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Albert Lacondeguy v. Venkataramana Adapa

December 31, 2010

ALBERT LACONDEGUY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VENKATARAMANA ADAPA, M.D.; JAGDISH AMBALAL PATEL, M.D.; NDIVIDUALLY AND DBA TRACY OCCUPATIONAL MEDICAL CENTER;
IAN THOMAS PULLIAM, D.O.; FIRST ADVANTAGE CORPORATION, A DELAWARE CORPORATION;
JOHN BURLESON WOMACK, M.D., YRC, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 51, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT FIRST ADVANTAGE CORPORATIONS‟S MOTION TO DISMISS/MOTION FOR ) JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant First Advantage Corporation‟s ("Defendant‟s") Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9), Plaintiff Albert Lacondeguy‟s ("Plaintiff‟s") Complaint (Doc. 1), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff opposes the motion (Doc. 10). This motion was set for hearing on September 15, 2010 and ordered submitted on the briefs.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, 2 Defendant‟s motion is granted. 3 4

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This matter was originally filed in the Superior Court of San 6 Joaquin County, and was removed (Doc. 1) to this Court by defendant 7 YRC Inc. (not a party to this motion), based on federal question 8 jurisdiction. Plaintiff‟s Complaint is based on alleged violations 9 of federal drug testing regulations, and Plaintiff was a union member whose suit against employer YRC, Inc. falls under the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 141-195. Though YRC, Inc. has since been dismissed from the lawsuit (Doc. 10, ex. 1), this Court continues to have jurisdiction due to the alleged violation of federal drug testing regulations.

Plaintiff‟s Complaint alleges that he was a truck driver and member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Complaint alleges that on or about August 14, 2009, Plaintiff was required to submit to a random drug test pursuant to federal regulations, which required him to produce a urine sample. The drug test was performed at Tracy Occupational Medical Center (not a party to this motion). Plaintiff alleges he was unable to produce a urine sample, and was thus referred for a physical evaluation by a doctor. Plaintiff alleges that the examining doctors (not parties to this motion) failed to diagnose a pre-existing condition that prevented him from producing a urine sample. The evaluation was then sent for review to a medical review officer ("MRO"), Dr. Womack. The Complaint further alleges that Dr. Womack erroneously 2 verified the results as "positive" the same day as he received the 3 results, and failed to contact Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that 4 these actions violated the Code of Federal Regulations and its 5 provisions governing drug testing and medical review. Plaintiff 6 was terminated from his employment in August 2009 following the 7 drug test. Defendant employed Dr. Womack and provided YRC, Inc. 8 with the medical review services that are required for federally 9 mandated drug testing.

The Complaint brings state law claims for relief for negligence of the examining doctors, negligence of the medical review officer, and fraud and interference with contract. The two claims brought against Defendant are the claim for negligence of the medical review officer, and the claim for fraud and interference with contract. Defendant argues that both claims should be dismissed.*fn2

II. OPINION

A. Legal Standard

A party may move to dismiss an action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure section 12(b)(6).

Defendant‟s motion to dismiss states in a footnote that it already filed an Answer to the Complaint, therefore its motion to dismiss should be considered a motion for judgment on the pleadings 2 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). See Aldabe v. 3 Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1115 (9th Cir. 1980). The Answer was 4 presumably filed in the Superior Court, as it is not before the 5 Court. However, a motion for judgment on the pleadings is 6 equivalent to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to 7 state a claim upon which relief can be granted and the standard of 8 review is the same. Hal Roach Studios v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 9 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1990). Thus, the Court‟s analysis is the same for a 12(b)(6) motion and 12(c) motion, irrespective of the previously filed Answer.

In deciding a motion for judgment on the pleadings the court must accept all the allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. However, conclusory allegations and unwarranted inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion for judgment on the pleadings. In re Syntex Corp. Sec. Litig., 95 F.3d 922, 926 (9th Cir. 1996).

It must appear beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Sun Savings and Loan Ass‟n v. Dierdorff, 825 F.2d 187, 191 (9th Cir. 1987).

In addition to considering the allegations of the complaint, like a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the court may also take into account materials to which it can take judicial notice. A Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings may consequently be granted if, after assessing both the complaint, plus matters for which judicial notice is proper, it appears beyond doubt that the non-moving party cannot prove any facts that would support his claim for relief.

Morgan v. County of Yolo, 436 F.Supp.2d 1152, 1155 (E.D. Cal. 2006) ...


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