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Ann Marie Dubreus v. North Shore University Hospital and North Shore-Long Island Jewish

November 20, 2012

ANN MARIE DUBREUS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NORTH SHORE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL AND NORTH SHORE-LONG ISLAND JEWISH HEALTH SYSTEM, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurley, Senior District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Ann Marie Dubreus ("plaintiff") commenced this action against defendants North Shore University Hospital ("North Shore Hospital") and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System ("North Shore Health") (collectively, "defendants") alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. Plaintiff asserts that defendants discriminated against her based on her disability, failed to accommodate her disability, and retaliated against her, all in violation of the ADA.

Presently before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking dismissal of the Complaint on the grounds that is untimely. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Since the only issue before the Court is whether this action is timely, the background section will be substantially limited to those facts pertinent to the issue of timeliness.

Plaintiff was employed as a Patient Care Associate at North Shore Hospital from July 2001 until March 28, 2011, when she was terminated. (Compl. ¶ 13.) According to plaintiff, she had a pre-existing partial disability during her employment which is described as "cardiac enzyme problems/high blood pressure." (Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff claims, inter alia, that she "was terminated on account of a continuing on-going pattern of discrimination; in retaliation for engaging in protected activity of complaining about said discrimination; and on account of North Shore Hospital policy to terminate disabled employees on six month disability leave that request more time off from work during said Leave." (Id. ¶ 11.)

On April 29, 2011, plaintiff filed a dual complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights ("DHR") and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") (Compl. ¶ 4.) It is alleged that on September 26, 2011, the DHR determined that probable cause existed to believe that defendants engaged in the unlawful discriminatory practice complained of in the complaint. (Id.) On November 21, 2011, the EEOC issued the Notice of Right to Sue letter. (Id.) Although the Complaint in this action was filed on February 27, 2012, plaintiff alleges that she "filed the instant matter timely within 90 days of receiving [the Right to Sue] letter." (Id.)

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Rule 8(a) provides that a pleading shall contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The Supreme Court has clarified the pleading standard applicable in evaluating a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).*fn1

First, in Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), the Court disavowed the well-known statement in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957) that "a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561 (quoting Conley, 355 U.S. at 45-46) (internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss under Twombly, a plaintiff must allege "only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570.

While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true.

Id. at 555 (citations, internal quotation marks, and alterations omitted).

More recently, in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme Court provided further guidance, setting forth a two-pronged approach for courts deciding a motion to dismiss. First, a court should "begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. at 679. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Id. Thus, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the ...


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