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Stewart v. Autorevo Ltd.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

November 8, 2017

PAUL G. STEWART Plaintiff,
v.
AUTOREVO, LTD., and AUTOREVO RC LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 17. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion.

         I.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         This case arises out of alleged disability and race-based employment discrimination. Plaintiff Paul Stewart was employed as one of three national dealer consultants at Defendant AutoRevo from January through May 2014. Doc. 1, Pl.'s Compl., ¶¶ 20, 37. As a national dealer consultant, Stewart telemarketed AutoRevo's products to car dealerships. Id. On May 7, 2014, Stewart presented AutoRevo with a note from his doctor, which stated that Stewart “would benefit from being able to work from home especially while he is being treated for an acute musculoskelatal issue that requires sedating medications.” Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Compl., Ex. A. AutoRevo claims it explained to Stewart that it was concerned about the sedative nature of Stewart's medication and that the company had never allowed employees to work from home indefinitely. Doc. 18, Defs.' Br. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss, 5. According to Stewart, AutoRevo refused to accommodate his request to work from home and “regarded his taking ‘sedative medications' as so physically or mentally impairing that he could not make telephone calls or drive a car.” Doc.1, Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 33. AutoRevo terminated Stewart on May 8, 2014. Id. ¶ 36.

         Stewart filed this action on January 3, 2017, alleging five counts of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and one count of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Doc. 1, Pl.'s Compl. AutoRevo filed its Motion to Dismiss on April 21, 2017, which asks the Court to dismiss Stewart's claims for failure to state a claim under Rules 12(b)(6) and (8)(a). Doc. 17, Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss. Defendants' Motion is ripe for review.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes the Court to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Id. 12(b)(6). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he [C]ourt accepts all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). The Court will “not look beyond the face of the pleadings to determine whether relief should be granted based on the alleged facts.” Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999).

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the [C]ourt to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “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.” Id. When well-pleaded facts fail to meet this plausibility standard, “the complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted).

         III.

         ANALYSIS

         A. ADA Claims

         Stewart pleads five claims under the ADA: AutoRevo failed to participate in an interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations (Count I); Stewart was regarded as disabled and AutoRevo failed to accommodate his disability and treated him less favorably than non-disabled employees (Counts II and IV), and Stewart was actually disabled and AutoRevo failed to accommodate his disability and treated him less favorably than non-disabled employees (Counts III and ...


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