffs contend that the violation occurred because
Defendants required them to work “off-the-clock”
while being transported to and from the worksite on
Defendants' mandatory transportation system. See
id. at ¶ 5. Plaintiffs allege that the bus rides
often included work-related meetings with their crew leaders.
See id. at ¶ 51. Plaintiffs also allege that
they were required to engage in “pre-work”
activities immediately upon arrival at the job site before
their scheduled shifts. See id. at ¶ 56.
Plaintiffs contend that the FLSA applies to the Defendants
because each engaged in interstate commerce. See id.
at ¶¶ 23, 29, 37, 43.
Hernandez and Greene also allege that when they ended their
employment relationship with Defendants, they were never paid
the amount due under the terms of their employment within the
time required under Louisiana's LWPA, as set forth in La.
R.S. 23:631. See id. at ¶ 6. Hernandez and
Greene also state that they are asserting their state law
claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 on
their own behalf and a class of persons who also ended their
employment with Defendants and were never paid amounts owed
to them under the terms of their employment. See id.
move to dismiss Plaintiffs' state law LWPA claims
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiffs cannot
recover unpaid wages under both the FLSA and LWPA because the
state law claims are preempted by the FLSA. See
Record Document 35-1 at 1, 4; Record Document 54-1 at 6.
Defendants also argue that Plaintiffs have failed to allege
sufficient facts to support their LWPA claims. See
Record Document 35-1 at 2; Record Document 54-1 at 3.
Defendants McDermott and CB&I also move to dismiss
Plaintiffs' class allegations under Rule 23. See
Record Document 35-1 at 7.
Rule 12(b)(6) standard.
survive a motion to dismiss brought under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility
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. Under
this standard, “factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level ... on
the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are
true (even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-556, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965
(2007). If a pleading only contains “labels and
conclusions” and “formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action, ” the pleading does not
meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2). Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (citation omitted).
court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in
the complaint in determining whether the plaintiff has stated
a plausible claim. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555;
In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191,
205 (5th Cir. 2009). However, a court is “not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
286, 106 S.Ct. 2932, 2944 (1986). If a complaint cannot meet
this standard, it may be dismissed for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. See Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678-679. A court does not evaluate a
plaintiff's likelihood for success, but instead
determines whether plaintiff has pleaded a legally cognizable
claim. See United States ex rel. Riley v. St. Luke's
Episcopal Hosp., 355 F.3d 370, 376 (5th Cir. 2004).
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are rarely granted and
generally disfavored.” Rodriguez v. Rutter,
310 F. App'x. 623, 626 (5th Cir. 2009). However, courts
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only
obligated to allow those complaints that are facially
plausible under the Iqbal and Twombly
standard to survive such a motion. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678-679. A dismissal under 12(b)(6) ends the case
“at a point of minimum expenditure of time and money by
the parties and the court.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
Whether Plaintiffs have failed to ...