United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM ORDER OF COURT RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 10)
ARTHUR J. SCHWAB, District Judge.
This case centers on alleged age discrimination in an employment action in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff, Stephanie Skolnik, alleges that she was discharged from her employment with Friendship Ridge ("Defendant"), a geriatric care center, because of her age, under the guise of poor performance. Id . Plaintiff seeks relief including reinstatement, back and front pay, monetary damages, and an "injunction to prevent future discriminatory employment practices." Id. at ¶ 50.
Presently before this Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant. Doc. No. 10. Defendant moves this Court to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and deny Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief. Id . Plaintiff opposes this Motion to the extent that Defendant seeks dismissal of the Complaint. Doc. No. 13. Plaintiff states that she is not seeking injunctive relief and therefore does not oppose this portion of Defendant's Motion. After review of the Motion and associated filings, the Court will deny Defendant's Motion to Dismiss to the extent that it seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint.
II. Standard of Review
In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, Federal Courts require notice pleading, as opposed to the heightened standard of fact pleading. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds on which it rests.'" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Building upon the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions in Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit explained that a District Court must undertake the following three steps to determine the sufficiency of a complaint:
First, the court must take note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim. Second, the court should identify allegations that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Finally, where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.
Connelly v. Steel Valley Sch. Dist., 706 F.3d 209, 212 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).
The third step of the sequential evaluation requires this Court to consider the specific nature of the claims presented and to determine whether the facts pled to substantiate the claims are sufficient to show a "plausible claim for relief." Covington v. Int'l Ass'n of Approved Basketball Officials, 710 F.3d 114, 118 (3d Cir. 2013). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a Complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 664.
This Court may not dismiss a Complaint merely because it appears unlikely or improbable that Plaintiff can prove the facts alleged or will ultimately prevail on the merits. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563 n.8. Instead, this Court must ask whether the facts alleged raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary elements. Id. at 556. Generally speaking, a Complaint that provides adequate facts to establish "how, when, and where" will survive a Motion to Dismiss. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 212 (3d Cir. 2009).
In short, a Motion to Dismiss should not be granted if a party alleges facts, which could, if established at trial, entitle him/her to relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563 n.8.
III. Statement of Facts
The facts of this case, taken as true solely for the purposes of this ...