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Krooks v. Haverford College

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

January 14, 2015

JOLIE KROOKS, Plaintiff,
v.
HAVERFORD COLLEGE, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

DARNELL JONES, II, District Judge.

The Court holds that Plaintiff's causes of action are time-barred.

I. Standard of Review

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), courts must "accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation and citation omitted). After the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This standard, which applies to all civil cases, "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. at 678; accord Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) ("[A]ll civil complaints must contain more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.") (internal quotation marks omitted).

"Although the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense, it may be raised in a motion to dismiss where the plaintiff's failure to comply with the limitations period is apparent from the face of the pleadings." Datto v. Harrison, 664 F.Supp.2d 472, 482 (E.D. Pa. 2009); see also Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 n. 1 (3d Cir. 1994) (establishing that a statute of limitations may be raised in a motion to dismiss "where the complaint facially shows noncompliance with the limitations period and the affirmative defense clearly appears on the face of the pleading"); Clark v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 816 F.Supp. 1064, 1067 (E.D. Pa. 1993).

II. Background

a. Pre-College

For the purpose of deciding the instant Motion, the Court must take all alleged facts as true. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 233. Plaintiff had played softball for all four years of high school on high-level, competitive travel teams. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Prior to attending Haverford College ("Haverford"), Plaintiff submitted a video to Haverford of her softball playing skills. (Compl. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff was accepted onto Haverford's women's softball team. (Compl. ¶ 12.)

b. Freshman Year (2009-2010)

Plaintiff matriculated at Haverford in the fall of 2009. (Compl. ¶ 11.) Haverford is a private college in Pennsylvania that is a recipient of federal financial funding. (Compl. ¶ 6.)

While at Haverford, Plaintiff was a person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). (Compl. ¶ 5.) Specifically, Plaintiff suffered from an eating disorder prior to, and during portions of, her matriculation at Haverford. (Compl. ¶¶ 7-8.) Prior to starting at Haverford, Plaintiff advised Haverford's Health Services and the coach of Haverford's softball team, Jennifer Ward ("Coach Ward"), that she had an eating disorder. (Compl. ¶ 13.)

During Plaintiff's freshman year, Coach Ward did not play Plaintiff in softball games and limited Plaintiff's participation in practice. (Compl. ¶ 15.) Specifically, Plaintiff was not allowed to participate in batting practice before or after practice. (Compl. ¶ 15.) Coach Ward told Plaintiff that she was not allowed to participate because of the school's insurance policies. (Compl. ¶ 15.)

In the spring of her freshman year, Plaintiff suffered a regression in her health related to her eating disorder. (Compl. ¶ 16.) That spring, Plaintiff left school and ...


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