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Dailey v. HSHS Medical Group

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 2, 2019

CONNIE DAILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
HSHS MEDICAL GROUP, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on defendant HSHS Medical Group's (“HSHS”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Connie Dailey's complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Doc. 11). Dailey has responded to the motion (Doc. 19).

         I. Standard for Dismissal

         When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all allegations in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This requirement is satisfied if the complaint (1) describes the claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and (2) plausibly suggests that the plaintiff has a right to relief above a speculative level. Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555; see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 556). “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         In Bell Atlantic, the Supreme Court rejected the more expansive interpretation of Rule 8(a)(2) that “a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief, ” Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 561-63; Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d at 777. Now “it is not enough for a complaint to avoid foreclosing possible bases for relief; it must actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief . . . by providing allegations that ‘raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'” Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d at 777 (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555).

         Nevertheless, Bell Atlantic did not do away with the liberal federal notice pleading standard. Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 667 (7th Cir. 2007). A complaint still need not contain detailed factual allegations, Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555, and it remains true that “[a]ny district judge (for that matter, any defendant) tempted to write ‘this complaint is deficient because it does not contain . . .' should stop and think: What rule of law requires a complaint to contain that allegation?” Doe v. Smith, 429 F.3d 706, 708 (7th Cir. 2005) (emphasis in original). Nevertheless, a complaint must contain “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555. If the factual detail of a complaint is “so sketchy that the complaint does not provide the type of notice of the claim to which the defendant is entitled under Rule 8, ” it is subject to dismissal. Airborne Beepers, 499 F.3d at 667.

         II. Facts Alleged

         The legal conclusions asserted in Dailey's complaint are numerous, but the factual allegations are sparse. Viewing all the factual allegations in Dailey's favor, the complaint establishes the following relevant facts:

         At some point, Dailey was employed by HSHS, which employed more than fifty people. While she was employed, she was injured. She had a medical condition and/or a record of one, and HSHS may have perceived that she was disabled. Nevertheless, she was able to perform her job as HSHS expected.

         Dailey asked for and was given leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. After missing work and asking for FMLA leave, she was harassed and was discharged

         HSHS treated Dailey worse than it treated similarly situated employees because of her disability, her history of disability, and/or HSHS's perception that she was disabled. Dailey also experienced discrimination in the form of harassment and a hostile work environment and was terminated because of her disability, her history of disability, and/or HSHS's perception that she was disabled.

         Dailey complained of the aforementioned disability discrimination to supervisors. She was terminated and suffered other unidentified adverse employment action because of these complaints.

         HSHS knew its conduct violated federal law.

         Dailey exhausted her administrative remedies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights before filing this lawsuit on February 1, 2019, in the Circuit Court for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois. She alleges claims for violation of the FMLA (Count I), violation of the prohibition on discrimination of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Count II), violation of the prohibition on retaliation of the ADA (Count III), violation of the prohibition on discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”), 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq. (Count IV), and violation of the ...


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