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Dolan v. Community Medical Center Healthcare System

August 8, 2007

MARGARET DOLAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMUNITY MEDICAL CENTER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, A/K/A COMMUNITY MEDICAL CENTER,: INC., T/D/B/A COMMUNITY MEDICAL CENTER HEALTHCARE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

Pending before this Court is a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 ("the Motion"), filed by Defendant Community Medical Center Healthcare System, a/k/a Community Medical Center, Inc., t/d/b/a Community Medical Center Healthcare ("Defendant" or "CMC") on February 20, 2007. (Rec. Doc. 8). For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be denied.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 11, 2006, Plaintiff Margaret Dolan ("Plaintiff") initiated this action by filing a Complaint. (See Rec. Doc. 1).

On February 20, 2007, Defendant filed the instant Motion, which seeks dismissal pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Rec. Doc. 8). As the Motion has been fully briefed,*fn1 it is ripe for disposition.

STANDARDS OF REVIEW

A. Review of Rule 12(b)(1) Motions

It is well-established that subject matter jurisdiction is required in order for a federal court to preside over a dispute. See, e.g., Robinson v. Dalton, 107 F.3d 1018, 1020 (3d Cir. 1997). Because subject matter jurisdiction determines a federal court's ability to hear a case, in the disposition of a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), "the existence of disputed material facts will not preclude the trial court from evaluating for itself the merits of the jurisdictional claims," id. (citation and internal quotations omitted), and the plaintiff bears the burden of persuasion as to any relevant factual disputes. Kehr Packages v. Fidelcor, Inc., 926 F.2d 1406, 1409 (3d Cir. 1991). However, dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) is appropriate "[o]nly if it appears to a certainty that the pleader will not be able to assert a colorable claim of subject matter jurisdiction." Smith v. Social Security Administration, 54 F. Supp. 2d 451, 453 (E.D. Pa. June 29, 1999). See also Kehr Packages, 926 F.2d at 1409 (reiterating that "'the threshold to withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is lower than that required to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.'" (quoting Lunderstadt v. Colafella, 885 F.2d 66, 70 (3d Cir. 1989))).

B. Review of Rule 12(b)(6) Motions

In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the veracity of a plaintiff's allegations. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); see also White v. Napoleon, 897 F.2d 103, 106 (3d Cir. 1990). In Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996), our Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit added that in considering a motion to dismiss based on a failure to state a claim argument, a court should "not inquire whether the plaintiffs will ultimately prevail, only whether they are entitled to offer evidence to support their claims." Furthermore, "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); see also District Council 47 v. Bradley, 795 F.2d 310 (3d Cir. 1986).

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The following recitation of the facts is based on the averments in Plaintiff's Complaint and accepted as true only for the purposes of disposition of that portion of the instant Motion which was filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).*fn2 (Rec. Doc. 1).

In or about September 2004, Defendant, which operates a hospital employing more than 100 persons in the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, advertised, by means of a blind job listing on the website for the Society for Human Resources Management ("SHRM"), an employment vacancy for "a Vice President for Human Resources." (Rec. Doc. 1, ΒΆΒΆ 6-8, 12). Because Plaintiff, a female currently residing in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was qualified for the position, during or about September 2004, she responded to the listing by sending her resume to Cheryl Freedman ("Ms. Freedman"), a consultant with Tyler & Company. Plaintiff did so at the ...


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