Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Reagan v. City of Knoxville

January 31, 2008

ROBERT REAGAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE; SAM ANDERSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; BOB WHETSEL, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; VICKI HATFIELD, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY; KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT; LT. RICK FERGUSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; GARY ANDERS, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; JIM MILLER, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; GREG LADD, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY; JASON MCCARTER, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter is before the court on defendants' various motions to dismiss: defendant Vicki Hatfield's motion to dismiss [Doc. 20], defendants City of Knoxville, Gary Anders, Sam Anderson, Rick Ferguson, and Bob Whetsel's motion to dismiss [Doc. 22], defendants Gary Anders, Sam Anderson, Rick Ferguson, and Bob Whetsel's motion to dismiss official capacity claims [Doc. 24], and defendants Greg Ladd and Jason McCarter's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim [Doc. 28]. Plaintiff responded to the above motions [Docs. 34, 33, 38, and 36, respectively], and defendants replied [Docs. 44, 42, 43, and 45, respectively]. Subsequently, plaintiff filed an additional response to each reply brief [Docs. 51, 48, 50, and 49, respectively]. Defendants all moved to strike these additional responses by plaintiff [Docs. 52, 54, 55, and 56].

Plaintiff has requested oral argument on these motions. After reviewing the extensive briefs submitted in support thereof, the court has determined that oral argument will not be necessary. The plaintiff's request for oral argument is therefore denied.

For the reasons that follow, defendants' motions to dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

The facts as follows are taken from the amended complaint and construed in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Plaintiff is an employee of the City of Knoxville, Community and Neighborhood Services, Department of Public Service, Horticulture Division. On June 7, 2006, in the parking lot of the Lorraine Street facility operated by plaintiff's employer, defendant Jim Miller attacked plaintiff from behind and subsequently kneed him in his genital area. Plaintiff claims this is due to his gender. On June 8, 2006, at another location, Miller again attacked plaintiff, taunting and embarrassing him. Miller also incited fellow employees to taunt plaintiff as he attacked him. Finally, on June 13, 2006, Miller yet again attacked plaintiff, pinning him against a truck and simulating sexual acts on him. Embarrassed and hurt, plaintiff called his foreman, defendant Greg Ladd. When Ladd arrived at the work site, plaintiff informed Ladd that he was injured and needed to go to medical services. Plaintiff also called his crew leader, defendant Jason McCarter. McCarter allegedly called plaintiff a number of obscenities, but Ladd drove plaintiff to the hospital. On the way, however, Ladd intimidated plaintiff and encouraged him to falsify his Accident and Injury Report, threatening that if plaintiff told the truth, plaintiff and Miller would be fired for horseplay, as they were both on probation. Fearing discharge, plaintiff falsified a report to his physician.

After continuing to endure harassment, plaintiff contacted defendant Vicki Hatfield, Civil Service Director for the City of Knoxville, regarding these incidents. A formal investigation was conducted, and subsequently defendants Miller, Ladd, and McCarter all confessed to their wrongdoing. Plaintiff claims, however, that no further remedial action was taken. Miller was allowed to resign without adverse employment consequences, and McCarter and Ladd were suspended for one day and three days, respectively.

Plaintiff claims that he has been subjected to further discrimination and harassment by his co-workers due to these incidents and based on his gender. Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and on February 20, 2007, the Commission issued a Notice of Right to Sue. Having exhausted his administrative remedies, on May 15, 2007, plaintiff initiated the instant action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and Tennessee common law.

Defendants Vicki Hatfield, the City of Knoxville, Gary Anders, Sam Anderson, Rick Ferguson, Bob Whetsel, Greg Ladd, and Jason McCarter now move to dismiss these claims [Docs. 20, 22, 24, and 28].

II. ANALYSIS

When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6), a court must "construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff." DIRECTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). The court, however, "need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences." Id. (quoting Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. 2000)). "[T]he factual allegations must 'raise a right to relief above the speculative level.' " CHG Transp., Inc. v. Quebecor World, Inc., No. 06-6399, 2008 App. LEXIS 938, at *4-5 (6th Cir. Jan. 8, 2008) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007)).

A. Defendants' Motions to Strike

Plaintiff filed a supplemental response to each of defendants' reply briefs. Defendants all moved to strike these additional responses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) and Local Rule 7.1. Local Rule 7.1(a) sets forth the briefing schedule, which provides, "Unless the court notifies the parties to the contrary, briefing schedule for all motions shall be ... the opening brief ... the answering brief ... [and] any reply brief ...." Local Rule 7.1(d) states,

No additional briefs, affidavits, or other papers in support of or in opposition to a motion shall be filed without prior approval of the court, except that a party may file a supplemental brief of no more than five (5) pages to call to the court's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.