United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
KAYS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
civil rights action arises from Defendant City of Kansas
City, Missouri's alleged practice of discriminating
against its black employees, including Plaintiff Tommie
Hardy. Now before the Court is Defendant's motion to
dismiss (Doc. 29). The Court GRANTS the motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). Because Plaintiff still cannot show
sufficient facts to support his claims, this dismissal is
Rule 12(b)(6), the court may dismiss a complaint for
“fail[ing] to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” A complaint survives a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
if it contains “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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible on its face
when “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
While “legal conclusions can provide the framework of
the complaint, ” those conclusions “must be
supported by factual allegations.” Hager v. Ark.
Dep't of Health, 735 F.3d 1009, 1014 (8th Cir. 2013)
(citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 508). Mere labels and
conclusions, or formulaic recitations of the elements of a
cause of action, are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555. In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court treats
all well-pleaded facts in a complaint as true and construes
them in the plaintiff's favor. Id. at 554.
this comes to the Court on a motion to dismiss, the Court
recounts the background in a light most favorable to the
Plaintiff, giving him the benefit of all reasonable
is a black male who has been employed by Defendant since
1993. During that time, he alleges the following incidents
have arisen during his employment:
in or about August 2006, Plaintiff received a letter of
reprimand, the details of which are not included in his
on or about May 18, 2016, Plaintiff was “pulled away
from [his] assignment” at an electrical power box and
replaced with a white employee. While Plaintiff was off the
assignment, an error occurred which resulted in Defendant
draining approximately 3.5 million gallons of water.
on or about September 27, 2016, Defendant directed Plaintiff
to attend a meeting regarding the water loss incident. At
that meeting, Plaintiff explained that he was not involved in
the error that resulted in the accidental draining of
millions of gallons of water. The white employee who replaced
him also denied his involvement in the error. Ultimately, the
meeting resulted in Defendant suspending Plaintiff for three
days without pay, based on the error and Plaintiff's
letter of reprimand. Plaintiff claims this suspension without
pay was due to Defendant believing the white employee's
word over Plaintiff's, allegedly based solely on race.
in or about 2017, Plaintiff suffered a shoulder injury and
asked for temporary reassignment. A white supervisor told him
that he needed to provide a doctor's note to be
temporarily reassigned. The next year, in 2018, that same
white supervisor did not require a doctor's note from a
white employee who requested reassignment because he was
feeling ill. Instead he temporarily reassigned him based on
his personal assertion of illness.
March 2019, Plaintiff filed suit in Missouri state court
alleging violations under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983,
1985, and 1986. Defendant timely removed to this Court,
invoking its federal-question jurisdiction. Defendant moved
to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a
claim. This Court granted that motion (Doc. 23), and
Plaintiff timely filed an amended complaint (Doc. 25).
support his amended complaint, Plaintiff cites two prior
decisions in Missouri state court where a jury found
Defendant liable for conduct relating to racial
discrimination. First, Plaintiff cites Johnson v. City of
Kansas City, Mo., No. 1616-CV08470. In this case, a jury
found Defendant liable for retaliation after Plaintiff
reported racial discrimination, from 2012- 2014. Next, he
cites McKinney v. City of Kansas City, Mo., No.
1616-CV02932. In this case, a jury found Defendant liable for
race discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, and
retaliation after Plaintiff reported the racial
discrimination, from 2011-2015. Moreover, Plaintiff cites
testimony from those trials and identifies twenty-three state
court cases against Defendant where it was accused of
engaging in harassment, discrimination, creating a hostile
work environment, and retaliation. The only details provided
on the cases are their names.
has now again filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that
Plaintiff has still failed to state a claim of municipal