United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
J. Conrad, Jr., United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's
Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint,
(Doc. No. 17); Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support,
(Doc. No. 18); Plaintiff's Response, (Doc. No. 21); the
Magistrate Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation
(“M&R”), (Doc. No. 28); Plaintiff's
Objections, (Doc. No. 30); and Defendant's Response to
Plaintiff's Objections, (Doc. No. 34).
party has objected to the Magistrate Judge's statement of
the factual and procedural background of this case.
Therefore, the Court adopts the facts as set forth in the
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district court may assign dispositive pretrial matters,
including motions to dismiss, to a magistrate judge for
“proposed findings of fact and recommendations.”
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B). The Federal Magistrate
Act provides that “a district court shall make a de
novo determination of those portions of the report or
specific proposed findings or recommendations to which
objection is made.” Id. at §
636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); Camby v. Davis,
718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983).
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the Court
must accept the factual allegations of the claim as true and
construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Coleman v. Maryland Ct. of Appeals, 626 F.3d
187, 189 (4th Cir. 2010). To survive the motion, the
“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) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). To be
“plausible on its face, ” a plaintiff must
demonstrate more than “a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A
plaintiff therefore must “articulate facts, when
accepted as true, that ‘show' that the plaintiff
has stated a claim entitling [it] to relief, i.e.,
the ‘plausibility of entitlement to relief.'”
Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir.
2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
First Amended Complaint alleges claims against Defendant for:
(1) violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (2)
intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”); (3) negligent infliction of emotional
distress (“NIED”); (4) negligent retention and
supervision; and (5) civil conspiracy. (Doc. No. 14 at
22-29). Defendant filed a partial motion to dismiss pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. No. 17). In their motion,
Defendant seeks to dismiss Plaintiff's claims for: (1)
IIED; (2) NIED; (3) negligent retention and supervision; and
(4) civil conspiracy. (Id.). The Magistrate
Judge's M&R recommends partially granting
Defendant's motion by allowing Plaintiff's civil
conspiracy claim to survive but dismissing her claims for
IIED, NIED, and negligent retention and supervision. (Doc.
M&R, the Magistrate Judge found that Defendant's
behavior, as alleged by Plaintiff, failed to clear the high
bar of what North Carolina considers “extreme and
outrageous” conduct required for an IIED claim.
(Id.). Furthermore, the Magistrate Judge determined
that Plaintiff's allegations for her NIED claim were
based on discrimination. (Id.). As inherently
intentional conduct, the Magistrate Judge found that
discrimination cannot support a claim based on principles of
negligence, thus requiring the dismissal of Plaintiff's
NIED claim. (Id.). Because the Magistrate Judge
recommended dismissing Plaintiff's IIED and NIED claims,
the M&R dismisses Plaintiff's negligent retention and
supervision as well. (Id.). Such a claim requires a
common law tort as its foundation and, without her IIED or
NIED claims, none are found in Plaintiff's complaint.
(Id.). Lastly, the Magistrate Judge recognized that
Plaintiff's arguments supporting her civil conspiracy
claim were persuasive enough to survive dismissal.
objects to the M&R, arguing that discrimination
constituted conduct outrageous enough to fulfill an IIED
claim. (Doc. No. 30). Furthermore, Plaintiff argues that
discriminatory acts may support an NIED claim because
Defendant did not specifically intend to bring about the
emotional distress of Plaintiff. (Id.). Finally,
because her claims for IIED and NIED must survive, Plaintiff
says so too must her claim for negligent retention and
careful consideration of the M&R and both parties'
arguments, this Court agrees with the recommendations set
forth by the Magistrate Judge. Because objections were filed
by the Plaintiff, the Court will discuss each objection in
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
order to succeed on a claim for IIED, a plaintiff must prove:
“(1) extreme and outrageous conduct, (2) which is
intended to cause and does cause (3) severe emotional
distress to another.” Dickens v. Puryear, 276
S.E.2d 325, 335 ( N.C. 1981). The issue before the Court is
what behavior constitutes “extreme and outrageous
conduct.” Under North Carolina law, extreme and
outrageous conduct ...