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Goodman v. Big O Tires

April 8, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff Michael T. Goodmon ("Plaintiff"), appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant action on March 30, 2010. Plaintiff alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act by his former employer, Defendant Big O Tires, Inc, doing business as Big O Tires/Sierra Quick Lube & Auto Repair ("Defendant").


A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the Court determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the Court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) provides:

A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief: and (3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief.

A complaint must contain a short and plain statement as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Community Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). Plaintiff must allege with at least some degree of particularity overt acts which the Defendants engaged in that support Plaintiff's claim. Id. Although a complaint need not outline all elements of a claim, it must be possible to infer from the allegations that all elements exist and that there is entitlement to relief under some viable legal theory. Walker v. South Cent. Bell Telephone Co., 904 F.2d 275, 277 (5th Cir. 1990); Lewis v. ACB Business Service, Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 405-06 (6th Cir. 1998).

In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that on August 15, 2008, he asked Manager Jason Cieselinski to discuss "the doctors orders after a work related injury." Mr. Cieselinski replied that he did not have to follow any doctor's orders and was told to "stay out of it" by the insurance company. Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Cieselinski told him that if he could not do the work, he should quit. He had approached Mr. Cieselinski several times before this, but Mr. Cieselinski stated that he was busy.

Plaintiff also alleges that he informed Mr. Cieselinski of a slip and fall that occurred earlier in the day and of his intention to go to the doctor and take a few days off. Mr. Cieselinski told Plaintiff that he should just quit, and Plaintiff replied that if he needed to quit to go to the doctor, then he quit. Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Cieselinski's unwillingness to accommodate the doctor's orders violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plaintiff further alleges that on August 16, 2008, he contacted Michael J. Sullivan and informed him of Mr. Cieselinski's actions. Mr. Sullivan told Plaintiff that he needed to speak to Mr. Cieselinski and would get back to him. On August 20, 2008, Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Sullivan called him and told him that he was no longer employed with Defendant. Mr. Sullivan stated that since Plaintiff took his tools home, he assumed he had quit. Plaintiff alleges that he took his tools because they were disappearing and being damaged. Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Sullivan told him that if he did not like it, he could sue or contact the Labor Board.

Plaintiff requests $150,000 for each violation, along with attorneys' fees and costs. He also requests that Defendant put in place policies ...

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