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Snyder v. Baxter Healthcare

January 23, 2009

HOWARD SNYDER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BAXTER HEALTHCARE, INC., FENWAL, INC., AND TPG, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hay, Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

The Plaintiff, Howard Snyder ("Snyder" or "the Plaintiff"), filed this action alleging that Baxter Healthcare Corp. ("Baxter") and its corporate successors, Texas Pacific Group) ("TPG") and Fenwal, Inc. ("Fenwal"), violated his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. 2000(e) et seq.,*fn1 the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C.A. § 12101 et seq. Snyder also alleges discrimination in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (" PHRA"), 43 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann. §§ 951 et seq. Pending is Baxter's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint (Doc. 32 ) pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Because Snyder has failed to state a timely claim against Baxter, the Motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Howard Snyder, a sixty-eight year old white male, was hired by Baxter in 1990 to install and conduct training in the operation of machinery used in blood transfusions. (Doc. 40 at 2). Effective March 1, 2007, Baxter sold the assets of its transfusion therapy business unit to TPG, which immediately formed a new corporation, Fenwal. (Doc. 33 at 1). Snyder has been employed by Fenwal since its inception.

Snyder's Complaint comprises two Counts. In Count I, he alleges that "[b]eginning in or about the early nineties to the present, the Defendants engaged in unlawful employment practices in violation of Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act." (Doc. 1 at 3-4) (citations omitted).*fn2 Although Count I encompasses claims made under the PHRA, the Plaintiff reasserts those claims in Count II. The essence of both Counts is as follows:

Plaintiff, at all relevant times, was subject to a continuous and ongoing hostile work environment, subject to disparate treatment, harassment, humiliation, and discrimination based on his age (66), his disability/perceived disability as well as retaliation for complaining regarding the ongoing hostile work environment, disparate treatment, harassment, and discrimination. (Id. at 4). The Court will refer to the factual underpinnings of Snyder's claims in order to provide context for its conclusions of law.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007), the Supreme Court held that a complaint challenged pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) must be dismissed if it fails to allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Said another way, a plaintiff is required to plead facts sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 1965. The court is not obligated to accept inferences unsupported by facts set out in the complaint, see California Pub. Employees' Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb Corp., 394 F.3d 126, 143 (3d Cir. 2004) (citing Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997)), and is not required to accept legal conclusions framed as factual allegations. Bell Atlantic Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1965. See also Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (explaining, citing Twombly, that "labels, conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" do not suffice; noting that the complaint "must allege facts suggestive of [the proscribed] conduct;" and requiring plaintiff to allege "enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary element[s] of his claim"). Id. In evaluating the complaint, the Court views all facts and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to Snyder. Odd v. Malone, 538 F.3d 202, 205 (3d Cir. 2008).

III. ANALYSIS

In support of its Motion to Dismiss, Baxter contends that: (1) the state claims against it are time-barred; (2) most of the federal claims alleged arose after it was sold, and are not attributable to Baxter; (3) the remaining federal claims are time barred; (4) the continuing violation doctrine does not operate to save the time-barred claims, given Snyder's failure to allege that any discriminatory act occurred during the applicable limitations period; and (5) the claim based on hostile work environment similarly fails because Snyder did not allege that any act made part of this claim took place within the limitations period.

A. State Law Claims

The "Plaintiff concedes that . . . claims against Baxter . . . asserted under the [PHRA] . . . are time barred." (Doc. 40 at 4 n.2). Thus, Baxter's Motion to Dismiss will be granted as to all state law claims.

B. Federal Claims Based on Events After March 1, 2007

Baxter identifies in the Complaint three broad categories of allegations: (1) those made in the present tense, pertaining to his current working conditions; (2) those that are date-specific; and (3) others that can fairly be categorized as vague and highly general - i.e., ...


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