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Smith v. Northrop Grumman

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

July 25, 2014

NICHOLAS SMITH and JENNIFER LYNN TAYLOR-SMITH, Plaintiffs,
v.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN, a Delaware corporation, and Doe 1 through Doe 10, Defendant

Page 1052

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1053

For Nicholas Smith, Jennifer Lynn Taylor-Smith, Plaintiffs: George S. Duesdieker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of George Duesdieker, Menlo Park, CA.

For Northrop Grumman, a Delaware corporation, Defendant: Michael A. Hoffman, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ronald D. Arena, Arena Hoffman LLP, San Francisco, CA.

Page 1054

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [Re: Docket No. 4]

EDWARD J. DAVILA, United States District Judge.

Presently before the court is Defendant Northrop Grumman Corporation's (" Defendant" ) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Jennifer Lynn Taylor-Smith's (" Mrs. Smith" ) Sixth Cause of Action for loss of consortium. The court found this matter suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and previously vacated the hearing. Having reviewed the parties' briefing, and for the following reasons, the court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.

I. Background

Defendant is a Delaware corporation operating worldwide with over 65,000 employees, specializing in developing and manufacturing global aerospace and defense technology. In May 2009, Defendant hired Plaintiff Nicholas Smith (" Mr. Smith" ) (together with Mrs. Smith, " Plaintiffs" ) as a " B" welder. Complaint of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (" Compl." ) ¶ 4, Docket Item No. 1 Ex. A. Two years later, Mr. Smith suffered a non-industrial motorcycle accident which left him a quadriplegic. Compl. ¶ 4, Dkt. No. 1 Ex. A. Due to the accident, Mr. Smith could no longer perform his duties as a welder. Id. However, Mr. Smith identified other jobs he could perform for Defendant with his skills and knowledge, notwithstanding his disability. Mr. Smith wrote to Defendant on June 19, 2012, asserting his availability for work. Id. Despite Mr. Smith's letter, Defendant released Mr. Smith from employment.

On July 15, 2013 Plaintiffs filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court alleging, inter alia, disability discrimination and loss of consortium arising from Defendant's alleged discriminatory termination of Mr. Smith. On August 23, 2013, Defendant removed the case to this court on the basis of diversity. Notice of Removal ¶ 5, Docket Item No. 1. One week later, Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), contending that the Complaint fails to state sufficient facts to sustain Mrs. Smith's cause of action for loss of consortium. Def. Mot. to Dismiss (" MTD" ) 1, Docket Item No. 4. The court now turns to the substance of that motion.

II. Legal Standard

a. Rule 12(b)(1) Standard

" A party invoking the federal court's jurisdiction has the ...


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