The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Christina A. Snyder, U.S. District Judge
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
RITA SANCHEZ LAURA ELIAS N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE (filed 10/20/2011)
The Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. The hearing scheduled for November 21, 2011 is hereby vacated.
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
On August 23, 2011, Kimberly Sudolsky ("plaintiff") filed the instant action in Los Angeles Superior Court against Torrance Memorial Medical Center ("Torrance Memorial"), Lynda Stoodly ("Stoodly") and DOES 1--50, (collectively, "defendants"). Plaintiff, a nurse, was formerly employed by Torrance Memorial and directly supervised by Stoodley. Complaint ¶ 2. Plaintiff suffers from irritable bowel syndrome ("IBS"), which caused plaintiff to miss work. Id. ¶ 3. Plaintiff alleges that Stoodly harassed her due to her IBS and related absences. Id. ¶¶ 5--6. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendants violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), Cal. Gov't Code § 12940 et seq., in the following ways: (1) discrimination due to disability; (2) harassment due to disability; (3) retaliation due to disability; (4) failure to accommodate; and (5) failure to engage in the interactive process. Additionally, plaintiff alleges defendants interfered with and failed to provide her leave in violation of the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA"), Cal. Gov. Code § 12945, and Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and wrongfully terminated her in violation of public policy. In addition to other remedies, plaintiff seeks punitive and exemplary damages.
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f), on October 20, 2011, defendants filed the instant motion to strike each and every allegation pertaining to punitive and/or exemplary damages from the Complaint. Mot. at 1. On October 31, 2011, plaintiff filed her opposition and, on November 7, 2011, defendants replied. Defendants' motion is presently before the Court.
A motion to strike material from a pleading is made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f), the Court may strike from a pleading any "insufficient defense" or any material that is "redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous." A Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f) motion is not a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and, where not involving a purportedly insufficient defense, simply tests whether a pleading contains inappropriate material. The Court may also strike under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f) a prayer for relief which is not available as a matter of
Tapley v. Lockwood Green Eng'rs, 502 F.2d 559, 560 (8th Cir. 1974). The essential function of a Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f) motion is to "avoid the expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues by dispensing with those issues prior to trial." Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty, 984 F.2d 1524, 1527 (9th Cir. 1993), rev'd on other grounds, 510 U.S. 517 (1994). Because of "the limited importance of pleadings in federal practice," motions to ...