United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
RORY L. LUBOLD, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSITY VETERINARY SPECIALISTS, LLC, ANTHONY HORBAL, APRYLE HORBAL Defendants.
MEMORANDUM ORDER OF COURT
J. Schwab United States District Judge
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint or in the alternative, Motion to
Strike portions of the Complaint. Doc. no. 11. Plaintiff
filed a Response in Opposition to same. Doc no. 17.
reasons set forth more fully herein, the Court will grant, in
part, the Motion to Dismiss and will grant the Motion to
Strike two paragraphs of the Complaint.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Motion to Dismiss - Fed. R.Civ. P. 12(b)(6)
Rule 12(b)(6), a Complaint must be dismissed for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Detailed factual pleading is not required -
Rule 8(a)(2) calls for a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief” - but a Complaint must set forth sufficient
factual allegations that, taken as true, set forth a
plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plausibility standard does not
require a showing of probability that a claim has merit,
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
(2007), but it does require that a pleading show “more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Determining the plausibility of an alleged claim is “a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679
upon the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions in
Twombly and Iqbal, 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).
third step 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); see also Santiago v.
Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (In
reference to third step, “where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, the court should assume their veracity
and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an
entitlement for relief.”).
adjudicating a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a
claim, the Court must view all of the allegations and facts
in the Complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, and must grant the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences that can be derived therefrom.
Kanter v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170, 177 (3d Cir. 2007)
(quoting Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 350 (3d
Cir. 2005)). However, the Court need not accept inferences or
conclusory allegations that are unsupported by the facts set
forth in the complaint. See Reuben v. U.S. Airways,
Inc., 500 F. App'x 103, 104 (3d Cir. 2012) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678); Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside,
578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (stating that District
Courts “must accept all of the Complaint's
well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal
conclusions”). “While legal conclusions can
provide the framework of a Complaint, they must be supported
by factual allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
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, 578 F.3d at 212.
short, a Motion to Dismiss should be granted if a party fails
to allege facts, which could, if established at trial,
entitle him/her to relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563
Motion to Strike - ...