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Upchurch v. Clinton County Board of Education

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

July 30, 2019

ADAM UPCHURCH PLAINTIFF
v.
CLINTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Chief Judge United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (DN 6, 7). The motions are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the motions are GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The actions alleged to have given rise to this case occurred between November 2017 and January 2018. (Compl. ¶ 7, DN 1). Plaintiff Adam Upchurch (“Plaintiff”) alleges he was disabled while employed as a teacher at Clinton County Middle School, which is operated by Defendant Clinton County Board of Education (“the Board”). (Compl. ¶¶ 16, 30). Plaintiff claims his coworkers referred to a chair in which he sat during instructional time as “the throne” and referred to Plaintiff's special parking spot in some unspecified derogatory manner. (Compl. ¶ 18). Plaintiff further alleges this conduct was condoned by Clinton County High School Principal Stacey Evans (“Evans”); Clinton County Middle School Principal Angela Sloan (“Sloan”); and Board Superintendent Charlotte Nasief (“Nasief”). (Compl. ¶¶ 3-5, 18).

         Plaintiff applied for numerous promotions and was allegedly passed over as a result of his disability. (Compl. ¶ 19). Evans told Plaintiff he was not being promoted because of his disability, and certain unnamed Defendants allegedly said Plaintiff was too sickly for promotion. (Compl. ¶¶ 19-20). Plaintiff does not indicate what positions he applied for, when he applied to them, who rejected him, or how he was otherwise qualified for the positions. Plaintiff claims Defendants denied him accommodations needed as a result of his disability. (Compl. ¶ 21). Defendants also allegedly forced Plaintiff to work in an increasingly hostile environment, which ultimately resulted in his resignation.[1] (Compl. ¶¶ 22, 24).

         Plaintiff asserts claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213; the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, KRS Chapter 344; and the Kentucky common law tort of the intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”). (Compl. ¶¶ 29-40). Defendants has moved for dismissal of the claims asserted against them pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         II. JURISDICTION

         This action arises under the laws of the United States and the Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Court has supplemental subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims arising from the same case or controversy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To survive dismissal for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), “a 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) (internal quotation marks omitted) (citation omitted). A claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. When considering a defendant's motion to dismiss, the Court will “accept all the [plaintiff's] factual allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the [plaintiff].” Hill v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mich., 409 F.3d 710, 716 (6th Cir. 2005). “A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks omitted) (citation omitted).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. ADA & KCRA Claims

         In the Complaint, Plaintiff purports to assert disability discrimination claims under both the ADA and the KCRA. (Compl. ¶¶ 13, 28-34). As the Sixth Circuit has noted, “the language of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act mirrors the language of [] the Americans with Disabilities Act . . . .” Brohm v. JH Props., Inc., 149 F.3d 517, 520 (6th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, the analysis of Plaintiff's ADA and KCRA claims are identical and will be considered together.

         The Complaint is bereft of nearly any facts to support a disability discrimination claim. A person asserting such a claim must show “that she or he is an individual with a disability . . . .” Mahon v. Crowell, 295 F.3d 585, 590 (6th Cir. 2002). Plaintiff, however, states only that he is an individual with a disability resulting from a car accident in 2003. (Compl. ΒΆ 30). There is no factual basis provided regarding Plaintiff's disabling condition, how it affects him, whether the condition is stable or in flux, what accommodations Plaintiff requires to work or engage in ...


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