United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Darnell Jones, II
Evette Boyle (“Plaintiff”) commenced the
above-captioned action against Defendant PMA Medical
Specialists, LLC (“PMA”) and John Doe Defendants
No. 1-10, alleging violations of: Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2(a), et
seq. (“Title VII”) (Count I); Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C.A. §621,
et seq. (“ADEA”) (Count II); and The
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. C.S.A. §951,
et seq. (“PHRA”) (Count III). Defendant
PMA has filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
for failure to state a claim. For the reasons set forth
below, Defendant's Motion shall be granted.
case arises out of Plaintiff Evette Boyle's termination
from employment at PMA Medical Specialists, LLC. Defendant
PMA Medical Specialists, LLC is a limited liability company
incorporated and domiciled in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶ 2.) Defendants John Does are
employees who were allegedly involved in the events set forth
in Plaintiff's Complaint. (Compl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff
claims her termination was motivated by her status as a
Jewish woman who was older than her co-workers. (Compl.
about August 28, 2008, Plaintiff was hired as a sleep
technician by Defendant PMA. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff
alleges that from January 2010 until her termination, she was
the subject of a hostile work environment by the conduct of
her supervisor Rob Carney and her coworker, Angelo DeMaio.
(Compl. ¶ 11.) On or about January 13, 2010, Mr. Carney
allegedly threw a jar of paste at Plaintiff. (Compl.
¶14.) On or about November 20, 2010, Plaintiff raised a
disagreement about “seniority” with Mr. DeMaio,
who Plaintiff alleges referred to her as a
“cunt.” (Compl. ¶¶16-17.) Plaintiff
Boyle complained to Mr. Carney, who advised Ms. Boyle to
“work it out between you two.” (Compl. ¶19.)
Also in 2010, Plaintiff alleges that as she was having a
discussion with Mr. DeMaio about their salaries, Mr. DeMaio
said that the doctors who own PMA were “money hungry
grubbing Jews.” (Compl. ¶ 21.)
about August 21, 2015, Defendant terminated Ms. Boyle's
employment. (Compl. ¶ 26.) Plaintiff learned three weeks
prior to her termination that Defendant hired two new sleep
technicians who were younger than Ms. Boyle and were not
Jewish. (Compl. ¶¶ 27-28.) Plaintiff alleges that
Mr. Carney told her Defendant “had no room here for
someone like you.” (Compl. ¶29.) When Plaintiff
inquired as to the meaning of his statement, he allegedly
told her “we owe you nothing, you're done.”
(Compl. ¶ 31.)
filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) and on February 23, 2016, was
issued a right-to-sue letter. (Compl. Ex. A.) On or about
February 28, 2016, the EEOC right-to-sue letter reached
Plaintiff's counsel. (Compl. Ex. A.) On March 24, 2016,
Defendant PMA filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of
the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (Def.'s Ex. A.) On
or about May 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant federal
civil action Complaint. (ECF No. 1.) However, the bankruptcy
petition had the effect of staying Plaintiff's action
against Defendant in this Court. (ECF No. 8.) On or about May
4, 2016, the bankruptcy court entered an Order setting July
8, 2016 as the general bar date for filing proofs of claim.
(Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. B.) On May 24, 2016, Plaintiff
mailed a copy of the Complaint to Defendant. (Pl.'s Br.
Opp'n Mot. Dismiss 1.) On or about June 2, 2016, PMA
filed an amended schedule of unsecured claims with the
bankruptcy court, including Plaintiff's claim, as
contingent, unliquidated, and disputed in unknown amount.
(Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. D.) On June 8, 2016, Defendant
PMA served a copy of the amended schedule and on June 10,
2016, Plaintiff received a notice of Defendant's
bankruptcy filing. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. D.; Pl.'s
Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. B.) Defendant's
counsel sent Plaintiff's counsel written correspondence
on June 14, 2016, informing him that Plaintiff's
Complaint was filed after the bankruptcy petition date and in
violation of the stay ordered by the bankruptcy court.
(Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. E.) On June 20, 2016, PMA served
Plaintiff with the notice of the bar date for filing proofs
of claim. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. F.) Defendant served
the Second Amended Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure
Statement on creditors on August 3, 2016, and on September 6,
2016, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order confirming t said
Plan. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. H.) The Plan was served on
all of Defendant's creditors- including Plaintiff- on
September 6, 2016. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. I.) On
November 16, 2016, this Court stayed the instant matter,
pending further action by the bankruptcy court. (ECF Doc. No.
January 25, 2017, the bankruptcy court granted Defendant
PMA's motion for a final decree and closing of the
bankruptcy. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. J.) Plaintiff was
present at the January 30, 2017 hearing and petitioned for
relief from the stay imposed by the bankruptcy filing.
(Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. K.) The bankruptcy court denied
Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Stay. (Def.'s Mot.
Dismiss Ex. K.) On February 1, 2017, the bankruptcy case was
closed and a final decree was entered. (Pl.'s Br.
Opp'n Mot. Dismiss 2.)
Plaintiff's Failure to File a Timely Proof of Claim Bars
Her Complaint in This Court
Rule 3003(c) “requires that claimants against an estate
in bankruptcy under Chapter 11 file timely proofs of claim in
order to participate in a reorganization.”
Chemetron Corp. v. Jones, 72 F.3d 341, 346 (3d Cir.
1995). “These proofs of claim must be filed prior to a
bar date established by the bankruptcy court.”
Chemetron Corp. v. Jones, 72 F.3d at 346 (citing
Fed. R. Bank. P. 3003(c)(3)). It is well established that
“after the passage of the bar claims date, a claimant
cannot participate in the reorganization unless she
establishes sufficient grounds for the failure to file a
proof of claim.” Chemetron, 72 F.2d at 346.
When the court is considering whether a creditor's
failure to file a proof of claim is excusable, the creditor
is afforded the “fundamental principles of due
process.” JELD-WEN, Inc. v. Van Brunt (In re
Grossman's Inc.), 607 F.3d 114, 125 (3d Cir. 2010).
“Notice is an elementary and fundamental requirement of
due process in any proceeding which is to be accorded
finality.” JELD-WEN, 607 F.3d at 126 (citing
11 U.S.C.S. § 342(a)). “Without notice of a
bankruptcy claim, the claimant will not have a meaningful
opportunity to protect his or her claim.”
JELD-WEN, 607 F.3d. at 126.
maintains that Plaintiff's claim is barred due to her
failure to file a proof of claim. Indeed, there is no
evidence that Plaintiff made any effort to file a claim even
after the passing of the bar date on July 8, 2016. Plaintiff
was on notice as to Defendant's bankruptcy, as she was
served with copies of the amended schedule on June 2, 2016
and June 8, 2016. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. D.) On June
10, 2016, Plaintiff's counsel received a copy of
Defendant PMA's bankruptcy and on June 20, 2016, served
Plaintiff with notice of the bankruptcy court's July 8,
2016 bar date for filing proofs of claim. (Pl.'s
Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. B; Def.'s Mot.
Dismiss Ex. F.) Accordingly, Plaintiff received notice of the
bankruptcy on several occasions, yet did not act on these
notices. See, Chemetron Corp., 72 F.3d at
341 (permitting Plaintiff's motion to file late claims
only after the defendant failed to inform Plaintiffs of the
general bar date for filing of their claims). Plaintiff was
afforded her due process right to notice of Defendant
PMA's bankruptcy and was therefore given
“meaningful opportunity” to protect her claim.
When Plaintiff failed to comply with the procedures of the
bankruptcy court in filing a proof of claim, she relinquished
her right to protect same. Accordingly, she is not entitled
to relief on this basis.
Plaintiff Was Not Entitled to Relief from ...