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Crittendon v. Arai Americas, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

January 28, 2014

MARGARET CRITTENDON, Plaintiff,
v.
ARAI AMERICAS, INC., ET AL, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT G. DOUMAR, Senior District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Adrian Speller's ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). ECF No. 11. Margaret Crittendon ("Plaintiff") filed a response. ECF No. 15. Defendants replied. ECF No. 19. The Motion is ripe for determination, and Defendant, the movant, requests ruling on the papers. For the reasons herein, the Court GRANTS Defendant Speller's Motion to Dismiss as to Count III. ECF No. 11.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed a five-count Amended Complaint in Chesapeake Circuit Court in Virginia against Arai Americas, Inc., her former employer and the employer of the other named defendants, as well as Adrian Speller, Deborah Ragsdale., Junichi Fukano, and Nicole Francis, individually and as agents of Arai Americas, Inc. ECF. No. 1, Doc. 1-4. Plaintiff alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as Defamation and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

Arai Americas, Inc. and Junichi Fukano removed the case to federal court with the consent of all named Defendants on October 17, 2013. ECF No. 1. Defendants filed the instant motions October 24, 2013. ECF Nos. 5, 8, 11. Defendants Deborah Ragsdale and Nicole Francis together filed a Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 5. Defendants Arai Americas, Inc. and Junichi Fukano filed another joint Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 8. And Defendant Adrian Speller filed her own Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 11. Defendants Fukano and Arai Americas, Inc. also demurred in Chesapeake Circuit Court and ask the Court to convert that Demurrer into a Partial Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Plaintiff responded to all three Motions November 4, 2013. ECF Nos. 13, 14, 15. Defendants all replied on November 12, 2013. ECF Nos. 17, 18, 19.

On December 6, 2013, per the Motions, Responses, and the Parties' Agreements, the Court dismissed: Count I (Title VII) as to all Defendants but Arai Americas, Inc.; Count II (Equal Pay Act) as to Deborah Ragsdale, Nicole Francis, and Junichi Fukano; and Count III (Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA) as to Deborah Ragsdale and Nicole Francis

On January 3, 2014, the Court dismissed Count 5 as to all five Defendants. ECF No. 21. Plaintiff did not amend her Amended Complaint within the permitted timeframe. On January 28, 2014, the Court denied Defendants' Fukano and Arai Americas, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss on the basis of their state court Demurrer. ECF Nos. 22 & 23.

To keep the five Defendants and the various counts alleged clear, the Court will handle each Defendant in separate orders. This Order addresses Defendant Speller and Count III (FMLA), which she seeks to dismiss. Defendant Speller also points out that Count II (EPA) does not countenance her as a liable party.

II. FACTUAL HISTORY

Plaintiff is a former employee of Arai Americas, Inc., Plaintiff worked at Arai Americas' Virginia Beach, Virginia facility from February 2008, was promoted to Senior Vice President on July 17, 2009, and terminated on August 13, 2012.

Plaintiff, concerning Count III, alleges that:

1. Plaintiff was provided a July 24, 2012 memorandum from Arai Americas, Inc., signed by Defendant approving her FMLA leave, beginning July 16, 2012. Am. Compl. ¶ 31.
2. Plaintiff was illegitimately prevented from obtaining FMLA benefits by Defendant and others. Am. Compl. ¶ 32.
3. Plaintiff's illness constituted a serious health condition within the meaning of the FMLA and/or its implementing regulations, of which Arai ...

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