United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
Merle F. Hentze, Plaintiff,
CSX Transportation Inc., Defendant.
Michael R. Barrett United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on: (1) Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 3); and (2) Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the
Complaint (Doc. 5). This Motions are fully briefed and ripe
March 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant
CSX for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, ADA Amendments Act, and Ohio Civil Rights Act. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff was employed as a train conductor for Defendant CSX
for nine years prior to his termination in 2015. Plaintiff
alleges that he was terminated because he did not pass a
written test for a new position Defendant CSX required him to
seek. Before this written testing began, Plaintiff allegedly
informed personnel of his long-standing difficulties with
written testing and sought an accommodation. Plaintiff claims
that Defendant discriminated against him by failing to
reasonably accommodate his disability, and by terminating his
employment in violation of the ADA/ADAAA and the Ohio Civil
12, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 3),
arguing that Plaintiff failed to allege any disability. (Doc.
3; PageID 11). On June 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed an
opposition to the motion to dismiss, arguing in the
alternative that he should be granted leave to amend. (Doc.
Motion to Dismiss
reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must "'construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff.'" Bassett
v. NCAA, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir.
2007)). "[T]o survive a motion to dismiss[, ] a
complaint must contain (1) 'enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible, ' (2) more than 'a
formulaic recitation of a cause of action's elements,
' and (3) allegations that suggest a 'right to relief
above a speculative level.'" Tackett v. M&G
Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). Although the
plausibility standard is not equivalent to a
"'probability requirement, ' . . . it asks for
more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully." Id. at 1949 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
argues that it is entitled to dismissal because
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to “specify the
allegedly disabling impairment.” (Doc. 3; PageID 15)
(collecting cases). Plaintiff concedes that “the
Complaint does not name the specific diagnosis of Mr.
Hentze's disability, ” but argues that “it
need not do so to articulate a valid claim.” (Doc. 5;
PageID 25). Plaintiff offers no authority to support the
foregoing proposition. Considering the arguments of both
Parties, the Court is persuaded that Plaintiff's
allegations regarding his alleged disability fall short of
the pleading standards. See, e.g., Coleman v.
Ford Motor Co., 2005 WL 1459549 (N.D.Ohio June 17,
2005); Thomas v. Dana Commercial Vehicle Products,
LLC, 2014 WL 1329948, at *4 (W.D.Ky. April 1, 2014);
Phelps v. Balfour, Commemorative Brands Inc., 2013
WL 653542, at *6 (W.D.Ky. Feb. 21, 2013).
the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 3) is GRANTED,
but as explained below Plaintiff is granted leave to amend.
Motion for Leave to Amend
than dismiss the case, Plaintiff argues that the Court should
grant him leave to amend his pleading. Defendant opposes
amendment, arguing that: (1) Plaintiff failed to attach a
proposed amended complaint; and (2) in any event, amendment
would be futile, causing undue delay and needless expense.
(Doc. 7; PageID 36-37).
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a), “leave [to amend a Complaint]
shall be freely given when justice so requires[.]”
Normally, a party seeking an amendment should attach a copy
of the amended complaint. See Kuyat v. Biomimetic
Therapeutics, Inc., 747 F.3d 435, 444 (6th Cir. 2014)
(finding that district court did not abuse discretion where
it denied leave to amend, due in part to plaintiff's
failure to proffer a copy of a proposed amended complaint).
the Court would be justified in denying the motion for leave,
due to Plaintiff's failure to attach a proposed amended
complaint. However, under the facts of this case, the Court
is not convinced that such a result would be just, especially
in light of the Motion's references to medical
documentation that was allegedly sent to Defendant.
Therefore, Plaintiff's ...