United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Missouri Department of Corrections (“DOC”) moves
to dismiss plaintiff Benjimin Barnett's complaint of
discrimination for failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted and lack of subject matter jurisdiction,
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and
12(b)(1), respectively. For the reasons discussed below, the
motion to dismiss is granted.
Barnett filed a complaint on a Title VII form alleging that,
between January and August 2015, DOC discriminated against
him as an employee by (1) denying him training because of his
diabetes; (2) refusing to accommodate his need to check his
blood sugar or to eat, and (3) generally discriminating
against him because of his disability. In response to
DOC's motion to dismiss, Mr. Barnett stated that, while
his diabetes “came into play, ” his lawsuit
concerns harassment, retaliation and discrimination by DOC
staff and middle management.
Barnett seeks damages in the amount of $1.2 million, plus an
additional $400, 000 for lost wages and benefits.
moves to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted and for lack of subject matter
first question the Court must confront is the nature of the
claim(s) at issue. The Complaint is drafted on a “Title
VII” form. However, Mr. Barnett alleges that DOC
discriminated against him by refusing to provide him training
because of his diabetes and by refusing to reasonably
accommodate his diabetes-related needs. In his papers in
response to DOC's motion to dismiss, Mr. Barnett further
states that this case concerns harassment and retaliation as
well, although he does not specify what led to the alleged
harassment and retaliation. There is no allegation in the
complaint or the response to the motion to dismiss of any
type of discrimination except employment discrimination on
the basis of disability-an issue governed by the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101, et seq.-rather than Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act. Mr. Barnett's use of a Title VII
complaint form thus appears to have been in error.
extent that Mr. Barnett alleges a claim for employment
discrimination on the basis of disability (i.e.,
pursuant to Title I of the ADA), the claim is barred by the
Eleventh Amendment. See Walker v. Missouri Dep't of
Corr., 213 F.3d 1035, 1036 (8th Cir. 2000)
(“[B]ecause Walker's claims are based on Title I
and are against a state agency that Walker does not contend
has consented to suit or waived immunity, Walker's ADA
claims must fail.”); see also Grothoff v.
Nixon, No. 04-4290-WAK, 2007 WL 2693835, at **1-2 (W.D.
Mo. Sept. 10, 2007) (rejecting argument that the State of
Missouri had waived sovereign immunity with respect to ADA
Title I claim and granting summary judgment to defendant).
extent that Mr. Barnett alleges retaliation because of
unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of
disability (i.e., pursuant to Title V of the ADA),
the claim fails for lack of any factual allegations. His only
allegations of retaliation are conclusory statements in his
response to DOC's motion to dismiss. Doc. 21 (“3
complaints were filed about staff and middle management
Harassment, Retaliation and Discrimination. The ADA aspect is
1 of 4 complaints involving this case and is not the sole
basis of the complaints of suit.”). The claim therefore
must be dismissed without prejudice, pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6). See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965, n.3 (2007) (“Rule
8(a)(2) still requires a ‘showing,' rather than a
blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some
factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a
claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only
‘fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
‘grounds' on which the claim
to the extent that Mr. Barnett intended to assert a claim for
employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, his claim is dismissed without prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Mr.
Barnett has failed to allege any discrimination on the basis
of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and
therefore his complaint as drafted fails to state a Title VII
claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 687, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 1954 (2009) (finding that, where respondent
alleged in conclusory terms that petitioners discriminated
against him “on account of [his] religion, race, and/or
national origin and for no legitimate penological interest,
” he “fail[ed] to plead sufficient facts to state
a claim for purposeful and unlawful discrimination”).
foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss is
granted. Mr. Barnett's claims against DOC for
discrimination on the basis of disability pursuant to Title V
of the ADA are dismissed with prejudice. Other claims Mr.
Barnett may have sought to bring-whether for retaliation
pursuant to Title V of the ADA, or for discrimination on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,
pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964-are
dismissed without prejudice. Mr. Barnett may amend his