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JONES v. JERSEY CITY MED. CTR.

September 1, 1998

RODNEY JONES and LESLIE JONES, his wife, Plaintiffs.
v.
JERSEY CITY MEDICAL CENTER, MARY BETH RAY-SIMONE, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WALLS

OPINION

 Walls, District Judge

 This matter arises from the complaint of alleged discriminatory acts against Rodney Jones ("Jones") by Jersey City Medical Center ("JCMC") and Mary Beth Ray-Simone ("Ray-Simone"). The defendants move to dismiss Counts One and Three as to individual defendant Ray-Simone. They also move to dismiss Counts Two and Four as to all defendants. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 78, the Court decides this motion without oral argument by counsel. For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is granted.

 Factual and Procedural Background

 For the purposes of this motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all allegations in the Complaint.

 On and before January 29, 1996, plaintiff Jones was employed as a supervisor of emergency medical technicians at JCMC. Compl. P 1. At the aforementioned time, defendant Ray-Simone was the Director of Emergency Medical Services at JCMC. Compl. P 2. On or about November 9, 1989, there were incidents of racial discrimination, including cross burning, within the Department of Emergency Medical Services at JCMC. According to the complaint, these incidents were not properly investigated, addressed, managed or resolved by the management of JCMC. Compl. P 3. This inaction allegedly allowed racial discrimination to continue, thereby causing great injury and detriment to the plaintiffs. Compl. P 3. The plaintiff further contends that the defendants and other fictitiously identified defendants all participated in racially discriminatory acts and/or were agents, employees or independent business entities of JCMC who failed to investigate, manage or take steps to resolve overt and covert racially discriminatory conduct in the workplace. Compl. P 4. Plaintiff Jones was discharged from employment with JCMC on January 29, 1996. Compl. P 6. His complaint contends that his discharge was caused by the illegal and discriminatory conduct of the defendants, causing him great injury, detriment, financial loss and emotional distress. Compl. P 6.

 On January 29, 1998, the plaintiff filed a four-count complaint against JCMC and Ray-Simone in the Superior Court of New Jersey. The complaint alleges that, among other things, the defendants' discrimination against him on account of his race violated both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") (Count Three) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. ("NJLAD") (Count One). The complaint further alleges that he was discharged in violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA") (Count Two). Plaintiff Jones' spouse, Leslie Jones, alleges a loss of consortium due to the defendants' allegedly improper actions (Count Four). On April 30, 1998, the defendants removed the matter to this Court.

 Legal Standard

 On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court is required to accept as true all allegations in the complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and to view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 (3d Cir. 1994). The question is whether the plaintiff can prove any set of facts consistent with his allegations that will entitle him to relief, not whether he will ultimately prevail. See Hishon v. King and Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 81 L. Ed. 2d 59, 104 S. Ct. 2229 (1984).

 While a court will accept well-pleaded allegations as true for the purposes of the motion, it will not accept legal or unsupported conclusions, unwarranted inferences, or sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations. See Miree v. Dekalb County, Ga., 433 U.S. 25, 27, 53 L. Ed. 2d 557, 97 S. Ct. 2490 (1977); In re Burlington Coat Factory Securities Litigation, 114 F.3d 1410, 1429-30 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting Glassman v. Computervision Corp., 90 F.3d 617, 628 (1st Cir. 1996); Washington Legal Found. v. Massachusetts Bar Found., 993 F.2d 962, 971 (1st Cir. 1993). Moreover, the claimant must set forth sufficient information to outline the elements of his claims or to permit inferences to be drawn that these elements exist. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).

 Analysis

 In support of this motion to dismiss, the defendants make the following arguments: (1) the claim asserting individual liability against Ray-Simone for violation of Title VII should be dismissed because an individual cannot be held liable under Title VII; (2) the plaintiffs' CEPA claim is barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitation; (3) the plaintiff's spouse's loss of consortium claim must be dismissed with prejudice because per quod damages are not available in employment cases; and (4) the claim asserting individual liability against Ray-Simone for violation of NJLAD should be dismissed with prejudice because, under the circumstances, Ray-Simone cannot be held individually liable under the NJLAD.

 As a preliminary matter, the Court notes that the plaintiff, in his reply brief in opposition to the motion to dismiss, has conceded that under Title VII, the Third Circuit's decision in Dici v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 91 F.3d 542 (3d Cir. 1996), precludes the plaintiff's naming Ray-Simone as an individual defendant. For ...


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