United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is defendant Valley Health System, LLC's
(“Valley”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 16).
Plaintiff Angela Cummings filed a response (ECF No. 19), to
which Valley replied (ECF No. 20).
instant action involves allegations of retaliatory
interference with prospective employment pursuant to 42
U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 2000e-3 eq seq. and NRS
613.200(1) and NRS 613.210, arising from a rescission of a
job offer by the Veterans Administration (“VA”)
allegedly based on circumstances surrounding plaintiff's
employment history. (ECF No. 13).
an African American female, was employed as a monitor
tech/unit coordinator by Valley at its Desert Springs
Hospital operation from March 2005 to February 2013. (ECF No.
13). In 2012, plaintiff filed charges of discrimination with
the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (“NERC”) and
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
against Valley based on sex and race discrimination. (ECF No.
13). In January 2013, Valley suspended plaintiff, and
plaintiff filed a subsequent charge of discrimination and
retaliation, which she amended after her termination. (ECF
brought suit based on the 2012 and 2013 charges in case
number 2:13-cv-00479-APG-GWF, which she lost. (ECF No. 13).
The matter is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit on
appeal in case number 16-15369. (ECF No. 13).
March 2015, plaintiff applied for a position as a medical
instrument technician with the VA's Southern Nevada
Healthcare System (“SNHS”). (ECF No. 13). Maria
Roldan interviewed plaintiff, inquiring about her relevant
work history and the reasons for her leaving her job at
Desert Springs Hospital. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff disclosed
her termination from Desert Springs Hospital to Roldan. (ECF
17, 2015, plaintiff received a tentative offer of employment
from the SNHS, pending fingerprinting, a background and
reference check, drug screening, various forms, and physical
and boarding process. (ECF No. 13). Throughout this process,
plaintiff maintained contact with two VA human resources
(“HR”) representatives, Nadine Harris and
Merlinda Winbush. (ECF No. 13).
September 2015, Harris advised plaintiff that the HR
department had initiated the final step of the application
process, which was employment verifications to former
employers, including Valley. (ECF No. 13). Harris further
informed plaintiff that the verification packet would be sent
to Desiree Crawford, VA Associate Nurse Executive, for review
and signature and then to the Professional Standards Board
(“PSB”). (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff was scheduled to
meet with the PSB on October 8, 2015. (ECF No. 13). However,
the packet was not forwarded to the PSB because Crawford had
not signed it due to being out of the office on business.
(ECF No. 13).
November 10, 2015, Winbush called plaintiff and stated that
the VA was rescinding its job offer. (ECF No. 13). On that
same date, an email was sent to plaintiff informing her that
the VA decided to rescind her tentative job offer due to
plaintiff's employment history. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff
made various attempts to contact the VA to inquire about the
rescinding of its job offer. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff alleges
that she received a letter from Crawford dated December 8,
2015, which stated that the reason for the withdrawal was
because of plaintiff's “terminat[ion] from
employment with Valley Health Systems for ‘. . .
violation of company policy and work performance issues . . .
.” (ECF No. 13 at 8).
alleges that Valley provided negative and misleading
information to the VA for the purpose of interfering with
plaintiff's employment opportunity with the VA. (ECF No.
13). On May 27, 2016, plaintiff filed a charge of retaliation
with the EEOC. (ECF No. 13). The EEOC issue a notice of suit
rights on June 24, 2016. (ECF No. 13).
filed the original complaint in state court on September 21,
2016. (ECF No. 1-3). Valley removed the action to federal
court on October 25, 2016. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff later
amended her complaint on November 18, 2016. (ECF No. 13). In
the amended complaint, plaintiff alleges three causes of
action: (1) retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. §
1981; (2) intentional interference with prospective economic
advantage; and (3) retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 200e-3. (ECF No. 13).
instant motion, Valley moves to dismiss plaintiff's
amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). (ECF No. 16). In addition, Valley moves for
sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 (ECF No. 22), and plaintiff
moves for sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927 (ECF
No. 34). The court will address each in turn.
may dismiss a 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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
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, 556
U.S. at 678 (citation omitted).
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; however,
legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Id. at 678-79. Mere recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory
statements, do not suffice. Id. at 678.
the court must consider whether the factual allegations in
the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief.
Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when the
plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow the court
to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678.
the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
“alleged-but not shown-that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not
crossed the line from ...