The opinion of the court was delivered by: SEAN J. MCLAUGHLIN
Plaintiff Robert V. Krouse ("Krouse") has filed this action against Defendant American Sterilizer Company ("AMSCO") alleging that AMSCO violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. ("ADA"). Presently pending before this Court is AMSCO's Motion to Dismiss and Krouse's Motion for Sanctions.
For the reasons set forth below, both motions will be denied.
The essential facts relevant to these motions are set forth in the parties' pleadings and are not in dispute. After suffering a work-related injury to his back, Krouse filed a charge with the EEOC alleging, inter alia, that AMSCO violated ADA by refusing to consider Krouse's request and proposal for reasonable work accommodations, and by arbitrarily changing his job classification and shift assignments due to his disability.
On or about July 8, 1993, Krouse received a determination letter and notice from the EEOC informing him that the agency had concluded its processing of the charge, and advising that Krouse could pursue the matter further by filing a private lawsuit within ninety days of the effective date of the determination letter. Acting pro se, Krouse filed a Praecipe for Writ of Summons in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas on September 24, 1993, within ninety days of having received his "right-to-sue notice" from the EEOC. Krouse subsequently filed his Complaint in Common Pleas Court on October 21, 1993. The Complaint was served on AMSCO the following day, 105 days after Krouse had received his right-to-sue notice.
After removing the case to this Court, AMSCO filed its Motion to Dismiss on the ground that Krouse's ADA claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. AMSCO argues that the state court praecipe and writ did not toll the limitations period and that, in order to preserve his ADA claim, Plaintiff was required to file a complaint in conformity with Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure within ninety days of receiving the right-to-sue notice. Krouse has filed a memorandum in opposition to AMSCO's Motion to Dismiss and has moved for sanctions against AMSCO to recover his costs in defending the motion.
AMSCO has predicated its motion on Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Krouse maintains that the motion is more properly treated as a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The precise characterization of AMSCO's motion is not material, however, since the standard of review is similar under either designation. See Society Hill Civic Ass'n v. Harris, 632 F.2d 1045, 1054 (3d Cir. 1980). Namely, this Court must accept the facts presented in the pleadings, as well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and may not dismiss the Complaint unless it appears that Plaintiff can prove no set of facts entitling him to relief. Id. See also Angelastro v. Prudential-Bache Securities, Inc., 764 F.2d 939, 944 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 935, 88 L. Ed. 2d 274, 106 S. Ct. 267 (1985).
The parties to this action agree that the relevant statute of limitations provision governing ADA claims is found in Section 2000e-5(f)(1) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. This is mandated by Section 12117(a) of ADA, which specifically provides that:
the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in sections ... 2000e-5 ... of this title shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this subchapter provides to ... any person alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of any provision of this chapter, or regulations promulgated under section 12116 of this title ... concerning employment.
42 U.S.C. § 12117(a). See also Kent v. Director, Mo. Dept. of Elem. & Sec. Educ., 792 F. Supp. 59 (E.D. No. 1992) (ADA case construing Section 2000e-5 and holding that receipt of a right-to-sue letter under that section is a statutory prerequisite to private action), remanded without op., 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 4813 (8th Cir. 1993). Section 2000e-5(f)(1) establishes a 90 day period in which to file a private lawsuit, commencing from ...