Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Marshall v. Burnley

United States District Court, D. Kansas

December 14, 2017

KRYSTAL MARSHALL, and MILTON J. DAVISON, Plaintiffs,
v.
BENJAMIN BURNLEY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. THOMAS MARTEN, JUDGE

         Plaintiffs filed this pro se action against a multitude of defendants, asserting various claims including disability discrimination, battery, false arrest, conspiracy, outrage, and deprivation of constitutional rights. (Dkt. 1). The matter is now before the court on a number of pending motions.

         I. Summary of Complaint

         According to the complaint, Krystal Marshall is a disabled individual with a “congenital renal system abnormality” as well as an “orthopedic foot condition that impairs mobility.” She serves as a home care assistant to Milton Davison, who is “a legally deaf disabled American veteran” with numerous “service-connected physical disabilities that … [limit] his … mobility.” (Dkt. 1 at 4).

         The complaint appears to assert claims arising out of two unrelated incidents. One incident allegedly occurred on May 3, 2016, when Marshall attended a concert at the Cotillion Ballroom in Wichita. Breaking Benjamin, a five-member alternative rock band from Pennsylvania, was playing. At some point, according to the complaint, “the Cotillion staff and production crews (Rainbow) under [the] direction of Breaking Benjamin erected a double metal barrier blocking the dining seating and restaurant areas, bathroom facilities, and exits….” (Dkt. 1 at 7). Marshall alleges that “upon disclosing her disability and seeking accommodation access to the bathroom facility and dining seating areas[, ] [she] was publically subjected to sexual battery[, ] multiple assaults and batteries, kidnapping, and false arrest/imprisonment, under the direction of Breaking Benjamin by Rainbow, and Cotillion staff….” (Id. at 8).

         The complaint alleges that an “unidentified Rainbow employee male deliberately grabbed [plaintiff] [and] pushed her, ” and that with assistance from unidentified defendants Molly Doe and Female Doe, they restrained her and “committed sexual battery, ” with Molly Doe pushing plaintiff and kicking her from behind while Marshall was on the floor. These three individuals allegedly flipped Marshall on her back, pushed her down and pinned her, and Molly Doe then “grabbed [Marshall's] bra with her shirt and pulled it hard upwards to deliberately and forcibly expose [Marshall's] breasts to the crowd near the barrier….” (Id. at 9).

         The complaint alleges a second incident occurred on September 3, 2016, when plaintiff Milton Davison went to the Dueling Piano Bar in Wichita, where he was served alcohol and was then allegedly “kick[ed] out because his disabilities became ‘disturbing' to a customer.” (Dkt. 1 at 7). Davison went outside, and then “returned seeking access to the bathroom facilities to relieve himself … and to administer prescribed medication.” He was then allegedly “placed under false arrest by [defendant Bob Adams, a Wichita police officer] without an interpreter for the hearing impaired … and taken to be drugged under false pretenses with toxic levels of part of lethal [sic] injection cocktail wherein he almost went into cardiac syncope and stroke, and died.” (Id.).

         Count One of the complaint alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12132 or § 12182 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by excluding or denying benefits of a public entity or the facilities of a public accommodation to a qualified person with a disability. Count Two alleges claims for sexual battery and assault and battery based on the incident at the Cotillion. Count Three alleges claims for false arrest and false imprisonment based upon the separate incidents at the Cotillion and the Dueling Piano Bar. Count Four alleges civil conspiracy against Breaking Benjamin, Hollywood Records, Inc., Catherine Leslie (identified as the owner of the Cotillion), Dueling Piano Bar, the Wichita City Council, and Sedgwick County. Among other things, plaintiffs allege these defendants “acted in agreement to cover-up illegal activities involving Wells Fargo Bank” and others, and to cover up criminal complaints filed by plaintiffs, and that defendant Hollywood Records, Inc. is involved because plaintiffs' minor daughter “was kidnapped from Redding, California by Penn State officials with forged Probate documentation purporting to be from the state of New Hampshire, ” and Breaking Benjamin performs regularly at Penn State and is aided by “Hollywood Productions” [sic] on a contractual basis. (Dkt. 1 at 13). Count Five alleges the tort of outrage based on the Cotillion and Dueling Piano Bar incidents. Count Six alleges a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of constitutional rights including “disregard[ing] the civil rights of disabled individuals” and unlawful arrest. (Id. at 16).

         II. Standards Governing Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss

         Several of the defendants move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ” The Estate of Lockett by & through Lockett v. Fallin, 841 F.3d 1098, 1106-07 (10th Cir. 2016), cert. denied sub nom. Lockett v. Fallin, 137 S.Ct. 2298 (2017) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible if it pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and view those allegations in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Dias v. City & Cty. of Denver, 567 F.3d 1169, 1178 (10th Cir. 2009).

         The plausibility standard “asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Mere “labels and conclusions” and “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Moreover, “[t]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         III. Breaking Benjamin Defendants (Dkt. 42)

         Defendants Benjamin Burnley, Jason Rauch, Keith Wallen, Shaun Foist, Aaron Bruch, and Breaking Benjamin move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Dkt. 43 at 6). They also seek dismissal for insufficient service of process under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5). Plaintiffs have not specifically responded to the motion, although they filed a “Motion to object to Benjamin's [sic] Burnley of Council [sic], ” (Dkt. 58), as well as responses to another defendant's motion to dismiss. (Dkts. 60, 69).

         The court finds Count One of the complaint fails to state a valid claim for relief against any of the Breaking Benjamin defendants. The complaint does not allege that these defendants were a public entity, and it thus fails to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 12132. See 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1) (defining “public entity” as a state or local government, an instrumentality of a state or local government, or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation or other commuter authority). Nor does the complaint allege facts showing these defendants owned, leased, or operated a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12182. The complaint's sole allegation in that regard is that Cotillion and Rainbow staff allegedly set up a metal barrier “under [the] direction of Breaking Benjamin.” The latter allegation is unexplained and conclusory, as is much of the plaintiffs' complaint, and fails to show that these defendants had authority that made them the operator of a public accommodation. Counts Two and Three contain no allegations against the Breaking Benjamin defendants that could make them liable for the acts alleged. Count Four, the civil conspiracy count, consists almost entirely of conclusory allegations. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). It fails to a state a valid claim for relief against any of the defendants. Count Five asserts the tort of outrage but fails to allege any act by the Breaking Benjamin defendants that could support such a claim. Finally, Count Six, which invokes 42 U.S.C. § 1983, fails to state a claim for relief against the Breaking Benjamin defendants because it does not allege that these defendants acted under color of state law. See Polk Cnty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 315 (1981) (to state a claim under § 1983, the complaint must allege that the defendants acted under color of state law). Accordingly, the court grants the motion to dismiss (Dkt. 42) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Moreover, the court determines that any attempt by plaintiffs to amend the complaint to remedy the foregoing defects would be futile. Accordingly, the dismissal of the claims against these defendants will be with prejudice.

         IV. Hollywood ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.