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Grainger v. Hoskin & Muir, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

December 6, 2019



          Greg N. Stivers, Chief United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss (DN 6). This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Statement of Facts

         This case arises from the alleged wrongful termination of Plaintiff Stephen Grainger (“Grainger”) by Defendant Hoskin & Muir, Inc., d/b/a Cardinal Shower Enclosures (“Cardinal”). (Compl. 2, DN 1-2). Cardinal is a fabrication, tampering, and distribution business for shower enclosures, commercial glazing systems, and artisan glass. (Compl. ¶ 2).

         Grainger began working for Cardinal some 18 years ago, primarily charged with cutting glass to make “demo boxes.” (Compl. ¶ 8). Grainger was first granted medical leave in approximately May 2017 for a “foot issue, ” but he quickly returned to work later that month. (Compl. ¶ 10). Grainger's work release form noted that he should not have “prolonged standing or walking” and that he should be placed on “limited duty” with “sedentary work.” (Compl. Ex. 2, DN 1-2). Grainger alleges that he returned to his former position and received a chair as accommodation. (Compl. ¶ 10).

         In August 2017, Grainger had further difficulties with his foot and underwent two surgeries to correct the problem, resulting in medical leave beginning on August 21, 2017. (Compl. ¶ 11; Compl. Ex. 3, DN 1-3). Based on the recommendation of Dr. Matthew Jung (“Dr. Jung”), Grainger's return-to-work was postponed several times, and he did not return to Cardinal until March 19, 2018.[1] (Compl. ¶¶ 12-16). Dr. Jung qualified his opinion that Grainger could return to work on the basis that he should have the “limitation of limited standing and limited walking” and must “wear his pressure relief shoes . . . .” (Compl. Ex. 7, DN 1-7). As such, Cardinal placed Grainger in a temporary, full-time position in the Clerical-Logistics Office, paying him his previous hourly rate. (Compl. ¶ 17; Compl. Ex. 8, DN 1-8). Cardinal specified that “the duration of this position will be for up to 30 days, at which time your status will be re-evaluated.” (Compl. Ex. 8). On April 12, 2018, Dr. Jung informed Cardinal that Grainger's previous limitations on standing and walking should remain in place at least until his reevaluation on May 10, 2018. (Compl. Ex. 10, DN 1-10). On April 13, 2018, Grainger was fired by Cardinal “due to the continuation of [Grainger's] current restrictions without change, combined with lack of light duty work available for personal injuries.” (Compl. Ex. 11, DN 1-11).

         Grainger filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on December 6, 2018.[2] (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. 1, DN 6-2). The EEOC issued a Right to Sue Letter on May 3, 2019. (Compl. Ex. 1, DN 1-1).

         B. Procedural History

         On May 8, 2019, Grainger filed the present action alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA). (Compl. ¶¶ 25-44). On June 6, 2019, Cardinal moved to dismiss Counts II and III of the Complaint-the ADA and KCRA claims, respectively-for failure to state a claim. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 1, DN 6). Grainger responded, and Cardinal replied. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss, DN 7; Def.'s Reply Mot. Dismiss, DN 8).


         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action via federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Complaint alleges violations of the FMLA and the ADA, both which present federal questions. (Compl. ¶¶ 25-28). The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the KCRA claim because it arises from the same case and controversy as the federal claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).


         In order 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) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “[A] district court must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009)). Even so, the Court need not accept a party's “bare assertion of legal conclusions.” Columbia Nat. Res., Inc. v. Tatum, 58 F.3d 1101, 1109 (6th ...

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