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Christopher Sherman v. Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation Et. Al.

January 28, 2011

CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
v.
HERTZ EQUIPMENT RENTAL CORPORATION ET. AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL O

Title:

Kathy Peterson Not Present Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: NONE PRESENT NONE PRESENT PROCEEDING (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS

Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Individual Defendants Bill Matthews, Jim Clem, Mark Wilson and Mark Kruse in the above-captioned case ("Motion") (Docket 21). The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed.R.Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers thereon, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

The allegations, according to the Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") are as follows. Plaintiff previously served as a truck driver for Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation and the Hertz Corporation (collectively, the "Hertz Defendants"). During his tenure at Hertz, Plaintiff was allegedly supervised by four individuals: Bill Matthews, Jim Clem, Mark Wilson and Mark Krause (collectively, the "Individual Defendants"). Plaintiff avers that he lodged various complaints to his supervisors concerning the fact that his truck was regularly overloaded and that he was forced to work excess hours. Plaintiff also claims that he was encouraged to submit false reports in order to minimize his hours. In the FAC, Plaintiff alleges that complaining about these issues lead to his termination. As a result of these alleged events, Plaintiff filed suit in the Orange County Superior Court on April 28, 2010. Defendants removed the case to the instant Court on October 12, 2010 (Docket 1).

Against the Hertz Defendants, Plaintiff asserts claims for: (1) Wrongful Termination In Violation of Public Policy, (2) Breach of Employment Contract, (3) Breach of Implied Covenant Not to Terminate Except With Good Cause, (4) Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, (5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress ("IIED"), and (6) California Vehicle and Labor Code Violations. Plaintiff joins the Individual Defendants as defendants to his IIED claims.

The Court previously granted the Individual Defendants' motion to dismiss the IIED claim contained in Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint on the grounds that the claim, as stated, was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, Nov. 29, 2010 ("November 29 Order") (Docket 16). The Court granted Plaintiff leave to amend. The Individual Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's amended IIED claim.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must be dismissed when a plaintiff's allegations fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dismissal for failure to state a claim does not require the appearance, beyond a doubt, that the plaintiff can prove "no set of facts" in support of its claim that would entitle it to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1968 (2007) (abrogating Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)). In order for a complaint to survive a 12(b)(6) motion, it must state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v., 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009). A claim for relief is facially plausible when the plaintiff pleads enough facts, taken as true, to allow a court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged conduct. Id. at 1949. If the facts only allow a court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is possibly liable, then the complaint must be dismissed. Id. Mere legal conclusions are not to be accepted as true and do not establish a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 1950.Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will be a context-specific task requiring the court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id.

In evaluating a 12(b)(6) motion, review is "limited to the contents of the complaint." Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754 (9th Cir. 1994). However, exhibits attached to the complaint, as well as matters of public record, may be considered in determining whether dismissal was proper without converting the motion to one for summary judgment. See Parks School of Business, Inc. , 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986). Further, a court may consider documents "on which the complaint 'necessarily relies' if: (1) the complaint refers to the document; (2) the document is central to the plaintiff's claim; and (3) no party questions the authenticity of the copy attached to the 12(b)(6) Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). "The Court may treat such a document as 'part of the complaint, and thus may assume that its contents are true for purposes of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)." Id.

Dismissal without leave to amend is appropriate only when the Court is satisfied that the deficiencies in the complaint could not possibly be cured by amendment. Jackson v. Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 758 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Chang v. Chen, 80 F.3d 1293, 1296 ...


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