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Pogorzelski v. Community Care Physicians, PC

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 30, 2018

GRACE M. POGORZELSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMUNITY CARE PHYSICIANS, PC, Defendant.

          FOR THE PLAINTIFF: Grace M. Pogorzelski Pro Se.

          FOR THE DEFENDANT: Nixon, Peabody Law Firm ANDREW C. ROSE, ESQ. Nixon, Peabody Law Firm JOSEPH A. CARELLO, ESQ. TODD R. SHINAMAN, ESQ.

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          Gary L. Sharpe Senior District Judge.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff pro se Grace Pogorzelski brings this discrimination action under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)[1] against her former employer, Community Care Physicians, PC (hereinafter, “Community”). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1.) Pending is Community's motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 17.) For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

         II. Background

         A. Facts[2]

         Pogorzelski's alleged disability is “[t]riple-[n]egative [b]reast [c]ancer/[bilateral].” (Compl. at 2.) On August 6, 2014, she notified her manager of her diagnosis “and requested that she adhere to the schedule that w[as] agreed upon when [Pogorzelski] was hired so that [Pogorzelski] could arrange for [r]adiation treatments.” (Id. at 3.) The manager offered her sympathy and said that “‘of course, we will do whatever we can. However, I need to speak to H[uman]R[esources]. Please keep me abreast.'” (Id.) Twelve days later, on August 18, Pogorzelski was dismissed by her manager in the presence of the Human Resources Director. (Id.) When asked why, the Human Resources Director stated, “‘[W]e don't owe you an explanation.'” (Id.) Pogorzelski replied that she hoped “it wasn't about something all together [sic] different[.]” (Id.) Her manager then said, “‘[O]h[, ] Grace, I would never do that.'” (Id.) The Human Resources Director again said that they did not owe Pogorzelski an explanation. (Id.)

         B. Procedural History

         On April 29, 2016, Pogorzelski filed a complaint against Community, claiming that her termination constitutes disability discrimination under the ADA. (See generally Compl.) Community thereafter filed the pending motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 17.) After Pogorzelski filed her response, (Dkt. No. 19), and Community replied, (Dkt. No. 20), Pogorzelski filed another response, (Dkt. No. 22). Community then filed a sur-reply, (Dkt. No. 25), after receiving permission to do so, (Dkt. Nos. 23-24).

         III. Standard of Review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a cause of action shall be dismissed if a complaint fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” For a full discussion of the governing standard for Rule 12(b)(6), the court refers the parties to its prior decision in Ellis v. Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP, 701 F.Supp.2d 215, 218 (N.D.N.Y. 2010).

         IV. Discussion

         A. Sufficiency of Pogorzelski's Disability ...


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