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Fouche v. St. Charles Hosp.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

September 8, 2014

GILBERTE FOUCHE, Plaintiff,
v.
ST. CHARLES HOSPITAL, Defendant

Page 207

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 208

September 8, 2014, Filed

For the Plaintiff: Alero O. Mayor, Esq., Alero O. Mayor, Esq., Arverne, NY.

For the Defendant: Kevin James Smith, Esq., Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, New York, NY.

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

OPINION

Page 209

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

SPATT, District Judge.

On April 18, 2014, the Plaintiff Gilberte Fouche (the " Plaintiff" ) commenced this action against the Defendant St. Charles Hospital (the " Defendant" ). The Plaintiff asserts three claims for relief: (1) wrongful termination or constructive discharge in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (" ERISA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., namely § 510 of ERISA; (2) retaliation in violation of New York Labor Law § 740 and New York Civil Service Law § 75-b; and (3) discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, and national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ), § 2000e et seq.

Presently before the Court is a motion by the Defendant pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. For the reasons set forth below, the Defendant's motion is granted; the complaint is dismissed in its entirety; and the Plaintiff is given twenty days to file an amended complaint limited to a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Underlying Factual Allegations

Unless stated otherwise, the following facts are drawn from the complaint and construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff is a resident of New York, a black female of African ancestry, and Haitian national origin. She is a registered nurse (" RN" ) and was an employee of the Defendant, a hospital in Suffolk County, New York, from 2005 to 2011. The Plaintiff is a member of the New York State Nurses Association (" NYSNA" ), a labor union that had a collective bargaining agreement with the Defendant at all the relevant times.

The Plaintiff's regular shift as an RN was in the Intensive Care Unit. On or about October 21, 2011, the Plaintiff covered the Telemetry Unit for the night shift. A white nurse had been granted overtime and had been scheduled to cover the Telemetry Unit that night. However, that nurse refused to work the shift in the Telemetry Unit and was, instead, permitted to work in the Intensive Care Unit. According to the Plaintiff, she was assigned to the Telemetry Unit as the sole RN, without sufficient supporting staff and with more patients under her care than permitted by the Defendant's internal rules.

During this shift, one patient's defibrillator machine indicated a reading of atrial fibrillation (" A-Fib" ). After checking the machine, the Plaintiff phoned the physician

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in charge of the patient; the physician told the Plaintiff that the patient had a history of such conditions, and prescribed certain medication.

After treating the patient, the Plaintiff discovered a problem with a remote defibrillator monitor; in fact, the Plaintiff subsequently discovered that all the machines in the Telemetry Unit were faulty. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 12-14.) The Plaintiff " was then advised that the machines had been malfunctioning for a while and that this was well known to the administration [of the Defendant]." (Id. ΒΆ 14.) The Plaintiff later ...


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