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St. Jean v. Orient-Express Hotels Inc.

United States District Court, Second Circuit

August 5, 2013

MELISSA ST. JEAN, Plaintiff,
v.
ORIENT-EXPRESS HOTELS INC., Defendant.

Derek Smith, Esq., DEREK SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC, New York, NY, Attorney for Plaintiff,

Harry P. Brett, Esq., William F. Cusack, Esq., WILSON, ELSER, MOSKOWITZ, EDELMAN & DICKER LLP, New York, NY, Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION

ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.

Defendant Orient-Express Hotels Inc. ("OEHI" or the "Defendant") has moved pursuant to Rules 12(b) (1) and 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss the amended complaint (the "Amended Complaint" or "AC") of plaintiff Melissa St. Jean ("St. Jean" or the "Plaintiff"), alleging gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII").

Upon the conclusions set forth below, the motion to dismiss is denied.

I. Prior Proceedings

The Plaintiff filed her original complaint on December 5, 2012. On February 15, 2013, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which was withdrawn after Plaintiff filed her amended Complaint on March 5, 2013.

The Amended Complaint alleged two causes of action sounding in gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII. On March 22, 2013, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint, and that motion was marked fully submitted on April 22, 2013.

II. Facts

The facts are taken from the Amended Complaint and the submissions of the parties. The allegations of the Amended Complaint are accepted as true for the purposes of this motion, see Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc. , 282 F.3d 147, 152 (2d Cir. 2002), and do not constitute findings of fact by the Court.

Plaintiff is a U.S. citizen who maintains a permanent residence in Westbrook, Connecticut. (AC ¶ 7).

Orient-Express Hotels, Ltd. ("OEH Ltd.")) is a Bermuda-based company engaged in owning and managing luxury properties in the leisure and tourism sector. (Def. Ex. B, 2011 Annual Report). OEH Ltd. has 42 subsidiaries including OEHI, Orient-Express Services Ltd. ("OES Ltd.") and Cupecoy Village Development N.V. ("Cupecoy"). (Id.).

According to the Plaintiff, Defendant OEHI is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in the State of New York, which employs over 15 persons. (AC ¶¶ 8-9).

According to the Defendant, OEHI employed only 12 persons, including Philip Gesue ("Gesue") and Catherine Armstrong ("Armstrong"). (Def. Ex. C, 2012 Payroll Budget). At all relevant times, OEHI's directors were Martin O'Grady and David Williams ("Williams") and its officers were Williams, President, John Landry, Jr., Vice President and Assistant Secretary, and Edwin Hetherington, Secretary.

Cupecoy is a subsidiary of OEH Ltd. and located in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles. (AC ¶12). The company is incorporated under Dutch law and manages Porto Cupecoy, a luxury residential marina in St. Maarten. (Id. ¶¶ 14-15). Richard Seay ("Seay") ...


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