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Gomez v. Garda Cl Great Lakes, Inc.

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 30, 2013

GABRIEL GOMEZ and ADAM HEDBERG, Plaintiffs,
v.
GARDA CL GREAT LAKES, INC., VILLAGE OF BROADVIEW, DETECTIVE DAVID YURKOVICH, and CURTIS MEIGHAN, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HARRY D. LEINENWEBER, District Judge.

Before the Court are Defendants' two Motions to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. For the reasons stated herein, both Motions are denied.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

As related in the Complaint, Plaintiffs Gabriel Gomez ("Gomez") and Adam Hedberg ("Hedberg") ("Plaintiffs") were employed by Defendant Garda CL Great Lakes, Inc. ("Garda") as armored truck drivers. Garda is a private security company that transports money securities.

Part of Plaintiffs' job responsibilities included transporting sealed bags of cash. In December 2011, Plaintiffs suspected that some cash was missing from one of their bags and notified their supervisor. Plaintiffs denied any wrongdoing, and Garda opened an internal investigation regarding the missing money. Plaintiffs cooperated with Garda's investigation and passed polygraph examinations.

At some point, Defendant Curtis Meighan ("Meighan"), a Garda branch manager, informed the Broadview Police Department of the alleged theft. On or about February 24, 2012, Defendant David Yurkovich ("Yurkovich"), a Broadview Police Detective, contacted Gomez. Yurkovich told him that he was investigating Garda's missing funds and asked him to come to the police station to give a statement. After consulting with counsel, Gomez informed Yurkovich that, when questioned, he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Two weeks later, Yurkovich called Hedberg to explain that he was investigating the Garda incident and, as with Gomez, request that Hedberg come in for questioning. On advice of counsel, Hedberg informed Yurkovich that he intended to invoke his right to silence.

The next day, Meighan brought Gomez into his office to discuss the investigation. He informed Gomez that he had learned that he was not cooperating with Yurkovich's investigation that Garda was working alongside the police department in the investigation, and that his failure to cooperate with the police was also a failure to cooperate with Garda. Nonetheless, Gomez told Meighan that he was choosing to exercise his right to silence. Meighan fired Gomez and had him escorted off Garda's property.

Meighan subsequently notified Yurkovich of Gomez's termination and the two men allegedly agreed to use their treatment of Gomez as leverage against Hedberg. Hedberg, however, refused to go along, and invoked his right to silence. Yurkovich allegedly informed Hedberg that he had been communicating with Meighan that Gomez had already been terminated for not cooperating, and that he, too, would lose his job if he persisted in his silence.

Yurkovich contacted Hedberg for questioning again on March 5, 2012 and, again, Hedberg informed Yurkovich that he would not answer questions. Shortly thereafter, Meighan called Hedberg into his office and informed him that he had been notified of his unwillingness to cooperate with Yurkovich's investigation. Hedberg told Meighan that he had not changed his mind and would continue to remain silent. Meighan then terminated Hedberg's employment with Garda.

Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit. The Second Amended Complaint (the "Complaint") seeks damages based on alleged deprivations of due process, conspiracy to deprive Plaintiffs of their constitutional rights, defamation, and retaliation. Defendants have moved to dismiss all but the defamation claim.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A complaint must provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing the plaintiff is entitled to relief. FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). To survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must "plead[] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Conspiracy ...


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