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Hunt v. Personnel Staffing Group, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 22, 2017

ANTWOIN HUNT, JAMES ZOLLICOFFER, NORMAN GREEN, JAMES LEWIS and KEVIN JAMES, on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated laborers, Plaintiffs,
v.
PERSONNEL STAFFING GROUP, LLC d/b/a MVP, THE SEGERDAHL CORP., MERCURY PLASTICS, INC., MPS CHICAGO, INC. d/b/a JET LITHO, THE PENRAY COMPANIES, INC., ADVERTISING RESOURCES, INC. d/b/a ARIPACKAGING, LAWRENCE FOODS, INC. and BLOMMER CHOCOLATE COMPANY, Defendants.

          ADVERTISING RESOURCES, INC. Katherine F. Mendez One of Its Attorneys.

          Richard P. McArdle Jennifer A. Riley Katherine F. Mendez SEYFARTH SHAW LLP.

          SHEILA FINNEGAN MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          DEFENDANT ADVERTISING RESOURCES INC.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' TIME-BARRED § 1981 CLAIMS

          JOHN J. THARP, JR. HONORABLE JUDGE.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c), Defendant Advertising Resource Inc. (“ARI”) hereby joins the Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants The Segerdahl Corp. (“Segerdahl”) and Lawrence Foods (“Lawrence”), Docket No. 51. In joining the Motion to Dismiss, ARI moves this Court for entry of judgment in favor of ARI for Plaintiffs' Section 1981 claims alleged in Count VI of Plaintiffs' Class Action Complaint (“Complaint”) that are based on events occurring before December 6, 2014. All such claims are time-barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations, Plaintiffs having first filed this lawsuit on December 6, 2016.

         ARI hereby incorporates the Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 51) and supporting Memorandum of Law (Dkt. 53) filed by Defendants Segerdahl and Lawrence into ARI's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. In further support hereof, ARI states:

         1. Plaintiffs assert that Defendant MVP, a temporary labor agency, and certain of MVP's alleged client companies, including ARI, discriminated against African American temporary laborers in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section 1981”). See Compl. ¶ 1.

         2. Count VI of Plaintiffs' Complaint asserts that ARI violated Section 1981 because of its “discriminatory practices in hiring.” See Compl. ¶ 126.

         3. Plaintiffs' Complaint seeks to certify an “ARI Subclass” of “All African-Americans who sought work assignments…and were eligible to work at Advertising Resources, Inc. d/b/a ARI Media at any time between December 6, 2012 and the date of judgment…” See id. at ¶ 82(e).

         4. Defendant ARI filed its Answer to Plaintiffs' Complaint on February 17, 2017. Dkt. No. 35.

         5. In its Answer, Defendant ARI asserted that Plaintiffs' Section 1981 claims were time-barred to the extent they did not comply with the applicable two-year statute of limitations. See id. at p. 52, Twelfth Defense.

         6. A Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is reviewed under the same standard as a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim, the primary difference being that a Rule 12(c) motion is filed after an Answer. See Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (stating that a Rule 12(c) motion is filed after an answer but reviewed under the same standard as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion); Pisciotta v. Old National Bancorp, 499 F.3d 629, 633 (7th Cir. 2007); Northern Indiana Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. City of South Bend, 163 F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998).

         7. A Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is an appropriate mechanism for challenging claims that are time-barred by a statute of limitations. See Brownmark Films, LLC v. Comedy Partners, 682 F.3d 687, 690 (7th Cir. 2012) (noting that it is well-established in the 7th Circuit that Rule 12(c) is appropriate for raising a statute of limitations challenge); Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 579 (7th Cir. 2009); Frey v. Bank One, 91 F.3d 45 (7th Cir. 1996) (granting a Rule 12(c) motion on statute of limitations grounds).

         WHEREFORE, for the above and foregoing reasons and those stated in the Motion to Dismiss and supporting Memorandum of Law previously filed by Defendants Segerdahl and Lawrence, Defendant ...


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