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Rochelle v. CVS Caremark

United States District Court, D. Kansas, Kansas City Division.

June 8, 2015

CVS CAREMARK, Defendant.


Daniel D. Crabtree United States District Judge

Plaintiff Marquan Rochelle filed this lawsuit pro se on September 19, 2014 (Doc. 1), alleging that defendant CVS Caremark discriminated against him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). This matter comes before the Court on defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9). For the following reasons, the Court grants defendant’s motion.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff, an African-American man, brings Title VII claims for race and gender discrimination. He also brings an ADA claim for disability discrimination. He alleges that defendant unlawfully harassed him, reduced his wages, retaliated against him, and ultimately terminated his employment. Plaintiff’s Complaint, made on the “Employment Discrimination Complaint” form provided by this Court, contains virtually no factual support for these claims. Paragraph 10 of the form Complaint asks plaintiff to state the essential facts of his claim. In response, plaintiff alleges: “Complain about discrimination to employer, refuse to file complaint, terminated employment.” Doc. 1 at ¶ 10. He never identifies any disability and states simply, “Employer did not provid[e] accommodation for my disability.” Id. at ¶ 13.

Plaintiff attaches to his Complaint a Charge of Discrimination that he filed on June 11, 2014, as well as the right-to-sue letter that the EEOC issued in response to this Charge.[1] His Charge of Discrimination provides some facts about the alleged discrimination, and the Court recites them fully here:

I was hired on September 30, 2013, as a Customer Service Representative. On October 8, 2013, I was written up. On October 9, 2013, I was disciplined for harassing a female co-worker. On October 18, 2013, I complained about my wages. On October 23, I complained to management and human resources that my supervisor made disparaging comments about my disability. On the same day, I was made to work alone while everyone else worked in a group. On October 25, 2013, I was accused of harassing a female co-worker. On November 4, 2013, I was discharged.
Management indicated that I was discharged because a female accused me of harassment.
I believe that I was disciplined, harassed and falsely accused of harassing a female co-worker because of my race, black, and sex, male, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; I also believe that I was harassed and discharged because of my disability and in retaliation for complaining, I was discharged.

Doc. 1 at 7.

Defendant filed this motion to dismiss on October 31, 2014. On December 31, 2014 and January 12, 2015, plaintiff filed Motions to Amend his Complaint (Docs. 17, 19) to which defendant filed a response on January 14, 2015 (Doc. 20). On February 2, 2015, plaintiff filed a brief both supporting his motions to amend and opposing defendant’s motion to dismiss (Doc. 21). On February 27, 2015, Judge James issued an Order (Doc. 24) denying without prejudice plaintiff’s motions to amend because plaintiff failed to attach his proposed amended complaint to his motion, as required by D. Kan. Rule 15.1(a)(2). Plaintiff has not sought to amend his complaint since Judge James’ Order. Defendant has filed a reply in support of its motion to dismiss (Doc. 23), and therefore this motion is ripe for decision.

II. Legal Standard

“‘[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.’” Asebedo v. Kan. State Univ., 559 F. App’x 668, 670 (10th Cir. 2014) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009)). In Iqbal and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007), the Supreme Court created “‘a middle ground between heightened fact pleading, which is expressly rejected, and allowing complaints that are no more than labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, which the Court stated will not do.’” Khalik v. United Air Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1191 (10th Cir. 2012) (quoting Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008)). “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

Although the Court must assume that the factual allegations in the complaint are true, it is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quotation omitted). “‘Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice’” to state a claim for relief. Bixler v. Foster, 596 F.3d 751, 756 (10th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Plaintiffs are not required to allege all the elements of a prima facie case of discrimination specifically. Asebedo, 559 F. App’x at 670. “Nevertheless, ‘the elements of each alleged cause of action help to determine whether [p]laintiff has set forth a plausible claim.’” Id. (quoting Khalik, 671 F.3d at 1192). “[G]eneral assertions of discrimination and retaliation, without any details whatsoever of events leading up to [the plaintiff’s] termination, are insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. While specific facts are not necessary, . . . some facts are.” Khalik, 671 F.3d at 1193 (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted).

When evaluating a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court may consider not only the complaint itself, but also attached exhibits and documents incorporated into the complaint by reference. Smith v. United ...

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