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Odysseos v. Rine Motors, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 8, 2017

RINE MOTORS, INC., Defendant


          JAMES M. MUNLEY United States District Court

         Plaintiff Andreas Odysseos (hereinafter “plaintiff”) asserts that Defendant Rine Motors, Inc.'s (hereinafter “the defendant”) decision to terminate his employment violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. (hereinafter “ADA”) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 634, et. seq. (hereinafter “ADEA”). Before the court for disposition is the defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's ADA claim. (Doc. 12). For the reasons that follow, the court will deny the defendant's motion.


         The instant discrimination action arose from plaintiff's employment with the defendant. The defendant, an automobile dealership in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, employed plaintiff as a general sales manager from December 14, 2011, until his termination on April 29, 2016. (Doc. 9, Am. Compl. (hereinafter “Am. Compl.”) ¶¶ 5, 26).

         On December 4, 2015, plaintiff informed the defendant's owner, William Rinehart, that he needed a biopsy of his prostate to determine whether he had cancer. (Id. ¶ 10). Plaintiff's biopsy was negative. (Id. ¶ 11). His biopsy incision, however, became infected. (Id. ¶ 12). This required plaintiff to remain in the hospital from January 4, 2016, to January 12, 2016. (Id.)

         Plaintiff returned to work on January 16, 2016. (Id. ¶ 13). Between January 16, 2016, and the end of February 2016, plaintiff wore a heart monitor to assess his heart rate. (Id. ¶ 14). Plaintiff avers that after his return to work, Rinehart repeatedly asked him questions pertaining to or regarding his health. (Id. ¶ 19). Although plaintiff missed only eight (8) days of work and he assured Rinehart that he was in good health, plaintiff avers Rinehart interviewed potential employees to replace him. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 17-18, 20). On April 29, 2016, Rinehart terminated plaintiff's employment, informing him that his job had been promised to a new person. (Id. ¶ 26).

         On October 19, 2016, plaintiff filed a two-count complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (Doc. 1). On December 13, 2016, the matter was transferred to this court. (Doc. 7). Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on December 19, 2016, alleging disability and age discrimination claims under the ADA and the ADEA, respectively. In the instant motion, the defendant seeks to dismiss only plaintiff's ADA discrimination claim. The parties have briefed their respective positions and the matter is ripe for disposition.


         As plaintiff brings suit pursuant to the ADA and the ADEA, we have federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”).

         Standard of Review

         The defendant filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's ADA claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court tests the sufficiency of the complaint's allegations when considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. All well-pleaded allegations of the complaint must be viewed as true and in the light most favorable to the non-movant to determine whether, “‘under any reasonable reading of the pleadings, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.'” Colburn v. Upper Darby Twp., 838 F.2d 663, 665-66 (3d Cir. 1988) (quoting Estate of Bailey by Oare v. Cty. of York, 768 F.2d 503, 506 (3d Cir. 1985)). The plaintiff must describe “‘enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of' [each] necessary element” of the claims alleged in the complaint. Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). Moreover, the plaintiff must allege facts that “justify moving the case beyond the pleadings to the next stage of litigation.” Id. at 234-35. In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint, the court may also consider “matters of public record, orders, exhibits attached to the complaint and items appearing in the record of the case.” Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 n.2 (3d Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). The court need not accept legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. See Curay-Cramer v. Ursuline Acad. of Wilmington, Del., Inc., 450 F.3d 130, 133 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997)).


         The defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's ADA claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The ADA is designed to eliminate “discrimination against individuals with disabilities.” 42 U.S.C. § 12101. To establish an ADA discrimination claim, a plaintiff must plead that: (1) he is a disabled person within the meaning of the ADA; (2) he is otherwise qualified to perform the essential functions of the job; and (3) he has suffered an otherwise adverse employment decision as a result of discrimination. Hohider v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 574 F.3d 169, 186 (3d Cir. 2009) (citations omitted).

         In the instant matter, the defendant contests only the first element, that the plaintiff is a disabled person within the meaning of the ADA. Under the ADA, a person qualifies as disabled when he has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, ” “a record of such an impairment, ” or is “regarded as having such an ...

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