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Driver v. Alliance Oncology, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southwestern Division

July 14, 2015

BARRY MICHAEL DRIVER, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
ALLIANCE ONCOLOGY, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS THREE COUNTS

GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT .

Plaintiff Barry Michael Driver, M.D. (“Driver”), alleges that Defendant Alliance Oncology, LLC (“Alliance”), withheld contractually due payments. He brings four common law claims.

Now before the Court is Alliance’s motion to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Doc. 3). Holding that Counts I, III, and IV fail to state any claim against Alliance, the Court GRANTS the motion.

Background

For the purposes of deciding this motion, the Court accepts as true the following facts alleged in the Complaint:

Driver is a physician residing in Jasper County, Missouri. In 1995, Driver entered an agreement (“the Agreement”) to provide radiation oncology services to Thomas A. Minetree Ltd. In the succeeding years Thomas A. Minetree, Ltd., apparently transferred its rights and obligations to Bethesda Resources, Inc., because in 2002 Driver executed an addendum to the Agreement (“the Amended Agreement”) with Bethesda Resources, Inc.

In 2007, Bethesda Resources, Inc., assigned its rights and obligations under the Amended Agreement to Alliance. Under the Amended Agreement, Alliance agreed to quarterly pay Driver nineteen percent of “all collected revenue, ” minus his base compensation of $260, 000 per year.

Driver discovered in late 2013 that Alliance had collected fees for his professional services, yet failed to pay him nineteen percent of those fees. Because Driver lacks access to Alliance’s finances, he does not know exactly how long Alliance has improperly withheld his compensation or the exact amount he is due. He estimates that Alliance has withheld his compensation since 2007 and that the amount due exceeds $100, 000. Alliance refuses to allow Driver to review its finances to ascertain exact amounts.

Driver filed a four-count Complaint in this Court, invoking its diversity jurisdiction.[1]The Complaint alleges claims of accounting (Count I), breach of contract (Count II), breach of fiduciary duty (Count III), and “unjust enrichment/quantum meruit” (Count IV). Alliance moves to dismiss all but Count II.

Standard

Alliance moves under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss part of the Complaint. A complaint must meet two conditions to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. First, it must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the complaint need not make detailed factual allegations, “a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitlement to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

Second, the complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A claim is plausible when “the court may draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The plaintiff need not demonstrate the claim is probable, only that it is more than just possible. Id.

In reviewing the complaint, the court construes it liberally and draws all reasonable inferences from the facts in the plaintiff’s favor. Gorog v. Best Buy Co., 760 F.3d 787, 792 (8th Cir. 2014). The court generally ignores matters outside the pleadings, but “[w]here, as here, the claims relate to a written contract that is part of the record in the case, [the court] consider[s] the language of the contract when reviewing the sufficiency of the complaint.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Even though neither the Agreement nor ...


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