United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
Glen E. Conrad, Senior United States District Judge
McCarthy, proceeding pro se, filed this action under the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA")
against the University of Virginia Health System, Dr. Nathan
Fountain, Jan Garnett, Emile Patterson, and Linda Anderson.
The case is presently before the court on the defendants'
motion to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the court
will grant the defendants' motion.
following factual allegations, taken from the plaintiffs
complaint, are accepted as true for purposes of the pending
motion to dismiss. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 924 (2007) ("[W]hen ruling on a defendant's
motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint.").
is a registered nurse who worked in the University of
Virginia Health System ("UVA Health System") from
2000 to 2018. Compl. ¶ 10, Dkt. No. 1. Since 2016,
McCarthy has suffered from "multiple psychiatric
diagnoses," including post-traumatic stress disorder,
anorexia, and anxiety. Id. ¶¶ 10, 11.
"She has lost over 60 pounds ... [and] has to take
Valium, three times a day, to avoid a constant near panic
level of anxiety." Id. ¶ 10. Additionally,
the plaintiff "has failed 5 different drug trials, as
well as behavioral cognitive therapy." Id.
plaintiff alleges that her psychiatric conditions were caused
by incidents at work involving violent patients. Id.
In March of 2016, McCarthy took medical leave "in an
effort to recover from . . . multiple traumatic events."
Id. ¶ 12. She sought treatment from a private
physician, who prescribed anti-depressants and a medication
for anxiety. Id. When McCarthy returned to work in
May of 2016, she requested, and was granted, accommodations
for her impairments. Id. Specifically, McCarthy
requested that she not be assigned to violent patients and
that she work only eight-hour shifts from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00
p.m. Id. With these conditions in place, as well as
several new policies addressing staff safety, "the
plaintiff felt safe enough to return to work."
alleges that her requested accommodations were honored until
January of 2018. Id. At some point that month,
McCarthy was assigned a patient who had previously assaulted
multiple staff members and proceeded to hit, kick, and spit
on the plaintiff. Id. ¶ 13. That same month,
McCarthy "suffered an incident of sexual misconduct by a
demented patient" and was assigned two other patients
"with known histories of post seizure violence."
Id. ¶¶ 14, 16.
21, 2018, McCarthy filed a charge of discrimination with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"),
alleging that she was denied a reasonable accommodation for
her disability in violation of the ADA. Charge of
Discrimination, Dkt. No. 12-1. McCarthy reported that she had
not returned to work since February 4, 2018 and that she had
been placed on short-term disability leave. Id.
McCarthy is now on long-term disability leave based on
"multiple psychiatric diagnoses." Compl. ¶ 4.
The plaintiff alleges that she is currently unable to work as
a nurse in any capacity. Id.
filed the instant action against the UVA Health System, Dr.
Fountain, Garnett, Patterson, and Anderson on December 28,
2018. McCarthy indicates that Dr. Fountain is the director of
the unit in which she worked, that Garnett is the unit
manager, and that Patterson and Anderson are shift managers.
The plaintiff claims that the defendants failed to
accommodate her disability, in violation of the ADA. The
plaintiffs complaint also includes a single reference to the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.
March 27, 2019, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint
under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. The motion has been fully briefed and is
ripe for review.
12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
party to move for dismissal of an action for lack of subj ect
matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff bears the burden of
proving that subject matter jurisdiction exists. Evans v.
B. F. Perkins Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999).
Dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is
appropriate "if the material jurisdictional facts are
not in dispute and the moving party is entitled to prevail as
a matter of law." Id. (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted).
12(b)(6) permits a party to move for dismissal of a complaint
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. When deciding a motion to dismiss under this rule,
the court must accept as true all well-pleaded allegations
and draw all reasonable factual inferences in the plaintiffs
favor. Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94. "While a
complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does
not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiffs
obligation to provide the grounds of [her] entitlement to
relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citation and quotation marks
omitted). To survive dismissal, "a complaint must