United States District Court, E.D. California
JOHN A. SCHAUF, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN AIRLINES, Defendant.
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 34)
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
April 18, 2016, Defendant American Airlines, Inc.,
erroneously named as "American Airlines"
("Defendant") filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff
John A. Shauf's ("Plaintiff") second amended
complaint and a request for judicial notice of documents
filed in this action in both state and federal court. (Docs.
34-1; 34-2.) Plaintiff did not timely file an opposition.
(See Docket.) After review of the parties'
briefs and arguments, the matter was found suitable for
decision without oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g),
and the hearing date was vacated.
reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion to dismiss
the Amended Complaint and motion to strike Plaintiff's
demand for attorneys' fees is GRANTED with prejudice and
without leave to amend.
"amended complaint is based on discrimination based on
disability, failure to engage in the interactive process,
gross negligence and violation of the compromise and release
executed by [Plaintiff] and [Defendant] (formerly U.S.
Airways) and violation of medical confidentiality and
confidentiality of employee records." (Doc. 28 (Second
Amended Complaint), pp. 2-3.) Plaintiff alleges three causes
of action: discrimination in violation of Cal. Govt. Code
§ 12940(e)(1), negligence in "fail[ing] to provide
a safe, and secure environment for [Plaintiff] while in
training, and "violation of prior compromise and release
and confidentiality laws." (Id., pp. 3-5.)
alleges he is a flight attendant with over 18 years of
experience on regional, national, and international airlines.
He was hired by American Airlines in May of 2013 and began
his first day of post-hire training on or about June 18,
2013. As a condition of his hiring, Plaintiff was required to
pass security and medical background checks. In the course of
his medical background check, Plaintiff revealed that
"he had a disabling episode after 2009, that he was
hospitalized for depression in 2010, and that he had anxiety
and depression, but was not taking any medication at the time
of the hiring process. He also also [sic] executed a
form confirming he received Medi-Care Part D benefits."
(Id., pp. 6-8.) An American Airlines representative
informed Plaintiff that so long as he was no longer medicated
and could produce a letter demonstrating he was medically
stable, he could continue working for American Airlines. If
he began taking medication, he would have to meet certain
additional criteria in order to continue working for American
Airlines. Plaintiff was cleared by a physician for training,
and because he met the "off medication and stable"
documentation criteria, Plaintiff continued training.
(Id., p. 8.)
16, 2013, Plaintiff had money stolen from his flight bag in
an American Airlines training classroom and reported the
matter to American Airlines personnel and filed a police
report. As a result of American Airlines personnel's
"fail[ure] to take the matter seriously[, ]"
Plaintiff experience additional anxiety and told Class
Manager Deborah Tierney "he might need to go back on
medication he was taking for anxiety." (Id.)
Plaintiff was assured he was not fired, but was sent home and
instructed to return in one week to resume training. In a
letter dated July 23, 2013, Plaintiff was instructed to
obtain a physician's note clearing him for return to work
and required to be "off medication for 30 days[.]"
(Id.) On August 1, 2013, Plaintiff spoke with
American Airlines' recruiting staff, who informed him
"that after he cleared the medical requirements he would
be placed back into the training program where he left
off." (Id.) That same day, Plaintiff's
physician spoke with American Airlines medical staff nurse
"Doom, " who clarified that Plaintiff would have to
demonstrate a 30-day "period of stability" prior to
reentering the program. (Id., pp. 8-9.)
August 19, 2013, Plaintiff achieved the required period of
stability, having been on medication for 31 days.
Plaintiff's physician sent a note clearing Plaintiff to
return to training to American Airlines. When Plaintiff
followed up with Nurse Doom, she informed him for the first
time that it was "up to American Airlines
training/recruiting staff whether [Plaintiff would be] placed
back in rotation." (Id., p. 9.) Plaintiff
inquired as to whether any other medical issues existed
"preventing him from returning to training" and
Nurse Doom "indicated there were not."
(Id.) However, on September 6, 2013, Plaintiff
"was fired" from American Airlines. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges "[i]t is clear that [he] was fired
because of his need for mental health medication, ie
[sic] because of his disability or American
Airlines' perception that he had a disability."
