United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
DIE K. BLAISE, Plaintiff,
SANDRA HARRIS, and VIBRA HOSPITAL OF RICHMOND, LLC Defendants.
E. Payne Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' MOTION TO
DISMISS (Docket No. 10). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' MOTION TO DISMISS will be granted. (Docket
Complaint states that Die K. Blaise ("Blaise") was
a pharmacist at Vibra Hospital of Richmond, LLC
("Vibra") beginning on May 20, 2013. (Compl. 1). On
September 1, 2013, Vibra replaced its pharmacy entry system.
(Compl. 2). Blaise states that all pharmacists other than
himself were trained extensively in the new system, and that,
as a result of Blaise's abbreviated training, "it
took a little longer to process some medication
orders" using the new system. (Compl. 3). The training
program notwithstanding, "[m]edication errors [were] a
system wide issue" after the system switch. (Compl. 3).
During the transition to the new system, the Director of
Pharmacy, Dr. Sandra Harris ("Harris") began to
schedule other pharmacists more frequently and to schedule
Blaise less frequently. (Compl. 3).
December 18, 2013, Blaise's employment was terminated for
"medication errors." (Compl. 1-2). Blaise states
that these "medication errors" were fabricated by
Harris to "terminate [Blaise's] position as a
pharmacist" and "to dilute a discrimination
case" (Compl. 2), and that any medication errors that
did occur also occurred for other pharmacists who were not
fired. (Compl. 2-3).
unspecified point, Harris filed a complaint with the Virginia
Board of Pharmacy based on Blaise's performance at Vibra.
(Compl. 2) . The Board of Pharmacy notified Blaise of
Harris's complaint on February 27, 2015. (Compl. 2).
Blaise states that he was never accused of patient safety
concerns while at Vibra. (Compl. 2).
August 4, 2015, Blaise filed a charge of discrimination with
the EEOC. The Complaint states that the EEOC issued a Right
to Sue notice on December 28, 2015. (Compl. 2).
January 12, 2016, Blaise filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis and a proposed Complaint. (Docket No. 1) . On March
17, 2016, Blaise paid the civil filing fee (Docket No. 4) and
filed his Complaint (Docket No. 5).
Complaint alleges four claims, titled "Harassments,
" "Race, Color, and National Origin, "
"Disability, " and "Vibra Hospital of Richmond
Violates its own policy." (Compl. ¶ 3-4).
and Vibra (collectively "Defendants") filed this
motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (Docket No. 10)
on several grounds, including that all claims are
time-barred, that Blaise has not pled membership in a
protected class, and that Harris is not liable in her
individual capacity. (Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Def.'s
Mtn. to Dismiss, Docket No. 11) ("Def.'s
Se Litigants Are Entitled to Liberal Construction
threshold matter, the Court recognizes that Blaise's pro
se status entitles his pleadings to a liberal construction.
See, e.g., Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007) (citations omitted); Gordon v. Leeke, 574
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). Nevertheless, "[e]ven
pro se plaintiffs must recognize Rule 8's vision for
'a system of simplified pleadings that give notice of the
general claim asserted, allow for the preparation of a basic
defense, narrow the issues to be litigated, and provide a
means for quick dispositions of sham claims." Sewraz
v. Guice, 2008 WL 3926443, at *2 (E.D. Va. Aug. 26,
2008) (quoting Prezzi v. Berzak, 57 F.R.D. 149, 151
(S.D.N.Y. 1972)). The requirement of liberal construction
*does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in
the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim
cognizable in a federal district court. Skelton v.
EPA, 2009 WL 2191981, at *2 (D.S.C. July 16, 2009}
(citing Weller v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387
(4th Cir. 1990)). Finally, the basic pleading standards set
by Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) that
foreclose conclusory, factually unsupported claims apply to
pro se litigants.
motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) challenges the
legal sufficiency of a complaint. Jordan v. Alternative
Resources Corp., 458 F.3d 332, 338 (4th Cir.2006).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) "requires only a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what
the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
McCleary-Evans v. Maryland Dep't of Transp., State
Highway Admin., 780 F.3d 582, 585 (4th Cir. 2015)
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court
must "draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff." Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v.
Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 253 (4th Cir.
2009). However, while the court must "will accept the
pleader's description of what happened" and
"any conclusions that can be reasonably drawn therefrom,
" the court "need not accept conclusory allegations
encompassing the legal effects of the pleaded facts, "
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice
and Procedure § 1357 (3d ed.1998); Chamblee v. Old
Dominion Sec. Co., L.L.C., No. 3:13CV820, 2014 WL
1415095, *4 (E.D. Va. 2014). Nor is the court required to
accept as true a legal conclusion unsupported by factual
allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79.
"Twombly and Iqbal also made clear that the analytical
approach for evaluating Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss
requires courts to reject conclusory allegations that amount
to mere formulaic recitation of the elements of a claim and
to conduct a context-specific analysis to determine whether
the well-pleaded factual allegations plausibly suggest an
entitlement to relief." Wright & Miller, supra;
first count, labeled "Harassment, " alleges that
Blaise's supervisor, Harris,
made my work environment so uncomfortable and hostile that
[I] was prone to mistake. Harassments include offensive
remarks and frequent phone calls in respect to overtime . . .
Harris regularly . . . asked me to leave at the end of my
shift regardless of the workload to be completed. This
cause[d] me to rush to complete the daily tasks and
result[ed] in unsafe patient care ... [Harris] ...