United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
WANDA S. HUDSON, Plaintiff,
VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA OF CAROLINAS, VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA NATIONAL SERVICES SENIOR COMMUNITY CARE OF NORTH CAROLINA, THE DUKE HOSPITAL, and SOUTHEASTERN HEALTHCARE OF NORTH CAROLINA, Defendants.
W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on defendants Volunteers of
America of Carolinas (“VAC”) and Volunteers of
America National Services Senior Community Care of North
Carolina's (“VOANS”) (collectively “VOA
defendants”) motion to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim, pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (DE
36). Also before the court is Duke University Health System,
Inc.'s (“DUHS”)motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction, insufficient process, and failure to
state a claim pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(2), 12(b)(4), and 12(b)(6), or in the alternative for
more definite statement pursuant to Rule 12(e) (DE 31).
Plaintiff did not respond to either of the motions, and the
time to do so has expired. The issues raised are ripe for
OF THE CASE
proceeding pro se, initiated this case on May 1,
2018. Plaintiff alleges several violations of federal law,
including the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor
Act (“EMTALA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd, the
Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 12111 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 (“Rehabilitation Act”), 29 U.S.C. § 701
et s e q . . Plaintiff also alleges violation of the
North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act of
1992 (“REDA”), N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-240
frivolity review, the court dismissed plaintiff's claims
on behalf of an unnamed patient under the third party
standing doctrine, and allowed claims on plaintiff's
behalf to proceed. Following plaintiff's efforts to serve
defendants, VOA defendants and DUHS filed the instant
OF THE FACTS
facts alleged in the complaint can be summarized as follows.
Plaintiff worked for Volunteers of America Home Health Agency
of North Carolina (“VOA Home Health”). (Compl.
¶ 13). During the course of her employment, plaintiff
took care of an unnamed patient in that patient's home.
(Id. ¶ 16). That patient was transferred by
defendant Southeastern Healthcare of North Carolina
(“Southeastern Healthcare”) to defendant
“the Duke Hospital” after being injured due to an
improper medication dosage. (Id.). Defendants
Southeastern Healthcare and “the Duke Hospital”
transferred the unnamed patient back and forth, until the
patient was discharged on May 1, 2016 from “the Duke
Hospital.” (Id. ¶¶ 8, 19). The
patient had not recovered from her ailments and fell on
plaintiff, causing injury to plaintiff on May 12, 2016.
(Id. ¶¶ 8, 15, 17).
her injury, plaintiff reported EMTALA violations to VOA
defendants. She alleged the patient had been improperly
discharged from the hospital and asked to be paid for the
care provided to the unnamed patient. (Id. ¶
19). VOA defendants allegedly retaliated against plaintiff by
refusing to pay her, demoting her, discharging her, and
refusing to rehire her. (Id.).
court first disposes of DUHS's motion to dismiss and then
turns its attention below to VOA defendant's motion.
Finally, the court addresses on its own initiative
plaintiff's purported service of defendant Southeastern
University Health System's Motion to Dismiss (DE 31)
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) allows for dismissal of a
claim for lack of personal jurisdiction. “When a
district court considers a question of personal jurisdiction
based on the contents of a complaint and supporting
affidavits, the plaintiff has the burden of making a prima
facie showing in support of its assertion of
jurisdiction.” Universal Leather, LLC v. Koro AR,
S.A., 773 F.3d 553, 558 (4th Cir. 2014). At this stage,
the court “must construe all relevant pleading
allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiff, assume
credibility, and draw the most favorable inferences for the
existence of jurisdiction.” Combs v. Bakker,
886 F.2d 673, 676 (4th Cir.1989); see Mylan Labs., Inc.
v. Akzo, N.V., 2 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir.1993)(“[T]he
district court must draw all reasonable inferences arising
from the proof, and resolve all factual disputes, in the
motion under Rule 12(b)(4) challenges the sufficiency of
process. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(4). “When the
process gives the defendant actual notice of the pendency of
the action, the rules . . . are entitled to a liberal
construction” and “every technical violation of
the rule or failure of strict compliance may not invalidate
the service of process.” Armco, Inc. v.
Penrod-Stauffer Bldg. Sys., Inc., 733 F.2d 1087, 1089
(4th Cir. 1984). Nevertheless, “the rules are there to
be followed, and plain requirements for the means of
effecting service of process may not be ignored.”
Id. The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing
that process properly has been served. Dalenko v.