The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas A. Varlan United States District Judge
This civil action involves a variety of claims asserted by Deanna Scraggs, individually and on behalf of her children, Taylor Gilbert and Bradley Newman, against La Petite Academy, Inc. This case is presently before the Court on defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 4] for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(6). Plaintiffs have responded in opposition to defendant's motion [Doc. 7] and defendant has filed a reply [Doc. 9]. Thus, the motion is now ripe for determination.
The Court has carefully reviewed the pending motion and the responsive pleadings. For the reasons set forth herein, defendant's motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
As the Court is required to do on a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the Court will construe the complaint [Doc. 1, Ex. 1] in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, and determine whether plaintiffs can prove no set of facts in support of their claims that would entitle them to relief. Trzebuckowski v. City of Cleveland, 319 F.3d 853, 855 (6th Cir. 2003).
In February and June of 2005, respectively, Scraggs enrolled her two children in La Petite Academy, Inc., a national daycare center with a branch in Knoxville, Tennessee. As part of the enrollment process, Scraggs received a welcome letter and parent handbook. Plaintiffs allege that "certain representations were made" in each of those documents, but do not specify what those representations were. [Doc. 1, Ex. 1 at ¶¶ 6-7].
In July 2005, the two children reported to Scraggs that "gangster rap" was being played at La Petite Academy. As a result, Scraggs approached the director of La Petite Academy and one of its teachers and requested that gangster rap no longer be played at the center. While plaintiffs contend that both the director and teacher agreed to this request, Scraggs claims that shortly thereafter, she "heard one of her children singing versus [sic] of gangster rap" and the child said the lyrics had been learned from music being played at La Petite Academy. [Id. at ¶ 10.] Scraggs then spoke with two more teachers at La Petite Academy and "requested that her children not be allowed to listen to any songs that mention sex or sexual innuendo." [Id. at ¶ 11].
Thereafter, Scraggs's children made a number of allegations about activity occurring at La Petite Academy.*fn1 First, one of the children claimed that a teacher at La Petite Academy told the child "to lie to their mother about the [rap] music not being played." [Doc. 1, Ex. 1 at ¶ 12]. Then, one of the children claimed that another teacher at La Petite Academy "informed the entire class that they could not listen to music because the minor child was not allowed to listen to the music." [Id. at ¶ 13]. As a result, the child was allegedly "made fun of" and "assault [sic] and battered" by other students at the day care center. [Id. at ¶¶ 14-15].
Plaintiffs then allege that in mid-August 2006, the director of La Petite Academy "traveled to Karns Elementary and spoke to one of the minor children's teachers about this incident."*fn2 [Id. at ¶ 17]. At this point, Scraggs obtained a lawyer. Plaintiffs claim that upon informing the director of La Petite Academy that they had done so, Scraggs "was not allowed to return to La Petite Academy for the services of her children." [Id. at ¶ 19].
Plaintiffs filed suit in Knox County Circuit Court, alleging misrepresentation, breach of contract, violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), fraud, retaliation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress on the part of defendant. Defendant subsequently removed this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Defendant has moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) should not be granted "unless it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). All well-pleaded allegations must be taken as true and be construed most favorably toward the non-movant. Trzebuckowski v. City of Cleveland, 319 F.3d 853, 855 (6th Cir. 2003). While a court may not grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion based on disbelief of a complaint's factual allegations, Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1199 (6th Cir. 1990), the court "need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences." Morgan v. Church's Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir. 1987). The Sixth Circuit has made it clear that despite the liberal system of notice pleading, "the essential elements of a plaintiff's claim must be alleged in more than vague and conclusory terms" if such a claim is to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. NicSand, Inc. v. 3M Co., 457 F.3d 534, 541 (6th Cir. 2006) (internal citations removed). The issue is not whether the plaintiff will prevail, but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence ...