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Young-Gibson v. Pravin Patel

August 9, 2011

YOUNG-GIBSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRAVIN PATEL, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny Chief Judge United States District Court

DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Presently before this Court is Defendant Pravin Patel's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings seeking dismissal of Plaintiff Barbara Young-Gibson's complaint. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted.

II. BACKGROUND

Defendant Pravin Patel owns the Best Western Dunkirk and Fredonia, a hotel located in Dunkirk, New York. (Complaint, Docket No. 1, ¶ 4). Plaintiff is a resident of Glouster, Massachusetts. (Complaint, ¶ 1).

From August 1 to August 6, 2004, Plaintiff was a guest at Defendant's hotel while attending a business seminar. (Complaint, ¶ 4). Plaintiff's stay was unremarkable until August 4, when she alleges that she began to suffer from "migraine-like symptoms." (Complaint, ¶ 4). When these symptoms worsened, Plaintiff contacted her physician, Dr. Edward Foley, who prescribed Plaintiff medication. (Complaint, ¶ 4).

Since Plaintiff was far from home, Dr. Foley told her that he would send the prescription to a pharmacy near her. (Complaint, ¶ 4). Dr. Foley did not tell Plaintiff to which pharmacy he planned to send her prescription, but he told her that he would provide that information. (Complaint, ¶ 4).

Plaintiff did not hear from Dr. Foley again until August 6. (Complaint, ¶ 5). This delay was allegedly not for Dr. Foley's lack of effort. (Complaint, ¶ 5). Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Foley attempted to reach her by telephone at the hotel 20 times, each time allowing the telephone to ring ten times. (Complaint, ¶ 5). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to answer the telephone, which prevented her from learning the location of her prescription. Plaintiff states that she suffered a number of ills while waiting to hear from Dr. Foley, including an eye infection that developed into glaucoma. (Complaint, ¶ 6). These afflictions required numerous doctor visits, surgeries, and expensive medications. (Complaint, ¶ 6).

Plaintiff filed this suit in the District of Massachusetts on August 6, 2007. The suit was transferred to this District on September 4, 2008. Plaintiff is seeking $1,000,000 in damages for loss of her vision and other expenses that she allegedly incurred. (Docket No. 13*fn1 ;).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Rule 12 (c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "[a]fter the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay trial - a party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (c). Courts faced with motions under Rule 12 (c) apply the same standard used to decide motions brought under Rule 12 (b). Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001).

Rule 12 (b)(6) allows dismissal of a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (b)(6). Federal pleading standards are generally not stringent: Rule 8 requires only a short and plain statement of a claim. Fed. R. Civ. P.8 (a)(2). But the plain statement must "possess enough heft to show that the pleader is entitled to relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1966, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).

When determining whether a complaint states a claim, the court must construe it liberally, accept all factual allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Goldstein, 516 F.3d at 56; ATSI Commc'ns, Inc. v. Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007). Legal conclusions, however, are not afforded the same presumption of truthfulness. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) ("the tenet ...


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