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.

BEHNIA v. SHAPIRO

April 28, 1997

RAHIM BEHNIA, M.D., Ph.D., Plaintiff,
v.
BARRY SHAPIRO, M.D., SCOTT GREEN, M.D., HARRY BEATY, M.D., NORTHWESTERN MEDICAL FACULTY FOUNDATION, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 Before the court are defendant Harry Beaty's motion to dismiss Count I and defendant Northwestern University's motion to dismiss Count III of plaintiff Rahim Behnia's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons that follow, the court grants both defendants' motions.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff Rahim Behnia filed a three-count complaint against defendants Barry Shapiro, M.D., Scott Greene, M.D., Harry Beaty, M.D., Northwestern University, Northwestern University Medical School *fn1" , and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. Count I, directed against all six defendants, alleges ancestry discrimination in violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1870 ("section 1981"), 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Count II, directed against Northwestern University, Northwestern University Medical School, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, alleges national origin discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Count III, also directed against Northwestern University, Northwestern University Medical School, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, alleges age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634.

 The following background is drawn from Behnia's complaint, and is taken as true for purposes of these motions. Since 1973, Behnia has been employed as a faculty member in the department of anesthesiology at Northwestern University Medical School. Behnia, age 59 and of Iranian ancestry, has both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in physiology, and is one of only two practicing M.D., Ph.D.s in the department. He received tenure in September 1979, and has consistently received leadership positions and salary increases based on his performance at the medical school.

 Shapiro, Greene, and Beaty all hold supervisory capacities over Behnia. Shapiro is chair of the department of anesthesiology at the medical school, while Greene is associate chair of the department. Beaty is dean of the medical school and chair of the board of directors of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF). NMFF, a not-for-profit entity composed of a majority of physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, collects the income of its member physicians and distributes this income as salary to the physicians.

 Behnia alleges that Shapiro and Greene dislike him because of his Iranian ancestry, and discriminate against him based upon his ancestry and his age. He also alleges that Shapiro made salary and incentive pay recommendations to the NMFF for the fiscal year 1997 based upon his personal friendships, rather than upon merit. According to Behnia, Shapiro, in an attempt to ensure that Behnia did not receive the highest salary under the salary schedule, refused to promote Behnia to any leadership position, even though Behnia is one of the most qualified persons in the department. Behnia claims that, although he is one of the most senior members of the faculty, his salary is lower than that of even the most junior faculty members. Behnia also alleges that Shapiro has consistently treated him in a degrading manner, and has incorrectly described his competence and performance.

 As a result of these actions, allegedly taken on the basis of ancestry, national origin, and age, Behnia has suffered public humiliation, been denied incentive payments, experienced a reduction in salary, and been denied any leadership position within the anesthesiology department. Additionally, Behnia and his family have suffered mental anguish, pain, and suffering as a result of this intentional discrimination.

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Standard for deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss

 In reviewing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all the factual allegations in the complaint, as well as all the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom. Doherty v. City of Chicago, 75 F.3d 318, 322 (7th Cir. 1996); Beam v. IPCO Corp., 838 F.2d 242, 244 (7th Cir. 1988). A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim 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, 78 S. Ct. 99, 102, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957). All ambiguities are resolved in favor of the plaintiff. Dawson v. General Motors Corp., 977 F.2d 369, 372 (7th Cir. 1992). Although a plaintiff does not need to lay out in detail the facts upon which his claim is based, he must at least allege sufficient facts to establish a cause of action. Ellsworth v. City of Racine, 774 F.2d 182, 184 (7th Cir. 1985). If it appears that, when viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court should dismiss the case. See FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6); Gomez v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ., 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987).

 B. Failure to state a claim under ...


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.