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Ahmadi v. United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 6, 2014

SARA AHMADI, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC., d/b/a UNITED AIRLINE, and DOES 1-50, Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. 10)

LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Sara Ahmadi ("Ahmadi") brings this personal injury action against Defendant United Continental Holdings, Inc., doing business as United Airline ("United"). Before the Court is United's motion to dismiss Ahmadi's fourth cause of action for breach of contract and fifth cause of action for breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND United's motion to dismiss Ahmadi's fourth and fifth causes of action.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Facts[1]

On or around December 15, 2011, Ahmadi purchased airline tickets to travel with United. On December 25, 2011, Ahmadi and her family traveled on United flight 6284 from Bakersfield, California to Denver, Colorado, and United flight 861 from Denver to Boston, Massachusetts. At the time of travel, Ahmadi was pregnant.

At Denver, while Ahmadi was seated aboard United flight 861, another passenger attempted to place a piece of luggage into an overhead bin above Ahmadi's head. The luggage fell on Ahmadi's head. As a result, Ahmadi suffered injuries including a miscarriage that terminated her pregnancy.

B. Procedural History

On December 12, 2013, Ahmadi filed a complaint against United in Kern County Superior Court alleging five causes of action: 1) negligence; 2) res ipsa loquitur negligence; 3) violation of Cal. Civ. Code ยง 2100, et seq. /negligence per se; 4) breach of contract; and 5) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. On February 26, 2014, United removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. On March 5, 2014, United filed a motion to dismiss Ahmadi's fourth and fifth cause of action for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The Court granted the motion with leave to amend.

On April 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint ("FAC"). On May 12, 2014, United filed another motion to dismiss Plaintiff's fourth and fifth causes of action under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the ground they fail to state a claim. Doc. 10. United asserts the claims should be dismissed "[f]or essentially the same reasons the Court granted United's [previous] motion to dismiss." Doc. 10 at 4.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) is a challenge to the sufficiency of the allegations set forth in the complaint. A dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper where there is either a "lack of a cognizable legal theory" or "the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory." Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court generally accepts as true the allegations in the complaint, construes the pleading in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and resolves all doubts in the pleader's favor. Lazy Y. Ranch LTD., 546 F.3d at 588.

To survive a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are ...


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