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Jones v. Manor Care Health Services

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

September 29, 2017




         This matter is before the Court on the filing of plaintiff s amended complaint, as well as various motions filed by plaintiff. Because plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis in this matter, the Court is required to conduct an initial review of the amended complaint and dismiss it if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a person immune to such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Upon review of the amended complaint, the Court finds that plaintiffs claims against the individual defendants, as well as all business entities and governmental entities other than plaintiffs prior employer (Manor Care) should be dismissed. Plaintiffs claims that are not mentioned in her charge of discrimination are also subject to dismissal. The Clerk will be ordered to issue process or cause process to be issued on Manor Care Health Services as to the remaining claims in plaintiffs amended complaint.


         Plaintiff brings this action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., as well as under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq (the "ADA"). Plaintiff also appears to allege a state law claim for retaliatory discharge under the Missouri Workers' Compensation Act, Mo.Rev.Stat. § 287.780.

         Plaintiffs amended complaint is difficult to read, however, it appears that she is alleging claims of race, gender, color, religion, national origin and ADA/disability discrimination (retaliatory discharge and failure to provide accommodations). Plaintiff also appears to be alleging state "tort liability from state and federal officials." Plaintiff brings this action against the following individuals and entities: Manor Care Health Services (her former employer); Corporate Administrator Linda Mundaman; Administrator Anita Martinez; Director of Nursing LaShanda Hill; Director of Nursing Loretta Lovelace; Human Resource Manager Carol Joette; Claims Administrator Janet Nanto; Workers' Compensation Department; Tasha Allen, LPN; Cassandra Blair, LPN; Administrator Kristin Nesser; Workers' Compensation Manager Robin Bowen; Insurance Co. of the State of Penn.; Broadspire Services, Inc.; Six Separate Claims Adjusters at Broadspire Services, Inc.; Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; Various Managers, Directors, Administrators, Supervisors at the Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations; Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation and various Commissioners and Judges and workers and legal counsel at the Division of Workers' Compensation (including court reporters and mediators); United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") and various workers at OSHA; U.S. Department of Labor and various workers at the U.S. Department of Labor; plaintiffs former private attorneys (and staff members) and medical doctors.

         Plaintiff attached a right to sue letter to her original complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") dated January 27, 2017. Plaintiff has additionally attached her charge of discrimination to her original complaint, which contains background information relative to her claims. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c). The Court incorporates these documents, by reference, into plaintiffs amended complaint.

         In her charge of discrimination, plaintiff checks the boxes for race, disability and retaliation. She asserts that she is an African American female, hired by Manor Care Health Systems as a Certified Nurse's Aide on October 27, 2010 and discharged on October 27, 2011. Plaintiff claims she was injured on the job on August 8, 2011 and is now disabled as a result of that injury. Plaintiff asserts that she was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim, and as a result of her absences from work which were purportedly caused by her injury. She claims that after her discharge the retaliation continued when she was denied access to work records that she needed for her workers' compensation claim. Plaintiff also asserts that her employer submitted fraudulent documents related to her workers' compensation claim. Plaintiff additionally claims that she was discriminated against by being discharged and being denied access to her employee records on the basis of her race and on the basis of retaliation and her disability in violation of both Title VII and the ADA.


         As noted above, because plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis in this action, the Court is obligated to review her pleadings for frivolousness, maliciousness and for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Court is required to dismiss any claims or defendants where jurisdiction is lacking or relief cannot be had.

         There is no individual liability for supervisors under Title VII or Title I of the ADA. See Walsh v. Nevada Dept. of Human Resources, 471 F.3d 1033, 1037-38 (9th Cir. 2006) (collecting cases); see also Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, 184 F.3d 999, 1005 n. 8 (8th Cir. 1999); Bonomolo-Hagen v. Clay Central-Everly Community School District, 121 F.3d 446, 447 (8th Cir. 1997) (citing Spencer v. Ripley County State Bank, 123 F.3d 690, 691-92 (8th Cir. 1997) (per curiam)); see Bales v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 143 F.3d 1103, 1111 (8th Cir. 1998). As a result, all supervisors, management, and administrators named in this action as defendants cannot be held personally liable for violations of Title VII and the ADA, and the Court will dismiss these defendants from the amended complaint.

         Plaintiff has not alleged how these individuals, managers or administrators purportedly engaged in "tort" activity or fraudulent activity against her. Her conclusory allegations against these individuals are not entitled to an assumption of truth and do not state a plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950-51 (2009). Thus, to the extent she has brought any state law claims for garden variety "fraud" or "tort" against these individuals, her claims are subject to dismissal at this time.[1] Id.

         The Court will next turn to plaintiffs charge of discrimination and examine her allegations in her amended complaint against those alleged in her charge. The Eighth Circuit has established that:

The purpose of filing a charge with the EEOC is to provide the Commission an opportunity to investigate and attempt a resolution of the controversy through conciliation before permitting the aggrieved party to pursue a lawsuit.... Accordingly, the sweep of any subsequent judicial complaint may be as broad as the scope of the EEOC "investigation which could reasonably be expected to grow out of the charge of discrimination."

Cobb v. Stringer, 850 F.2d 356, 359 (8th Cir.1988) (quoting Griffin v. Carlin,755 F.2d 1516, 1522 (11th Cir.1985)). Any allegations that exceed the scope of the plaintiffs EEOC charge "circumscribe the EEOC's investigatory and conciliatory role, and for that reason are not allowed." Kells v. Sinclair Buick-GMC Truck, Inc.,201 F.3d 827, 836 (8th Cir.2000). Failure to include each type of discrimination asserted in an EEOC charge is equivalent to a failure to exhaust administrative remedies with respect to those types of ...

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