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Ali Ghadersohi v. Roswell Park Cancer Institute

September 30, 2011

ALI GHADERSOHI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROSWELL PARK CANCER INSTITUTE,
DEFENDANT.



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

DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, commenced this action on February 22, 2010, alleging that Roswell Park Cancer Institute ("RPCI") discriminated against him because of his national origin and retaliated against him for complaining about discrimination, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1962, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.

Presently before the Court is RPCI's Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 5). For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

II. BACKGROUND

This is the third of three actions commenced by Plaintiff against RPCI. In the first, Ghadersohi I, Plaintiff alleged discrimination on the basis of his age and disability, and retaliation. (08-CV-355, Docket No. 1.) Ghadersohi I was resolved by settlement, and the case was closed on February 13, 2009. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed three motions in the closed action, alleging various breaches of the parties' Confidential Settlement Agreement (the Agreement) and seeking enforcement. (Id. Docket Nos. 52, 91, 96.) Those motions were denied and Ghadersohi I is concluded. (Id. Docket No. 109.)

The second action, Ghadersohi II, was commenced in New York State Supreme Court and then removed to this Court on July 31, 2009. (09-CV-689.) In this case, Plaintiff sought monetary damages in connection with the same conduct alleged in his first enforcement motion in Ghadersohi I. (Id. Docket No. 1.) He further claimed that RPCI's alleged breach was retaliatory in nature. (Id.) Plaintiff subsequently filed two motions alleging additional breaches of the Agreement, which motions were identical to the second and third enforcement motions in Ghadersohi I. (Id. Docket Nos. 27, 39.) Ghadersohi II was dismissed in its entirety on September 27, 2011. (Docket No. 44.)

In this third action, Plaintiff alleges he was discriminated against based on his national origin. He further alleges that, six months after he submitted a complaint to the New York State Division of Human Rights (filed on March 18, 2009), RCPI retaliated against him by restricting his access to its premises, any off-site event under its control, and its communications systems. (10-CV-143, Docket No. 1-2 at 1, 5, 12.) This same conduct was the basis for motions to enforce in Ghadersohi I, Docket No. 96, and Ghadersohi II, Docket No. 39.

RPCI has moved to dismiss the national origin discrimination claim for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and failure to state a claim, and the retaliation claim for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff filed a declaration in response,*fn1 RPCI filed a reply, and the Court finds that no oral argument is necessary.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007) (internal quotation marks omitted).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint alleging workplace discrimination and/or retaliation need not plead facts sufficient to defeat summary judgment. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 511, 122 S. Ct. 992, 152 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2002). At the pleading stage, courts consider only whether the complaint includes factual allegations sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). In conducting this inquiry, the court must generally accept as true all of the factual assertions in the complaint. Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71 (2d Cir. 2009). However, there is a narrow exception to this rule for factual assertions that are contradicted by the complaint itself, by documents upon which the pleadings rely, or by facts of which the court may take judicial notice. See, e.g., Hirsch v. Arthur Andersen & Co., 72 F.3d 1085, 1095 (2d Cir. 1995) (upholding dismissal where "attenuated allegations" supporting the claim were ...


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