United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Greenbush Logistics, Inc.'s
("Greenbush") Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, to Transfer Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 23), to
which Billy Paul Ramsey has responded in opposition (Doc. No.
27) and Greenbush has replied (Doc. No. 40). For the reasons
that follow, the Motion will be granted insofar as Greenbush
requests a transfer of this action.
Amended Complaint alleges the following relevant facts:
is a resident of Leoma, Tennessee, and works for Greenbush,
which is a "Domestic Corporation" with its
principal place of business located at 445 Singletary Road in
Abbeville, Alabama. (Doc. No. 21, Am. Cmpl. ¶¶ 1,
2, 9). Greenbush does business in Tennessee by delivering
treated lumber to multiple businesses in this state on a
weekly basis. (Id. ¶ 2). Its Tennessee
customers include: “Parkes Lumber Company in
Lawrenceburg; Cross Roads Building Supply in Etheridge, 412
Building Supplies in Hohenwald, Tennessee, Augustin Lumber
Company in Loretto; Pulaski Lumber Company in Pulaski;
Quality Metals Supply in Pleasantville; Buck Building Supply
in Decaturville; Marvin's Building Materials in
Lewisburg; Williams Supply in Savannah; Old Time Lumber in
Counce; Stewart Building Supply in Dickson; and Home Depot,
which has multiple locations throughout” the state.
(Id. ¶ 11).
suffers from epilepsy and Greenbush is aware of this
condition. Several months after he began working as a
mechanic for Greenbush on May 14, 2012, Ramsey was placed on
the night shift at Greenbush's facility. (Id.
¶¶ 9, 15). Ramsey notified Greenbush that his
epilepsy “prevented him from performing adequately with
regards to safety, quality, and productivity.”
(Id. 16). Nevertheless, he was required to continue
to work the night shift for the next several months.
(Id. ¶ 17).
December 9, 2013, Ramsey contacted Dewayne Heath in Human
Resources about a reasonable accommodation in the form of a
shift change. (Id. ¶ 18). That same day, Dr.
James H. Bealle of Pulaski, Tennessee, “wrote a letter
providing documentation of Plaintiff's disability, noting
that sleep deprivation and an irregular sleep pattern results
in the worsening of epilepsy symptoms, ” and suggesting
that “working third shift and frequently switching
between shifts could result in seizure activity and cognitive
dysfunction[.]” (Id. ¶¶ 19, 20).
August 26 and August 27, 2014, Dr. Norman McNulty, a
physician located in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, “sent
Defendant documentation about Plaintiff s history of seizures
and a new condition, ‘shift work sleep
disorder.'” (Id. ¶ 21). Dr. McNulty
“noted that working the third shift was impairing
Plaintiff's ability to function normally, and to operate
safely at work during those hours.” (Id.).
being employed at Greenbush, Ramsey “has been passed
over for a raise on several occasions, ” and, in fact,
has yet to receive a raise. (Id. ¶ 22). He
further claims that he (1) “has been expected to
perform more tasks than other employees” and (2)
“received multiple ‘write-ups' after his
requests for accommodation, ” while “[o]ther
employees without disabilities did not receive write-ups for
similar actions.” (Id. ¶¶ 23, 24).
upon the foregoing, Ramsey filed a two-count Complaint. In
the first count, he alleges violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12111 et seq.; in
the second, he alleges violation of the Tennessee Human
Rights Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-21-101 et seq.
response to the Complaint and in support of its Motion to
Dismiss or Transfer, Greenbush has filed the Declaration of
Kevin Savoy, its Vice President. In that Declaration, Savoy
states, among other things, that Greenbush maintains no
offices, terminals, or physical presence in Tennessee; does
not own, rent, lease or store any property in Tennessee; does
not have a Tennessee business address (physical P.O. box or
otherwise) or telephone number; does not hold any meetings in
Tennessee; does not maintain any business records in
Tennessee; is not registered to do business in Tennessee; has
no agents or employees who work out of Tennessee; has no
officers, executives or board members that reside in
Tennessee; does not have any bank accounts in the state of
Tennessee; has not filed or intervened in a lawsuit in the
state of Tennessee; has not specifically assigned any sales
agent to target the state of Tennessee; and has not targeted
Tennessee with any campaign advertising its services. (Doc.
No. 24-1, Savoy Decl. ¶ 5).
Motion to Dismiss or Transfer is in three parts. First,
Greenbush argues this case should be dismissed for lack of
personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Second, it asserts,
alternatively, that this action should be transferred under
28 U.S.C. § 1404 to the Northern District of Alabama
because that forum is more convenient for the witnesses and
the parties. Third and finally, Greenbush contends that, if
the Court determines that dismissal is not warranted and that
the case should not be transferred, Ramsey's claims
should be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Having
considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds that
personal jurisdiction does not exist and that this case
should be transferred “in the interest of
justice” under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).