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Benner v. Createc Corp.

June 13, 2008

JANINE R. BENNER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CREATEC CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Curtis L. Collier Chief District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court is defendant Createc Corporation's ("Defendant's") motion to dismiss (Court File No. 9). Plaintiff Janine R. Benner ("Plaintiff") has responded (Court File No. 12), and Defendant has filed a reply to Plaintiff's response (Court File No. 13). For the following reasons, the Court will DENY Defendant's motion (Court File No. 9).

I. FACTS

Plaintiff in this action has filed a bare-bones complaint (Court File No. 1 "Complaint"). Plaintiff alleges Defendant wrongfully terminated her in violation of the Tennessee Handicap Act ("THA"), Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 8-50-103 to 8-50-104, Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 to 12213, and the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 to 2654 (Complaint ¶¶ 8-12).

The entirety of the factual bases of Plaintiff's claims follow:

5. Plaintiff is an individual with a disability. Plaintiff was employed from April 18, 2005, until her termination on February 23, 2007, as a Customer Service Representative.

6. Plaintiff informed her manager on February 21, 2007, that she had been diagnosed with a breast tumor, and Plaintiff requested Family and Medical Leave.

7. In response, Plaintiff was terminated two days later. (Complaint ¶¶ 5-7).

II. DISCUSSION

Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint because "it is devoid of facts and built on speculation." (Court File No. 10 at 1). Defendant relies on the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007), and argues the Supreme Court provided a heightened pleading standard as compared with pre-existing law. The Sixth Circuit has recently discussed Twombly and considered it along with another Supreme Court case decided soon after:

In [Twombly] the Supreme Court explained that "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level...." Id. at 1964-65 (internal citations omitted). In Erickson v. Pardus, 550 U.S. ----, 127 S.Ct. 2197 (2007), decided two weeks after Twombly, however, the Supreme Court affirmed that "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.' Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only 'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'"

Id. at 2200 (quoting Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1964). The opinion in Erickson reiterated that "when ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Id. (citing Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1965). We read the Twombly and Erickson decisions in conjunction with one another when reviewing a district court's decision to grant a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. . .

Sensations, Inc. v. City of Grand Rapids, --- F.3d ----, 2008 WL 2097410, *2 (May 20, 2008).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit also noted that there is "some uncertainty concerning the scope of" Twombly. Id. at *2 n.1 (quoting Commercial Money Ctr., Inc. v. Illinois Union Ins. Co., 508 F.3d 327, 337 n.4 (6th Cir. 2007)). "In particular, we have taken note of the Second Circuit's interpretation of Twombly as enacting a 'plausibility standard which did not significantly alter notice pleading or impose heightened pleading requirements for all federal claims, and instead, required more concrete allegations only in those instances in which the complaint, on its face, does not otherwise set forth a plausible claim for relief." Id. (quoting Weisbarth v. Geauga Park Dist., 499 F.3d 538, 542 (6th Cir.2007)) (internal brackets and ellipses omitted). As the Sixth Circuit noted, the Supreme Court reiterated the notice ...


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