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Marc Cameau v. Mount Airy #1 LLC

December 7, 2010

MARC CAMEAU, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MOUNT AIRY #1 LLC, T/A MOUNT AIRY CASINO RESORT, MARY RAKUS, YOKASTA (LNU), AND DONALD BUZNEY, DEFENDANTS,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: (judge Caputo)

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13) Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 12). For the reasons stated below, the Motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

BACKGROUND

The facts alleged in the Complaint are as follows. Plaintiff is an African-American individual who was born in Haiti and currently resides in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff began working for Defendant Mount Airy Casino Resort ("the Resort") in October 2007 as a Valet Parking\Transportation Manager. Plaintiff had previously managed a parking lot at La Guardia International Airport for five years, and had extensive experience managing parking services. The Traffic Manager position which Plaintiff held required five years experience according to the Resort's policies. Plaintiff was the only African-American manager at the Resort. From the beginning of his employment with the Resort, Defendant Rakus treated Plaintiff differently then she treated the other, white managers. This treatment included subjecting Plaintiff to intense scrutiny and continually second-guessing the Plaintiff, even though Defendant Rakus had no experience related to traffic management. Defendant Rakus also continually interfered with Plaintiff's scheduling decisions, which often resulted in too few or too many employees being on duty. When Plaintiff complained of this treatment, Defendant Rakus issued Plaintiff a disciplinary notice on March 24, 2008. Defendant Rakus also forbade Plaintiff from sending home unneeded parking attendants, even though there was insufficient traffic to justify their presence. On May 28, 2008, the Resort was running a car raffle. Plaintiff, expecting a significant amount of increased traffic, scheduled additional attendants and told them that all keys would be left in the cars in order to prevent delays. Defendant again countermanded Plaintiff's decisions, leading to significant delays and general chaos in the parking garage. As a result of this event, Defendants Rakus and Buzzny, with the acquiescence of Defendant Yocasta, a Human Resources manager, fired Plaintiff on May 30, 2008. After Plaintiff was terminated, he was replaced by a Caucasian female, who had been trained by the Plaintiff.

Plaintiff filed a Complaint on June 14, 2010 (Doc. 1), followed by an Amended Complaint on September 20, 2010 (Doc. 12). In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff brings claims for Violation of Title VII (Count I), Violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA") (Count II), Negligent Violation of Title VII (Count III), Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count IV), and Punitive Damages. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) on October 4, 2010. (Doc. 13.) LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dismissal is appropriate only if, accepting as true all the facts alleged in the complaint, a plaintiff has not pleaded "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face," Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), meaning enough factual allegations "'to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of'" each necessary element, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556); see also Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993) (requiring a complaint to set forth information from which each element of a claim may be inferred). In light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), the statement need only "'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "[T]he factual detail in a complaint [must not be] so undeveloped that it does not provide a defendant [with] the type of notice of claim which is contemplated by Rule 8." Phillips, 515 F.3d at 232; see also Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 667 (7th Cir. 2007).

In deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court should consider the allegations in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, and matters of public record. See Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993). The Court may also consider "undisputedly authentic" documents when the plaintiff's claims are based on the documents and the defendant has attached copies of the documents to the motion to dismiss. Id. The Court need not assume the plaintiff can prove facts that were not alleged in the complaint, see City of Pittsburgh v. W. Penn Power Co., 147 F.3d 256, 263 & n.13 (3d Cir. 1998), or credit a complaint's "'bald assertions'" or "'legal conclusions,'" Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1429-30 (3d Cir. 1997)). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009).

When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court's role is limited to determining if a plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of her claims. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The Court does not consider whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. A defendant bears the burden of establishing that a plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim. See Gould Elecs. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

I. Defendants Yokasta and Buzzny and the Hostile Work Environment Claim

As an initial matter, all claims as to Defendants Yokasta and Buzzny will be dismissed. Plaintiff's Complaint contains no allegations that Defendants Yokasta and Buzzny participated in the alleged discrimination against Plaintiff or knew or should have known in any sense that any alleged discrimination took place. Furthermore, both parties agree that the Hostile Work Environment Claim be dismissed. This Court agrees and that claim will also be dismissed.

II. Plaintiff's Title VII and PHRA Claims

Plaintiff's Title VII claim against the Resort (Count I) and Plaintiff's PHRA claims against the Resort and Defendant Rakus ...


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