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O'Toole v. Lawlogix

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

February 27, 2017

JOHN O'TOOLE, Plaintiff,
v.
LAWLOGIX, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. 8)

          Timothy S. Black, United States District Judge

         This case is before the Court regarding Defendant Lawlogix's motion to dismiss (Doc. 8). For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, John O'Toole, was employed by Defendant Lawlogix from on or about May 13, 2013 to July 31, 2014 as a sales executive. (Doc. 1, at 2-4). Plaintiff's employment was secured through an “Employment and Proprietary Information and Invention Agreement” signed by both parties. (Doc. 8-1). That agreement called for Plaintiff to receive a “base salary” of $100, 000.00 per year. (Id. at 1). The agreement also contained the following paragraph in section 3, which outlined “compensation and benefits”:

         3. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

b. Commission: In addition to the salary enumerated in paragraph 3(a), Employee shall be paid a Commission as reasonably agreed upon by the parties and executed in writing through a commission addendum to this employment.

(Id. at 2).

         Plaintiff and Defendant never executed a commission addendum during Plaintiff's tenue as an employee, and Plaintiff was never paid any commissions for the sales he secured on Defendant's behalf. (Doc. 1, at 4). On July 31, 2014, Plaintiff was terminated. Defendant did not give Plaintiff a reason for his termination.

         Plaintiff filed the current civil action against Defendant on April 25, 2016, bringing claims of age discrimination, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff has completed the required administrative process with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and a notice of right to sue was mailed on or after January 26, 2016. Defendant's motion to dismiss seeks dismissal of all claims, except Plaintiff's claim for age discrimination. (Doc. 8).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) operates to test the sufficiency of the complaint and permits dismissal of a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To show grounds for relief, Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) requires that the complaint contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”

         While Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, ' . . . it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)). Pleadings offering mere “‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In fact, in determining a motion to dismiss, “courts ‘are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation[.]'” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265 (1986)). Further, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]” Id.

         Accordingly, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A claim is plausible where “plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Plausibility “is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the ...


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