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Behn v. Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

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

February 6, 2018

LUCAS BEHN, Plaintiff,
v.
KIEWIT INFRASTRUCTURE, CO., Defendant.

          ORDER

          AMY J. ST. EVE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         The Court grants in part and denies in part Defendant's motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). [21]. Also, the Court, in its discretion, grants in part and denies in part Defendant's request to strike certain allegations under Rule 12(f). Defendant shall file its answer by February 23, 2018. Status hearing set for March 28, 2018 is stricken and reset to February 27, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.

         STATEMENT

         On November 21, 2017, Plaintiff Lucas Behn filed a First Amended Complaint against his former employer Defendant Kiewit Infrastructure Co. alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. Before the Court is Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss Plaintiff's ADA claims. For the following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) motion. The remaining claim in this lawsuit is Plaintiff's ADA discrimination claim. Also, the Court, in its discretion, grants Defendant's request to strike Plaintiff's Title VII allegations in the First Amended Complaint, but denies Defendant's request to strike Plaintiff's punitive damages allegations.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014); see also Hill v. Serv. Emp. Int'l Union, 850 F.3d 861, 863 (7th Cir. 2017). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Pursuant to the federal pleading standards, a plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Put differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). When determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, courts must accept “as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Bancorpsouth, Inc., v. Fed. Ins. Co., 873 F.3d 582, 585 (7th Cir. 2017).

         BACKGROUND

         On July 25, 2013, Plaintiff started working for Defendant as an infrastructure construction laborer. (R. 20, First Am. Compl. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff alleges that during all times relevant to this lawsuit, he had been previously diagnosed with diabetes within the definition of a disability under the ADA. (Id. ¶¶ 12, 13.) Further, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant knew of his disability, medical diagnosis, and condition of diabetes. (Id. ¶ 14.) He alleges that during his employment with Defendant, he was subjected to harassment, intimidation, different terms and conditions of employment, and denied reasonable accommodations based on his disability. (Id. ¶ 15.) In particular, Plaintiff alleges that he suffered a diabetic episode at the end of his work shift while in the employee locker room, yet Defendant failed to provide him medical leave so he could resolve and manage his diabetes. (Id. ¶ 15(a).)

         In particular, after his diabetic episode at work, Plaintiff conferred with his treating physicians and diabetes medical specialists, who recommended that Plaintiff apply for eligibility to receive a diabetes insulin pump and transmitter. (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff then filed the necessary documentation and applied for an insulin pump and transmitter - notifying his project manager and labor foreman that the approval period to receive the pump and transmitter was approximately 4-6 weeks. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.) As such, Plaintiff requested short-term medical leave allowing him to return thereafter with his diabetes medical devices. (Id. ¶ 19.) According to Plaintiff, Defendant failed to provide him with the short term medical leave and subsequently failed to provide him continued employment. (Id. ¶¶ 20, 21.)

         Plaintiff filed his EEOC Charge on December 19, 2014 stating that Defendant discriminated against him based on his disability. (R. 20-1, EEOC Charge). Specifically, in his EEOC Charge, Plaintiff stated:

I began my employment with Respondent on or about July 25, 2013. My most recent position was Laborer. During my employment, Respondent became aware of my disability. Subsequently, I was discharged.
I believe I was discriminated against because of my disability in violation of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as amended.

         Also, Plaintiff checked the disability box on his EEOC Charge. (Id.) Plaintiff's EEOC right to sue letter is ...


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