United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Beckley
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. VOLK, UNITED SLATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 4]
(“motion to dismiss”) filed September 19, 2019.
For the reasons stated within, the motion is granted as
August 16, 2019, Plaintiff Matthew Shamblin instituted this
action in the Circuit Court of Raleigh County [Doc. 1, Ex.
A]. The Complaint alleges that Defendant Raleigh General
Hospital, LLC (“Raleigh General”) failed to
provide Mr. Shamblin a “Final Notice” prior to
his termination for absenteeism or tardiness [Id. at
¶ 8]. The Complaint alleges that a Final Notice is
required under the Raleigh General Hospital Administration
Policy (the “policy”) and that Raleigh General
enforced the policy “differently according to each
employee” [Id. at ¶¶ 8, 9]. Raleigh
General timely removed the action on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction [Doc. 1] and thereafter moved to dismiss [Doc.
3]. Raleigh General asserts that the Complaint fails to state
a claim under the West Virginia Human Rights Act, West
Virginia Code § 5-11-2 (the “WVHRA”).
Specifically, Raleigh General seeks dismissal inasmuch as the
Complaint does not allege that Mr. Shamblin is a member of a
protected class or that membership in a protected class
played a role in his termination [Doc. 4 at 3]. Raleigh
General further contends that the Complaint fails to state a
claim for breach of contract.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that a pleader
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing . . . entitle[ment] to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007).
Rule 12(b)(6) correspondingly permits a defendant to
challenge a complaint when it “fail[s] to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P.
required “short and plain statement” must provide
“‘fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957),
overruled on other grounds, Twombly, 550
U.S. at 562-63); McCleary-Evans v. Maryland Dep't of
Transp., State Highway Admin., 780 F.3d 582, 585 (4th
Cir. 2015). Additionally, the showing of an
“entitlement to relief” amounts to “more
than labels and conclusions . . . .” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 558. It is now settled that “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Id. at 555; McCleary-Evans, 780
F.3d at 585; Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298,
304 (4th Cir. 2008).
complaint need not “plead facts sufficient to establish
a prima facie case . . . to survive a motion to dismiss, but
. . . the more stringent pleading standard established in
Iqbal and Twombly applies.” Woods
v. City of Greensboro, 855 F.3d 639, 648 (4th Cir. 2017)
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569-70). Stated another
way, the operative pleading need only contain
“[f]actual allegations . . . [sufficient] to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (noting the opening
pleading “does not require ‘detailed factual
allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.”). In
sum, the complaint must allege "enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
decision in Iqbal provides some additional markers
concerning the plausibility requirement:
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. The plausibility standard is not akin to a
“probability requirement, ” but it 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.
. . .'”
Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for
relief will, as the Court of Appeals observed, be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense. But where
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged -- but it has not “show[n]” --
“that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
In keeping with these principles a court considering a motion
to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can
provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported
by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79 (citations omitted).
noted in Iqbal, the Supreme Court has consistently
interpreted the Rule 12(b)(6) standard to require a court to
“‘accept as true all of the factual allegations
contained in the complaint . . . .'”
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555); see also SouthCarolina Dept.
of Health and Environmental Control v. Commerce and Industry
Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 245, 255 (4th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Franks v. Ross, 313 F.3d 184, 192 (4th Cir. 2002)).
The Court is additionally required to “draw all
reasonable . . . inferences from those facts in the
plaintiff's favor . . . .” Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir.
1999). Lest one lose the forest for the trees, it
bears emphasizing that, “[A] well-pleaded complaint may
proceed even if it ...