United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
CARL D. RITTER, JR., Plaintiff,
DELTA SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Carl D. Ritter, Jr. filed this action against Defendants
Delta R-V School District, Mellisa Heath, Ken Cook, David
Coomer, Scott Bond, Matt Huffman, Alan Ikerman, Meredith
Scherer, and Troy Smith (“Defendants”), alleging
age discrimination in violation of the Missouri Human Rights
Act (“MHRA”), § 213.010 RSMo and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29
U.S.C. § 621; as well as a state common law tort claim
for failure to train and supervise. The action was originally
filed in the Circuit Court of Cape Girardeau County,
Missouri, and was removed to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(c) on the basis of federal question jurisdiction.
pending before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 7.)
who was 56 years of age at all relevant times, was employed
by Defendant Delta School District R-V
(“District”) as a junior high school science
teacher, physical education teacher, and coach. The District
is supervised by a seven-member Board of Education
(“Board”), with a superintendent and a high
school principal. Defendant Mellisa Heath was Superintendent
of the District at all relevant times. Defendants Ken Cook,
Davis Coomer, Scott Bond, Matt Huffman, Alan Ikerman,
Meredith Scherer, and Troy Smith were members of the Board.
February “or at least prior to March 2017,” Heath
informed a gathering of faculty, including Ritter, that all
faculty contracts were being renewed for the upcoming year.
Ritter relied upon this statement and did not apply for open
positions at other local school districts.
in March 2017, Ritter applied for the position of Principal
at Delta R-V Schools. He was ultimately not chosen for the
position. Defendant Heath informed select staff that Ritter
had not been selected for the position before Ritter was
informed. On March 20, 2017, Ritter was instructed to meet
with Defendant Heath at her office later that day. At that
meeting, Ritter expressed disappointment that staff was
informed of the hiring decision of the Board before Ritter
was informed of such.
March 21, 2017, Ritter was asked to meet with Defendant
Heath, and was subsequently placed on administrative leave
and escorted off campus in the presence of faculty and
students. On March 23, 2017, Ritter received a phone call
from Defendant Heath, during which Heath informed Ritter that
she would like to ask him some questions. Ritter agreed to
answer Heath’s questions in person and with a witness.
Heath then told Ritter that he was refusing to cooperate and
ended the phone call. On March 31, 2017, Ritter received a
letter signed by the Board President stating that the Board
had voted to reconsider its previous offer of employment to
Ritter and would not be renewing his contract for the
2017-2018 school year.
timely filed a charge of age discrimination with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on or
about September 10, 2017. Ritter received a Notice of Right
to Sue from the EEOC on February 22, 2018. (Doc. 1-1.)
removed this action on July 13, 2018. (Doc. 1.) Defendants
filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint, which the Court
granted in part on October 26, 2018. (Doc. 15.) Specifically, the
Court dismissed Count I, Ritter’s age discrimination
claim under the MHRA, because Ritter failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies as to this claim.
First Amended Complaint (“Complaint”), Ritter
sets forth four counts. Count I asserts a claim of age
discrimination in violation of the MHRA, and has already been
dismissed by the Court. Count II alleges failure to instruct,
supervise, control, and discipline against Defendants the
District, Heath, and the Board. In Count III, Ritter alleges
an assault claim against Defendant Heath. Finally, Count IV
asserts a claim of age discrimination in violation of the
now move to dismiss Count II pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), on the basis that it is preempted
and superseded by the MHRA.
has filed a Response, in which he states that he stands by
the argument made in response to Defendants’ ...