United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. Keesler United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on “Plaintiff's
Motion To Dismiss Defendant's Counterclaims”
(Document No. 4). The parties have consented to Magistrate
Judge jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and
this motion is now ripe for disposition. Having carefully
considered the motion, the record, and applicable authority,
the undersigned will deny the motion.
Washington (“Plaintiff” or
“Washington”) initiated this action on January
28, 2019, with the filing of a “Complaint”
(Document No. 1-1) in the Superior Court of Mecklenburg
County, North Carolina. The Complaint asserts causes of
action against The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority
d/b/a Atrium Health (“Defendant” or
“Atrium”) for: (1) discrimination and retaliation
based on race and sex; (2) discrimination and retaliation
based on disability; and (3) wrongful discharge based on
gender, race, and disability. (Document No. 1-1). Defendant
filed a “Notice Of Removal” with this Court based
on federal question jurisdiction on February 27, 2019.
(Document No. 1).
“Answer To Complaint And Counterclaim” (Document
No. 2) was filed on March 6, 2019. Defendant asserts
counterclaims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment
based on Plaintiff's alleged failure to comply with the
parties' confidential “Release and Acknowledgement
of Payment and Full Accord” (the
“Agreement”). (Document No. 2, pp. 38-40).
Defendant contends Plaintiff breached the Agreement by
disclosing and/or publicizing its terms in the Complaint.
Id. (citing Document No. 1-1, ¶¶ 40, 41
pending is “Plaintiff's Motion To Dismiss
Defendant's Counterclaims” (Document No. 4) filed
on March 27, 2019. Plaintiff also filed her “Answer To
Counterclaims” (Document No. 6) on March 27, 2019.
Defendant's “Memorandum Of Law In Opposition To
Plaintiff's Motion To Dismiss” (Document No. 7) was
filed on April 10, 2019; and Plaintiff's “Reply To
Atrium's Memorandum In Opposition…”
(Document No. 10) was filed on April 17, 2019.
April 16, 2019, the parties filed their “Joint
Certification And Report Of F.R.C.P. 26(f)
Conference…” (Document No. 8) and “Joint
Stipulation of Consent to Exercise Jurisdiction by a United
States Magistrate Judge” (Document No. 9). This case
was re-assigned to the undersigned Magistrate Judge on April
17, 2019. On April 19, 2019, the undersigned issued a
“… Case Management Plan” (Document No. 11)
including the following deadlines: discovery completion -
December 2, 2019; Mediation Report - December 16, 2019;
motions - January 15, 2020; and trial - August 3, 2020.
pending motion to dismiss is ripe for review and disposition.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the
“legal sufficiency of the complaint” but
“does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the
merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.”
Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943,
952 (4th Cir. 1992); Eastern Shore Markets, Inc. v. J.D.
Assoc. Ltd. Partnership, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir.
2000). A complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss will survive if it contains “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)); see also, Robinson v. American Honda
Motor Co., Inc., 551 F.3d 218, 222 (4th Cir. 2009).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
Supreme Court has also opined that
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Specific facts are
not necessary; the statement need only “‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” In addition, when
ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must
accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56).
for the purposes of this motion to dismiss we must take all
the factual allegations in the complaint as true, we are not
bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478
U.S. 265, 286 (1986). The court “should view the
complaint in the light most ...