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Martin v. Cunningham Children's Home

March 22, 2010

ELIZABETH M. MARTIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CUNNINGHAM CHILDREN'S HOME, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Bernthal United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

In January 2010, Plaintiff Elizabeth Martin, acting pro se, filed a Pro Se Complaint (#1) against Defendant Cunningham Children's Home, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12112) (hereinafter "ADA"). Federal jurisdiction is based on federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because Plaintiff has alleged a violation of federal law. The parties have consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge.

In February 2010, Defendant filed a Motion To Dismiss Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) (#8). Plaintiff subsequently filed her response and supporting memorandum (#12, #13). After reviewing the parties' pleadings and memoranda, this Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion To Dismiss Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) (#8).

I. Background

The following background is taken from Plaintiff's complaint. Plaintiff alleges that, in April or May 2009, Todd Wagner, one of Defendant's employees, interviewed her regarding a job with Defendant Cunningham Children's Home. On June 22, 2009, Amy Acree, another employee, offered Plaintiff the job of Night Milieu Counselor. Plaintiff alleges that one of the conditions for the job, as stated in the written offer she signed and attached to the complaint (#1, p. 18), was that she complete preemployment screenings including a "pre-employment drug test and physical." (#1, p. 9.)

On June 26, 2009, Carle Occupational Medicine employee Ms. Brown, who performed Plaintiff's physical examination, told Plaintiff that she would not pass her preemployment medical screening unless Plaintiff obtained a letter from her doctor regarding a particular medication (Invega) that Plaintiff had "listed as having taken and being doctor prescribed." (#1, p. 9.) Plaintiff explained to Ms. Brown that she was not currently taking Invega and she only took 3 mg of the medication when she was taking it. Ms. Brown "maintained her position that without a letter from my treating physician she (Brown) would not pass me on my Cunningham Children's Home physical." (#1, p. 9.)

Plaintiff contacted her psychiatrist to request the letter. On June 30, 2009, Plaintiff's treating psychiatrist's nurse left a message for Plaintiff that the psychiatrist would not write the letter that she needed because he did not feel comfortable doing that.

Plaintiff then called Todd Wagner and Amy Acree asking to speak with them about the physical. Ms. Acree called her back and left a message suggesting a meeting time. At the meeting, Ms. Acree and Krista Borbely, Defendant's Director of Human Resources, met with Plaintiff. Ms. Borbely informed Plaintiff that she had not passed her medical screening and that the Cunningham Children's Home was rescinding its job offer. Plaintiff explained her position and told them that she needed a doctor's note because of medicine that she had taken in the past. She told them that she needed a letter from her treating doctor and she did not know why her doctor would not write the letter. Ms. Borbely first interjected that maybe Plaintiff should talk to her doctor and then come back to talk to them at the Cunningham Children's Home and then told Plaintiff again that the job offer had been rescinded.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges that Defendant violated the ADA by rescinding its job offer to Plaintiff as a result of Plaintiff's failure to obtain a letter from her psychiatrist as part of her preemployment medical screening.

II. Standard of Review

The purpose of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is to test the sufficiency of the complaint, not to decide the merits of the case. Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). 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." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). The United States Supreme Court has interpreted this language to impose two "easy-to-clear hurdles": First, the plaintiff must plead sufficient facts to give a defendant fair notice of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests, and second, those facts, if true, must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff is entitled to relief, "raising that possibility above a 'speculative level.' "

E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776-77 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)); Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009) (stating that the complaint must actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief).

When considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the Court is limited to the allegations contained in the pleadings. Venture Assocs. Corp. v. Zenith Data Sys. Corp., 987 F.2d 429, 431 (7th Cir. 1993). The Court must treat all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. McMillan v. Collection Prof'ls, Inc., 455 F.3d 754, 758 (7th Cir. 2006); see Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 556 (requiring plausible grounds for inferences if those inferences are to sustain a complaint).

A claim is sufficient only to the extent that it "'contain[s] either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory.' " Id., 550 U.S. at 562 (quoting Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101, 1106 (7th Cir. 1984)). Documents attached to a complaint are incorporated into it and become part ...


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