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Potter v. Cardinal Health 200, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division

May 15, 2019

DAVID POTTER, Plaintiff,
v.
CARDINAL HEALTH 200, LLC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          RODNEY GILSTRAP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Cardinal Health 200, LLC's (“Cardinal Health”) Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, Or in The Alternative Rule 12(e) Motion for More Definite Statement (the “First Demurrer”) with respect to Plaintiff David Potter's (“Potter”) Original Complaint (Dkt. No. 1). (Dkt. No. 4 at 1.) Also before the Court is Cardinal Health's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, Or in The Alternative Rule 12(e) Motion for More Definite Statement (the “Second Demurrer”) with respect to Potter's First Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 5). (Dkt. No. 10 at 1.) Additionally, Cardinal has filed a 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, Or in The Alternative Rule 12(e) Motion for More Definite Statement (the “Third Demurrer”) with respect to Potter's Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 20). (Dkt. No. 21 at 1.) For the reasons discussed herein, the First Demurrer is DENIED-AS-MOOT and the Second and Third Demurrers are together GRANTED-IN-PART and DENIED-IN-PART.

         I. Background

         Potter, who is currently 70 years old, was employed as a mold maker at Cardinal Health's facility in Jacksonville, TX. (Dkt. No. 1 ¶¶ 6, 10, 11; Dkt. No. 5 ¶¶ 7, 11, 12; Dkt. No. 20 ¶¶ 7, 11, 12.) Cardinal Health terminated Potter's employment on August 31, 2018. (Dkt. No. 5 ¶ 39; Dkt. No. 20 ¶ 42.)

         On January 8, 2019, Potter filed his Original Complaint (Dkt. No. 1) against Cardinal Health asserting claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 215(a)(3), 216(b). (Id. ¶¶ 1-4.) On February 12, 2019, Cardinal Health filed its First Demurrer directed at Potter's Original Complaint, seeking dismissal or a more definite statement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and (e) as to Potter's ADEA and FLSA claims. (Dkt. No. 4.)

         Potter subsequently filed his First Amended Complaint on February 19, 2019. (Dkt. No. 5.) Potter again asserted ADEA and FLSA claims. (Id. ¶¶ 1-4.) On March 15, 2019, Cardinal Health filed its Second Demurrer directed at Potter's First Amended Complaint, seeking dismissal or a more definite statement under Rule 12(b)(6) and (e) as to Potter's FLSA claims. (Dkt. No. 10.)

         Potter again amended his Complaint on May 2, 2019, asserting ADEA and FLSA claims. (Dkt. No. 20 ¶¶ 1-4 (Second Amended Complaint).) On May 10, 2019, Cardinal Health filed its Third Demurrer directed at Potter's Second Amended Complaint, again seeking dismissal or a more definite statement under Rule 12(b)(6) and (e) as to Potter's FLSA claims. (Dkt. No. 21.)

         II. Legal Standard

         A. Motion to Dismiss

         Rule 8(a)(2) requires that the pleading contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead sufficient facts “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007)). A claim is “plausible on its face” where the pleaded facts allow the court to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         A court must accept the complaint's factual allegations as true and must “draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.” Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232 (5th Cir. 2009). However, the Court need not accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. To be legally sufficient, the complaint must establish more than a “sheer possibility” that the plaintiff's claims are true. Id. The complaint must contain enough factual allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of each element of the plaintiff's claim. Lormand, 565 F.3d at 255-57. In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court considers only the contents of the pleadings, including their attachments. Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 498 (5th Cir. 2000). If it is apparent from the face of the complaint that an insurmountable bar to relief exists, and the plaintiff is not entitled to relief, the court must dismiss the claim. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).

         B. Motion for More Definite Statement

         A court may also require a plaintiff to amend a complaint to include a more definite statement “of its claim.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). “If a pleading fails to specify the allegations in a manner that provides sufficient notice, a defendant can move for a more definite statement . . . before responding.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002). However, where “a defendant is complaining of matters that can be clarified and developed during discovery, not matters that impede his ability to form a responsive pleading, an order directing the plaintiff to provide a more definite statement is not warranted.” Hoffman v. Cemex, Inc., No. H-09-2144, 2009 WL 4825224, at *3 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 8, 2009) (citing Arista Records LLC v. Greubel, 453 F.Supp.2d 961, 972 (N.D. Tex. 2006)).

         III. ...


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