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Reeve v. Murabito

United States District Court, Second Circuit

November 18, 2013

MICHAEL P. REEVE, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. WILLIAM MURABITO, et al., Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

THOMAS J. McAVOY, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Reeve commenced the instant action pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12112 et seq., alleging that Defendants failed to engage in the interactive process with him to identify a reasonable accommodation to his disability and failed to reasonably accommodate his disability. Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12. Because Plaintiff has since filed an Amended Complaint, the Court will apply Defendants' motion to the allegations in the Amended Complaint.

I. FACTS

The sequence of events are somewhat confusing based on the Amended Complaint's allegations. Some of the assertions appear to be contradictory. The Court will endeavor to make sense of the allegations in the Amended Complaint.

The Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff is an employee at Morrisville State College. As a result of a fall at work in March 2008, Plaintiff sustained an injury. Plaintiff went out on medical leave and underwent a spinal fusion in 2010. Plaintiff returned to work in the fall of 2011. Plaintiff's doctors advised that he should reduce his walking and standing. Plaintiff is unable "to walk over 100 feet without severe pain."

In December 2011, Plaintiff had a casual meeting with Dean Christian Cring wherein Plaintiff advised that he wanted to return the keys to the office of "Dr. (N), " who had been laid off. Am. Compl. Ex. 1 at 1-2. Having learned that Dr. N's office would be empty, that evening, Plaintiff begun to think about his "needs." Id. at 2. Sometime thereafter, Plaintiff claims that he requested an accommodation of a "centrally [located] office, " but that "no discussion was forthcoming." Id . According to Plaintiff, his current office is "in the basement with no rest room facilities or accessible elevator which results in a 600 foot and 2 trips up and down stairs for one trip to the rest room facilities and an even greater distance to his] upstairs lecture rooms or laboratories." Despite claiming that "no discussion was forthcoming, " the Amended Complaint states that on December 12, 2011, he was "offered two rooms which would accommodate [his] disability." Am. Compl. at 3. Plaintiff rejected these rooms because one of the rooms created more walking from his lab and "[b]oth rooms lacked windows and outside light" and Plaintiff is "mildly claustrophobic and require[s] the vision of outside light." Id . Plaintiff further claims that these rooms were located behind college lecture rooms, were noisy, and lacked privacy. Id . According to Plaintiff, he was "insulted by [the] offers and ended the meeting." Id.

In a meeting held on December 19, 2011, Dean Cring "could not understand the reasons [Plaintiff] gave her about her offers being unacceptable and therefore did not discuss or offer to look for other options." Id. at 4. Thereafter, Plaintiff had a meeting on January 5, 2012 with Provost Rogers at which time Plaintiff offered certain "options and opinions." Id . By e-mail dated January 13, 2012, Plaintiff was offered a third choice that included sharing an office with "Dr. (M)." Id. at 5. Plaintiff apparently did not accept these offers. Further meetings were held.

In March or August 2012, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights. Id. at 2.

In June 2013, Plaintiff was offered two other options, one of which Plaintiff accepted. Id. at 7. An additional option was offered to Plaintiff in August 2013. Apparently, the matter remains unresolved.

Plaintiff commenced the instant action claiming that Defendants violated his rights under the ADA by failing to reasonably accommodate his disabilities and failing to engage in the interactive process with him.

Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"To survive a motion to dismiss, 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id . This standard requires that the complaint allege "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully" and more than "facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability." Id . (internal ...


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