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Du Bois v. King

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

August 15, 2019

JACQUELINE C. DU BOIS, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., FAMILY CLINIC d.b.a. FOREMOST FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS, Defendant.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          REBECCA RUTHERFORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Martin Luther King, Jr., Family Clinic d.b.a. Foremost Family Health Centers's Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (the “Motion”). Def.'s Mot. (ECF No. 29). For the reasons stated, the District Court should GRANT the Motion and dismiss Plaintiff Jacqueline C. Du Bois's Amended Complaint with prejudice.

         Background

         This lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions arising out of the employment and subsequent termination of pro se Plaintiff Jacqueline C. Du Bois, a pediatrician who worked as Chief Medical Officer for Defendant Martin Luther King, Jr., Family Clinic d.b.a. Foremost Family Health Centers (Foremost) from August 2013 to August 2015. Am. Compl. at 2 (ECF No. 28). Foremost and Du Bois entered into an Employment Agreement on August 8, 2013, setting forth terms and conditions of employment. Id.; see also Def.'s App. at 293-307 (ECF No. 31). But Foremost and Du Bois's working relationship deteriorated. Am. Compl. at 2. Du Bois purportedly faced several challenges and experienced mistreatment during her time at Foremost. Specifically, Du Bois alleges that she experienced race, color, gender, and age discrimination during her employment. Id. She also avers because “her work environment became severely hostile, ” she was prepared to resign. Id. Instead, Du Bois alleges she was “abruptly terminated.” Id. For its part, Foremost maintains that it terminated Du Bois in August 2015 when it learned she failed to renew her certification to prescribe controlled substances and had prescribed controlled substances to at least four patients while her certification was expired. Def.'s App. at 106-07, 308-16, 324-29. Also, after Foremost terminated Du Bois, it learned she failed to complete at least 249 patient records. Id. at 317-21. Because Du Bois failed to timely complete medical records and prescribed controlled substances with an expired certification, Foremost was required to file a report with the Texas Medical Board, which agreed Du Bois failed to maintain proper medical records and prescribed controlled substances with an expired certificate. Id. at 323-29.

         Du Bois filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) on October 24, 2015. Id. at 10-14. Du Bois's EEOC Charge indicates Foremost discriminated against her based on color, sex, and age and retaliated against her. Id. Before receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, Du Bois filed suit against Foremost on November 18, 2015, in the 68th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, Texas, with Cause No. DC-15-14073 (the “State Court Lawsuit”). Id. at 107. On August 3, 2016, Foremost filed a Motion to Abate in the State Court Lawsuit. Id. at 3-26. In her response to Foremost's Motion to Abate, Du Bois admitted she reported Foremost to the EEOC for: (1) “discrimination based on color, sex and age”; (2) “violation of the Equal Pay Act”; and (3) “retaliation for reporting same[.]” Id. at 28.

         Foremost sought to obtain a favorable judgment in advance of trial by filing successive summary judgment motions. On August 31, 2016, Foremost filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (“First Motion for Summary Judgment”) seeking summary judgment on traditional and no-evidence grounds on Du Bois's claims for (1) breach of fiduciary duty, (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (3) breach of contract, money had and received and unjust enrichment based on bonuses, and (4) breach of contract, money had and received and unjust enrichment based on the electronic health record incentives. Id. at 107. Du Bois then filed a Third Amended Petition and a response the morning of the summary judgment hearing on October 10, 2016. Id. at 33-45. The trial court granted in part Foremost's First Motion for Summary Judgment. The court dismissed Du Bois's claims of breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, money had and received and unjust enrichment. Id. at 104-11.

         On November 11, 2016, Foremost filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (“Second Motion for Summary Judgment”) on both traditional and no-evidence grounds seeking judgment on all causes of action. Id. at 255-412. On December 5, 2016, one week before trial, the trial court granted Foremost's Second Motion for Summary Judgment and ruled on Foremost's objections to Du Bois's summary judgment evidence. Id. at 104-11. Du Bois appealed, and the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of her claims on summary judgment. Id.

         Du Bois subsequently filed this lawsuit on September 29, 2017. Compl. (ECF No. 3). Foremost filed an answer on June 12, 2018. Answer (ECF No. 16). On November 27, 2018, Du Bois filed a third lawsuit against Foremost. See DuBois v. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Clinic, Cause No. 3:18-CV-3118-L (N.D. Tex. Nov. 27, 2018). On December 7, 2018, the Court consolidated Du Bois's third lawsuit into this case and ordered her to file an amended complaint. See Order (ECF No. 27).

         Du Bois filed her Amended Consolidated Complaint on December 27, 2018, in which she pleads the following claims: (1) violation of the Equal Pay Act; (2) violations of “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act;” (3) violations of the Age Discrimination “in the Employment Act;” and (4) retaliation. Am. Compl. 3-5. Foremost filed the Motion on January 10, 2019, arguing that Du Bois's Amended Complaint should be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on several grounds. See generally Mot. at 1-2. Du Bois failed to respond to the Motion, so the Court considers the Motion without the benefit of a response.

         Legal Standards

         To survive Foremost's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, Du Bois's complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, ‘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, 570 (2007)). Du Bois's factual allegations must “raise her right to relief above the speculative level, ” but they do not need to be detailed. Lee v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 837 F.3d 523, 533 (5th Cir. 2016) (citing Rosenblatt v. United Way of Greater Hous., 607 F.3d 413, 417 (5th Cir. 2010)). Du Bois's claims have facial plausibility if she “pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         The Court must “accept all well-pleaded facts as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to [Du Bois].” In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, 624 F.3d 201, 210 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing Doe v. MySpace, Inc., 528 F.3d 413, 418 (5th Cir. 2008)). However, the Court does not accept as true “conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences, or legal conclusions.” Ferrer v. Chevron Corp., 484 F.3d 776, 780 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting Plotkin v. IP Axess Inc., 407 F.3d 690, 696 (5th Cir. 2005)).

         “Generally, a court ruling on a motion to dismiss may rely on only the complaint and its proper attachments. A court is permitted, however, to rely on documents incorporated into the complaint by reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial notice.” Dorsey v. Portfolio Equities, Inc.,540 F.3d 333, 338 (5th Cir. 2008) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). “A written document that is attached to a complaint as an exhibit is considered part of the complaint and may be considered in a 12(b)(6) dismissal proceeding.” Ferrer v. Chevron Corp., 484 F.3d 776, 780 (5th Cir. 2007). Additionally, a “court may consider documents attached to a motion to dismiss that ‘are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and ...


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