United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
CHRISTOPHER M. MCCARTNEY, Plaintiff,
MARTEN TRANSPORT LTD., Defendant.
R. Knepp II United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
a state-law wrongful discharge case removed to this Court
from the Hancock County Common Pleas Court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction. See Doc. 1. Currently
pending before the Court is Defendant Marten Transport,
Ltd.'s Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint (Doc.
12), to which Plaintiff Christopher M. McCartney filed an
Opposition (Doc. 17), and Defendant filed a Reply (Doc. 18).
For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is
purposes of a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts the
allegations in a complaint as true. See Hishon v. King
& Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).
was employed by Defendant as a truck driver from August 1,
2016, through June 1, 2017. (Doc. 9, at 1). When hired,
Plaintiff received a policy manual from Defendant, which
included a policy stating threatening remarks will result in
discipline. Id. at 2.
April 2017, Plaintiff's co-worker, Ken Mitchell
“began verbally threatening Plaintiff.”
Id. Plaintiff reported these threats to his
supervisor, who informed him “the situation would be
taken care of”. Id. After this initial
complaint, Plaintiff continued to experience threats from
Mitchell, and continued to report them to his supervisor.
Id. Mitchell was never reprimanded or disciplined,
nor was Defendant's human resources department notified.
28, 2017, after another incident with Mitchell, Plaintiff
sent a friend/coworker a text message saying “he
thought Ken Mitchell wanted a fight and he was going to get a
crow bar up side of his head”. Id.at 3.
Plaintiff “intended this latter comment to refer to
self-defense in the event of an armed or hostile attack on
him by Ken Mitchell.” Id. Plaintiff also told
his friend/coworker that he was frustrated by his
supervisor's lack of action despite his requests, and
indicated he intended to go to human resources directly.
point Plaintiff's supervisor contacted him indicating a
desire to meet with Plaintiff and Mitchell, but this meeting
never occurred. Id.
1, 2017, “Plaintiff was informed that he was being
discharged for allegedly making threatening comments.”
Id. He asserts his discharge “was motivated by
his complaints about his co-worker's threatening and
hostile behavior.” Id. at 5. Mitchell remained
employed and was not disciplined or reprimanded. Id.
filed suit in Hancock County Common Pleas Court in February
2018 (Doc. 1-2), and Defendant removed to this Court in March
(Doc. 1). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 8), and
Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 9). In his
amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts a single claim for
wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
Id. at 4. Defendant then filed the pending motion to
dismiss the first amended complaint (Doc. 12), to which
Plaintiff responded (Doc. 17), and Defendant replied (Doc.
deciding a motion to dismiss under Federal Civil Rule
12(b)(6), the function of the Court is to test the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. “In determining whether
to grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court primarily
considers the allegations in the complaint, although matters
of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of
the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint, also may be
taken into account.” Amini v. Oberlin College,
259 F.3d 493, 502 (6th Cir. 2001). The court is required to
accept the allegations stated in the complaint as true,
Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73
(1984), while viewing the complaint in a light most favorable
to the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232,
236 (1974); Westlake v. Lucas, 537 F.2d 857, 858
(6th Cir. 1976).
a complaint need not contain “detailed factual
allegations, ” it does require more than “labels
and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, a complaint
survives a motion to dismiss if it “contain[s]
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 (2009). And “[a] claim
has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable