Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Shearon v. Comfort Tech Mechanical Co., Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 31, 2014

DAVID SHEARON, Plaintiff,
v.
COMFORT TECH MECHANICAL CO., INC., And KENNETH ELLERT, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, District Judge.

David Shearon ("Plaintiff") commenced this action against his former employer, Comfort Tech Mechanical Co., Inc. ("CTM"), on January 9, 2012. Following motions to dismiss and to amend, Plaintiffs remaining causes of action are comprised of: 1) a claim against CTM for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and 2) a misrepresentation and fraud claim against Defendant Kenneth Ellert. Defendant CTM now argues that the Court lacks supplemental jurisdiction over the misrepresentation and fraud claim against Ellert, and moves to dismiss it pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Dkt. 22. The motion is GRANTED, and the misrepresentation and fraud claim is dismissed. Plaintiff may proceed only on his ADA claim.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This action began on January 9, 2012, when Plaintiff David Shearon filed a lawsuit against Defendant Comfort Tech Mechanical Co. Dkt. 1 ("Initial Complaint"). In his Initial Complaint, Shearon alleged that CTM employed him as a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ("HVAC") worker from May 2008 through January 2011. Id. at ¶ 10. During that time, CTM purportedly operated pursuant to a local union labor agreement. Id at ¶ 11. However, Shearon was not employed under any employment contract with CTM, and CTM did not offer him union membership. Id at ¶ 12. Shearon asserted that because he was not a union member, he was paid lower hourly wages, and was denied other union benefits. Id. at ¶¶ 13-14. The Initial Complaint also alleged that Shearon requested, and was granted, leave from employment to pursue alcohol counseling and rehabilitation. Id. at ¶ 15. When Shearon initially requested a leave of absence, Stuart Ellert, a CTM principal stated "Oh no, we can't have this!, ' or words to that effect." Id. at ¶ 16. CTM later terminated Plaintiff on February 28, 2011, "with full knowledge that Shearon was in treatment." Id. at ¶ 20.

Shearon's Initial Complaint asserted three causes of action for disability discrimination: (1) the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101; (2) the New York State Human Rights Law ("NYHRL"), N.Y. Exec. Law § 290; and (3) the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL"), N.Y. City Admin. Code § 8-107. Dkt. 1. Shearon also brought three state law claims: (1) unjust enrichment, (2) quantum meruit, and (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress ("DIED"). Id.

Defendant CTM subsequently moved to dismiss the five non-ADA claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ, P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Dkts. 4-6. Plaintiff cross-moved to add four additional causes of action and to add Stuart Ellert, a CTM principal, as a named defendant. Dkt. 11. By order of March 28, 2013, the Court found that Plaintiff's state common law claims for unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, and negligent infliction of emotional distress were preempted, and that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust the grievance remedies required under the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA"). Dkt. 16 at 8-15. The Court also found that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims for violations of the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. Id at 15-16. With regards to Plaintiffs proposed amendments, the Court denied as futile Plaintiff's proposed claims for breach of the CBA, breach of ERISA obligations, and breach of fiduciary duty. Id. at 17-21. However, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to add a cause of action against new Defendant Ellert for misrepresentation and fraud, because "[Waving satisfied all of the elements of a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, " it appeared possible that Plaintiff would be able to assert a fraud claim that would "vindicate rights independent of the CBA." Id. at 21-22.

On April 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint against Defendants CTM and Ellert. Dkt. 18 ("Am. Compl."). The Amended Complaint brought a claim of disability discrimination in violation of the ADA against CTM, as well as a claim of misrepresentation and fraud against Ellert. Id. at ¶ 1. Plaintiff's factual allegations in the Amended Complaint substantially echoed those in his Initial Complaint. Compare Dkt. 1 at ¶¶ 10-20 with Dkt. 18 at ¶¶ 11-25. However, Plaintiff added allegations that "[alt numerous times during his employment, Shearon inquired from defendant Ellert whether CTM was a union shop' and was told no'... each time by Ellert." Dkt. 18 at ¶ 16. Plaintiff also asserted that Defendants did not make union membership information available to him, and that only after his employment ended did Plaintiff learn that CTM was a "union shop" and obtain a copy of the CBA applicable to his employment. Id. at ¶¶ 17, 24-25. Plaintiff asserted that jurisdiction was proper pursuant to 42 US.C. § 2000, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and pendent jurisdiction. Id. at ¶ 7.

On June 7, 2013, Defendant CTM moved to dismiss Plaintiffs Amended Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Dkt. 22.

II DISCUSSION

a. Legal Standard

A case may be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) when the district court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate it. Makarova v. US., 201 F.3d 110, 113 (2d Cir. 2000); Fed, R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). A court making this determination must take all facts alleged in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Natural Res. Def Council v. Johnson, 461 F.3d 164, 171 (2d Cir. 2006).

Supplemental jurisdiction may be exercised over "all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the Constitution." 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Disputes satisfy this requirement if they derive from a common nucleus of operative fact, e.g., if the facts underlying the claims substantially overlap or presentation of the federal claim necessarily brings the facts underlying the state claim before the federal district court. Achtman v. Kirby, McInerney & Squire, LIP, 464 F.3d 328, 335 (2d Cir. 2006); Promisel v. First Am. Artificial Flowers Inc., 943 F.2d 251, 254 (2d Cir. 1991); Lyndonville Say. Bank & Trust Co. v. Lussier, 211 F.3d 697, 704 (2d Cir. 2000) (supplemental jurisdiction should not be exercised when federal and state claims rest on "essentially unrelated" facts).

If a common nucleus of fact is found, a federal court's exercise of supplemental jurisdiction is a "favored and normal course of action." Promisel, 943 F.2d at 254. However, a court may still decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim if 1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of state law; 2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim over which the district court has original jurisdiction; 3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.