United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, [Doc. No. 19] and Plaintiff's “Motion to
dismiss all claims with defendants, ” [Doc. No. 29].
For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion will
be granted; Plaintiff's Motion will be denied as moot.
STANDARD FOR A MOTION TO DISMISS
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) provides for
a motion to dismiss based on the “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” To survive a
motion to dismiss a complaint must show “‘that
the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to
‘give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
See also Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200
(2007). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice” to defeat a motion to dismiss. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “[O]nly a complaint
that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to
dismiss.” Id. at 1950 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The pleading standard of
Rule 8 “does not require ‘detailed factual
allegations, ' but it demands more than an unadorned,
Id. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555). See also Hamilton v. Palm, 621 F.3d 816, 818
(8th Cir.2010) (“[A]n allegation in any negligence
claim that the defendant acted as plaintiff's
‘employer' satisfies Rule 8(a)(2)'s notice
pleading requirement for this element.”).
with regard to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Supreme Court
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations,
[citations omitted] a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the “grounds” of his “entitle[ment] to
relief” requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
286, 106 S.Ct. 2932, 92 L.Ed.2d 209 (1986) (on a motion to
dismiss, courts “are not bound to accept as true a
legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation”).
Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level, see 5 C. Wright &
A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp.
235-236 (3d ed.2004) ... see, e.g., ... Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104
L.Ed.2d 338 (1989) (“Rule 12(b)(6) does not countenance
... dismissals based on a judge's disbelief of a
complaint's factual allegations”); Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90
(1974) (a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it
appears “that a recovery is very remote and
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56. See also Gregory v.
Dillard's, Inc., 565 F.3d 464, 473 (8th Cir.2009)
(en banc) (“[A] plaintiff ‘must assert facts that
affirmatively and plausibly suggest that the pleader has the
right he claims ..., rather than facts that are merely
consistent with such a right.' ”) (quoting
Stalley v. Catholic Health Initiative, 509 F.3d 517,
521 (8th Cir.2007)).
“a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it
strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable .” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556
(citation omitted). “The issue is not whether plaintiff
will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled
to offer evidence to support [its] claims.” Scheuer
v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
extent it has been argued that Twombly is applicable
only in the antitrust context, the Court in Iqbal,
129 S.Ct. 1937, made it clear that Twombly is
applicable in a broader context.
civil rights actions a complaint should be liberally
construed when determining whether it has stated a cause of
action sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Frey v.
City of Herculaneum, 44 F.3d 667, 671 (8th Cir.1995).
alleges in her pro se Amended Complaint that her
claim is brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et
seq., for employment discrimination and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 701, et seq., for employment
discrimination on the basis of a disability by an employer.
and “sexual harassment.” Plaintiff's original
complaint alleges that she told Defendant Johnson about how
Andre Walton “was stalking [her], retaliation when
[she] complained, harassment.” Further, Plaintiff
alleges that she explained on different occasions that Walton
would stare at her and was being “aggressive when she
didn't respond to him. Plaintiff filed a charge of
discrimination with the EEOC against Defendant U.S. Bank and
received her notice of right to sue on October 28, 2015.
Plaintiff did not name the individual defendants in the EEOC
Charge. In the pending Motion to Dismiss, the individual
defendants move to dismiss the Complaint and Amended
Complaint as to themselves because they cannot be found
individually liable to Plaintiff under Title VII.
VII addresses the conduct of employers only and does not
impose liability on coworkers.” Powell v. Yellow
Book USA, Inc., 445 F.3d 1074, 1079 (8th Cir.2006)
(citing Smith v. St. Bernards Reg'l Med. Ctr.,
19 F.3d 1254, 1255 (8th Cir.1994)). In particular, the Eighth
Circuit “squarely [holds] that supervisors may not be
held individually liable under Title VII.”
Bonomolo-Hagen v. Clay Central-Everly Cmty. Sch.
Dist., 121 F.3d 446, 447 (8th Cir.1997) (per curiam)
(citing Spencer v. Ripley Cnty. State Bank, 123 F.3d
690, 691-92 (8th Cir.1997)). See also Gardner v. 4 U
Tech., Inc., 88 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1008 (E.D.Mo.2000);
Arnold v. St. Louis Metro. Police Dept., 2011 WL
3235722, *1 (E.D. Mo 2011) (“An individual holding a
supervisory position of a Title VII plaintiff cannot be held
liable under Title VII in his or her individual
capacity.”) (citing Bales v. Wal- Mart Stores,
Inc., 143 F.3d 1103, 1111 (8th Cir.1998)).
such, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted in regard to the individual
defendants and that Plaintiff's claim against them ...