United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN R. CLARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Air Evac EMS,
Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss . The Court grants, in part,
and denies, in part the motion.
Darrin Buchta filed a complaint in this matter on April 24,
2019, asserting Defendant Air Evac EMS, Inc. d/b/a Air Evac
Lifeteam ("Air Evac") violated Indiana, Illinois,
and West Virginia laws regulating overtime wages. Air Evac is
an air ambulance company providing air medical transport
services to rural areas. Buchta alleges that Air Evac
required flight paramedics, flight nurses, pilots, and
mechanics to routinely work more than forty hours per week,
but did not compensate these employees at one and one-half
times their regular rate for all hours worked over forty in a
week. Buchta filed the complaint on behalf of himself and
other similarly situated Air Evac employees. Buchta asserted
the following counts in his complaint: (1) Violations of
State Wage and Hour Laws including Indiana, West Virginia,
and Illinois; and (2) Unjust Enrichment. Air Evac filed the
pending motion to dismiss asserting Buchta's claims
should be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure ("FRCP") 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 12(b)(6),
a party may move to dismiss a claim for "failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." The
notice pleading standard of FRCP 8(a)(2) requires a plaintiff
to give "a short and plain statement showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief." To meet this standard
and to survive a FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, "a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotations and citation omitted). This
requirement of facial plausibility means the factual content
of the plaintiffs allegations must "allow the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Park Irmat Drug Corp.
v. Express Scripts Holding Co., 911 F.3d 505, 512 (8th
Cir. 2018) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The
Court must grant all reasonable inferences in favor of the
nonmoving party. Lustgraaf v. Behrens, 619 F.3d 867,
872-73 (8th Cir. 2010). Ordinarily, only the facts alleged in
the complaint are considered for purposes of a motion to
dismiss; however, materials attached to the complaint may
also be considered in construing its sufficiency.
Reynolds v. Dormire, 636 F.3d 976, 979 (8th Cir.
ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must liberally
construe a complaint in favor of the plaintiff[.] Huggins
v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., 592 F.3d 853, 862
(8th Cir. 2010). However, if a claim fails to allege one of
the elements necessary to recovery on a legal theory, that
claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Crest Constr. II, Inc. v.
Doe, 660 F.3d 346, 355 (8th Cir. 2011). Threadbare
recitals of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
Although courts must accept all factual allegations as true,
they are not bound to take as true a legal conclusion couched
as a factual allegation. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(internal quotations and citation omitted); Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 677-78.
motion, Air Evac asserts five arguments. First, it argues the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Buchta's
Indiana and West Virginia wage law claims. Second, Air Evac
claims Buchta fails to state a claim under Indiana law
because Air Evac is exempt from Indiana wage laws. Third, Air
Evac argues Buchta fails to state a claim under West Virginia
law because Buchta is exempt from West Virginia wage laws.
Fourth, Air Evac asserts Buchta fails to plead any overtime
hours were worked in the state of Illinois, thus, he cannot
recover under the Illinois minimum wage law. Finally, Air
Evac argues Buchta's unjust enrichment claim must be
dismissed if the Court dismisses the Illinois wage law
Indiana Wage Law Claims
Evac asserts it is exempt from Indiana wage laws and
consequently, these claims should be dismissed. Buchta
concedes Air Evac is exempt and agrees the claims should be
dismissed. The Court dismisses all claims against Air Evac
under Indiana wage laws.
West Virginia Wage Law Claims
Evac asserts it is exempt from West Virginia wage law claims
and the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over
Buchta's West Virginia wage law claims because Buchta
never worked in West Virginia and lacks standing to sue on
his own behalf or on behalf of a class of West Virginia
employees. Buchta concedes pilots are exempt from West
Virginia wage laws but argues clinical employees, such as
flight nurses and paramedics, are subject to the state's
Virginia's minimum wage law states:
"'Employee' includes any individual employed by
an employer but shall not include ... (17) any employee with
respect to whom the United States Department of
Transportation ("DOT") has statutory authority to
establish qualifications and maximum hours of service."
W.Va. Code § 21-5C-l(f)(17) (2019). Buchta seeks to
bring claims under West Virginia law on behalf of a class of
flight paramedics, flight nurses, pilots, and mechanics. ECF
No. 1, ¶ 8. The Federal Aviation Administration
("FAA"), a subdivision of the DOT, has authority to
prescribe "regulations in the interest of safety for the
maximum hours or periods of service of ...