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Younce v. Warren County Electric, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 9, 2015

DAVID P. YOUNCE, Plaintiff,
v.
WARREN COUNTY ELECTRIC, LLC, Defendant,

OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. [Doc. No. 17]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Motions is denied.

Facts and Background[1]

Plaintiff David Younce alleges that Defendant Warren County Electric, LLC terminated his employment because of Plaintiff's age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") and the Missouri Human Rights Act.[2] Plaintiff was 62 years old at the time of his termination.

Dennis Keith Jamison, the owner of Warren County Electric, hired Plaintiff as a warehouse manager, and he began work on April 22, 2013. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was unaware of Plaintiff's age on that date. During a casual conversation between Plaintiff and Mr. Jamison on April 26, 2013, Mr. Jamison mentioned that he intended to work another 13 years before retiring. He expressed his assumption that Plaintiff would work a similar number of years before retiring. Plaintiff informed Mr. Jamison that he intended only to work three more years before retiring because he was 62 years old. Mr. Jamison was surprised by Plaintiff's age.

Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment on September 25, 2013. Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Jamison gave him several reasons for his discharge, via text message:

"Mostly multiple mistakes and that's just the ones I know about."
"Also I think the job is to [sic] demanding for you."
"And I don't think you will ever be comfortable around me knowing that I'm very demanding about your job performance and striving for perfection."

[Doc. No. 16 at ΒΆ 19] [alteration in original].

Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Jamison's proffered reasons were pretextual, implausible, incredible, and unworthy of belief. According to Plaintiff, his age was the true motivation for his termination.

Standard

A defendant may file a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). In other words, a plaintiff must plead facts from which the court can draw a "reasonable inference" of liability. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The complaint need not contain "detailed factual allegations" but must contain more than mere "labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements" or "naked assertion[s]" devoid of "further factual enhancement." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557. An "unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfullyharmed-me accusation" will not suffice. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations, " id. at 679, which "raise a right to relief above the speculative level, " Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

In evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court can "choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Turning to any "well-pleaded factual allegations, " the court should "assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. The court may ...


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