United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
J. BARBIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Rec. Doc.
4), filed by Defendant, Ochsner Clinic Foundation
(“Ochsner”), and an opposition thereto (Rec. Doc.
6) filed by Plaintiff, Stanley Wilson
(“Plaintiff”). Having considered the motions and
legal memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the
Court finds that the motion should be
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
December 18, 2017, Plaintiff was hired by Ochsner as a
housekeeper with Ochsner's Environmental Services. (Rec.
Doc. 1-1). On January 21, 2018, Plaintiff was informed that
ABM Industries Inc. (“ABM”) was assuming
housekeeping duties at Ochsner, and Plaintiff would be an ABM
employee thereafter. During his time employed by ABM and
working at various Ochsner locations, Plaintiff alleges he
endured several harassing and discriminatory workplace
incidents surrounding his sexuality and mental health.
point in early 2018, Plaintiff's supervisor, Mr. Curry,
told Plaintiff that he was “too loud” and needed
to “straighten up.” Plaintiff believes this was
an insinuation about his sexuality. In April 2018,
Plaintiff's co-worker Francisco Ortega threw a
“chocolate candy mini egg” at the back of
Plaintiff's head. Towards the end of May 2018,
Plaintiff's co-worker Rose Washington told Plaintiff he
was going to hell because he was gay, and subsequently used
foul language towards Plaintiff on multiple occasions.
Plaintiff reported these incidents to several different
supervisors, and no action was taken to correct his
inciting incident that led to the present litigation,
however, occurred on June 12, 2018. Plaintiff was on lunch
break in the parking garage when he attempted to voice-text
his co-worker Darius Ellis the following, “I'm
looking at the sky in the parking garage, about to walk
inside, just looking around.” Unfortunately,
Plaintiff's phone misunderstood his statement, and Mr.
Ellis received a text saying, “I just want to die, in
the parking garage, about to walk inside, just looking
returned to his work area, where within thirty minutes he was
approached his then-supervisor Tanya Hopkins. Hopkins,
accompanied by several security personnel, escorted Plaintiff
to the emergency department because his text indicated he was
suicidal. Plaintiff explained the miscommunication with his
phone and stated that although he took Zoloft for depression,
he was in no way suicidal.
doctors Nwosu, Furrh, and Galaneu disregarded Plaintiff's
explanations, stating that they had the power to confine him
to the hospital for as long as a week. When Plaintiff
continued to resist voluntary confinement, the emergency
department staff allegedly threatened to send Plaintiff
involuntarily to an overnight mental health facility in
Shreveport, Louisiana. This caused Plaintiff to sign
paperwork admitting himself the Ochsner's inpatient
psychiatry department, as he was worried he would be unable
to return to New Orleans in enough time to care for his
87-year-old mother. En route to the facility, Plaintiff
attempted to escape by jumping out of his wheelchair and
fleeing. Before he got far, however, an Ochsner staff member
chased him down and tackled him.
following day at 3:00 pm, the city coroner inspected
Plaintiff and found him non-committable. Upon his return to
work, Plaintiff learned that Ms. Washington was spreading
rumors that he had attempted to commit suicide by jumping off
the roof of the parking garage.
the next few months, Plaintiff had a series of increasingly
escalated incidents with his co-workers and supervisors. As
these incidents are not particularly relevant to the outcome
of the present motion, it suffices to say Plaintiff paints a
picture of a hostile and discriminatory work environment.
Id. On October 19, 2018, Plaintiff's employment
was finally terminated.
August 1, 2019, Plaintiff brought suit against Ochsner and
ABM in Louisiana's Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court,
asserting four causes of action:
1) False Imprisonment;
2) Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress and Intentional
Infliction of Emotional Distress;
3) violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
4) violation of Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law.
August 27, 2019, Ochsner timely removed the case to this
Court. On September 3, 2019, Ochsner filed the instant
motion, which asks the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's false
imprisonment and emotional distress claims pursuant to Rule
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
deciding a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1),
“the district court is ‘free to weigh the
evidence and resolve factual disputes in order to satisfy
itself that it has the power to hear the case.'”
Krim v. pcOrder.com, Inc., 402 F.3d 489, 494 (5th
Cir. 2005). The party asserting jurisdiction must carry the
burden of proof for a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss.
Randall D. Wolcott, M.D., P.A. v. Sebelius, 635 F.3d
757, 762 (5th Cir.2011). The standard of review for a motion
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is the same as that for a
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). United
States v. Cityof New Orleans, No. 02-3618,
2003 WL 22208578, at *1 (E.D. La. Sept. 19, 2003). If a court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it should dismiss without
prejudice. In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.,
624 F.3d 201, 209 (5th Cir. 2010). When a Rule 12(b)(1)