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Eval v. Clark County

United States District Court, District of Nevada

March 17, 2015

MARK EVAL, Plaintiffs,
CLARK COUNTY, et al., Defendants.


Presently before the court is defendant Clark County School District’s motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 6). Plaintiff Mark Eval has filed a response (doc. # 12), and defendant has filed a reply (doc. # 15).

I. Background

Defendant Clark County School District (“CCSD”) employed plaintiff as a custodian. (Doc. # 1 at 3). On April 23, 2012, plaintiff injured his leg at work when he attempted to help a truck driver move a pallet of paper. (Doc. # 1 at 3).

While moving the pallet, plaintiff heard a “pop” in his left calf and felt a sharp pain. (Doc.# 1 at 3). Plaintiff’s treating physician diagnosed him with a left calf sprain and strain, chronic calf pain, and at some point granted plaintiff a 4 percent disability award. (Doc. # 1 at 3.)

Plaintiff was unable to work from April 24, 2012, through July 18, 2012. (Doc. # 1 at 3). CCSD granted him leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). On August 1, 2012, CCSD approved plaintiff for a workers’ compensation leave of absence without pay. On October II, 2012, plaintiff’s treating physician “released him back to full duty no restriction” status. (Doc. # 1 at 3). Plaintiff did not receive notification of his release to return to work until October 18, 2012. (Doc. # 1 at 3).

Plaintiff attempted to return to work on October 22, 2012. (Doc. # 1 at 3). He alleges that he was unable to use the thirty-five pound backpack vacuum his job requires him to use to vacuum the floors in the school. (Doc. # 1 at 3). Plaintiff asserts that the weight of the vacuum resulted in him being unable to keep his balance while carrying it on his back. (Doc. # 1 at 3).

Because plaintiff could not perform his custodial duties, he applied for an additional medical leave of absence, without pay, under CCSD regulation 4351. (Doc. # 1 at 3). It is unclear whether plaintiff received confirmation of or approval for this requested leave. On November 7, 2012, plaintiff received a letter from CCSD notifying him that he was involuntarily resigning and was being recommended for dismissal. (Doc. # 1 at 3).

Plaintiff called Connie McDuffie, a human resources officer, to inquire about why he had received the letter regarding involuntary resignation, since he had applied for extended medical leave. (Doc. # 1 at 4). McDuffie told plaintiff to just ignore the letter because his leave had been approved. (Doc. # 1 at 4). On November 19, 2012, plaintiff received a letter from CCSD stating that his medical leave had been approved per CCSD regulation 4351 from October 23, 2012, through October 22, 2013.

Later, plaintiff received a letter from CCSD dated December 5, 2012, saying that they had decided to stand by the November 7, 2012, letter informing him of his involuntary resignation and recommending his dismissal. (Doc. # 1 at 4).

Plaintiff filed a complaint before this court on October 11, 2014. (Doc. # 1). Plaintiff alleges three causes of action: (1) disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); (2) interference and retaliation in violation of the FMLA; and (3) tortious discharge in violation of Nevada state public policy for discharging plaintiff for filing a workers’ compensation claim. (Doc. # 1 at 2, 5-6).

II. Legal Standard

A court may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide “[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands “more than labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted). “Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted).

In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint. Id. at 1950. However, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by only conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 1949. Second, the court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allows the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 1949.

Where the complaint does not “permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged, but it has not shown, that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. (internal quotations and alterations omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from ...

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