(Id., pp. 9-10.)
alleges American Airlines violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 20101, requiring
reasonable accommodation and preventing discrimination based
on disability or perceived disability, and violated the
California Fair Employment and Housing Act
("FEHA"), Cal. Govt. Code §§ 12940 et
seq., requiring an employer to engage in the interactive
process. (Id., p. 10.) Plaintiff alleges
Defendant's "arbitrary" change in policy was
impermissibly prompted by his disability "in that
[American Airlines] initially passed [Plaintiff] for medical
after a background check, then brought up the medical issue
again, and then terminated him for supposed background check
violations." (Id., p. 9.) Plaintiff further
alleges these actions were "in complete violatio[ ]n
[of] laws protecting disabled persons in that they must be
able to determine which criterion they are being denied for
and must be in the order of background first, then
medical." (Id.) Finally, Plaintiff objects to
"the alleged character questions brought about by a
person c[la]iming to be his sister [which] were not
corroborated and constitute a participation in professional
alleges he "has suffered economic and emotional distress
damages" due to Defendant's conduct. Plaintiff
states that he has "lost approximately $55, 000.00 in
salary and the seni[o]rity he would have had if the airline
had not [ ] engaged in their egregious actions."
(Id., p. 10.) Further, Plaintiff states that he has
been unable to find work following his termination due to
American Airline's "defaming [his] good character
and . . . providing negative work reference to potential
employer[s]." (Id.) Plaintiff requests the
Court enjoin Defendant from "defaming [P]laintiff's
good character" and from "refus[ing] to admit
[P]laintiff to [its] training and employment."
(Id.) Plaintiff seeks $1, 155, 000 in general
damages, $55, 000 in lost past and future wages,
"unlimited" punitive damages, to be returned to
work with seniority as of June 18, 2013, interest, costs of
suit, and attorneys' fees. (Id.)
was terminated on September 6, 2013,  and filed a "joint EEOC
and DFEH Charge with the EEOC" alleging he was
wrongfully terminated. On May 7, 2014, Plaintiff alleges the
EEOC mailed him a Notice of Right to Sue. On May 7, 2015,
Plaintiff filed his Complaint with the Stanislaus County
Superior Court in accordance with the EEOC Right to Sue
letter. On June 12, 2015, Plaintiff filed a first amended
complaint with the Stanislaus County Superior Court. On July
28, 2015, Defendant timely removed the action to federal
court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. On January 11,
2016, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's First Amended
Complaint with leave to amend to address the deficiencies in
the pleadings identified in the Court's order; on April
1, 2016, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint.
April 18, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
or in the alternative to strike Plaintiff's demand for
attorneys' fees and order Plaintiff to provide a more
definite statement pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). (Doc. 34.)
No opposition was timely filed. (See generally,
REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE
may take judicial notice of an adjudicative fact, which
"must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that
it is either (1) generally known . . . (2) or capable of
accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose
accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." Fed.R.Evid.
201. The Court may also "take judicial notice of
proceedings in other courts, both within and without the
federal system, if those proceedings have a direct relation
to matters at issue, " Bias v. Moynihan, 508
F.3d 1212, 1225 (9th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted), although "taking judicial notice of
findings of fact from another case exceeds the limits of Rule
201, " Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F.3d 1108, 1114
(9th Cir. 2003) (overruled in part on other grounds,
Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1169 (9th Cir.
documents and other matters of public record are the proper
subject of judicial notice. See Reyn's Pasta Bella,
LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 746 n.6 (9th Cir.
2006). However, even where judicial notice of a document is
granted, it is the existence of such a document and not the
truth of the matters asserted within the document that is
judicially noticed. See Rowland v. Paris Las Vegas,
No. 3:13-CV-02630, 2014 WL 769393, at *3 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 25,
2014). Defendant requests judicial notice of court documents
filed in the underlying case, Schauf v. American
Airlines, Stanislaus County Superior Court Case No.
20114498. (Doc. 34-2, Exhs. A (Complaint), B (Amended
has not opposed this request, and the authenticity of these
documents is not subject to dispute. Such documents are
proper subjects of judicial notice as to the
existence of the documents - the contents
of the documents are not the subject of judicial notice.