United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS Re: Dkt. No. 11
MARIA-ELENA JAMES, United States Magistrate Judge
George Thibodeaux brings this action alleging (1) breach of
contract, (2) breach of implied covenant for good faith and
fair dealing, (3) intentional misrepresentation, and (4)
negligent misrepresentation. Pending before the Court is
Defendant Bay Area Building Material Teamsters, Local
853's (“Defendant, ” “Local 853,
” or “Teamsters”) Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt.
No. 11. Plaintiff filed an Opposition (Dkt. No. 20), and
Defendant filed a Reply (Dkt. No. 28). The Court finds the
matter suitable for disposition without a hearing.
See Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Having considered the
parties' positions, the relevant legal authority, and the
record in this case, the Court GRANTS
Defendant's Motion for the reasons set forth below.
twenty years, Plaintiff was employed as a commercial driver
by Central Concrete Supply Co. and was a member of Local 853.
Compl. ¶ 1, Dkt. No. 1, Ex. A. Central Concrete, Local
853, and Plaintiff are governed by the terms of a
“written agreement” that prevents terminating an
employee without just cause. Id. ¶¶ 10-11.
Plaintiff alleges Central Concrete terminated him without
just cause in 2013. Id. ¶ 14. The agreement
provides that all disputes arising under the terms of the
agreement “shall be resolved” through an
escalating dispute resolution procedure. Id. ¶
20. In the first step, the dispute may be taken up with local
management at the discretion of the employee; however, any
formal dispute shall be taken up by the local union in the
locality with the employer. Id. If the union and the
employer are unable to resolve the dispute, the second step
requires the dispute to be referred to the Board of
Adjustment. Id. If the Board of Adjustment fails to
resolve the dispute, at the third step, the dispute
“shall be submitted to an impartial arbitrator upon the
request of either party.” Id. Plaintiff
alleges he requested Local 853 take up a formal dispute with
his employer; Local 853 did so. Id. ¶¶
14-15. When the dispute was not resolved, the Board of
Adjustment conducted a hearing. Id. ¶ 17. After
the Board of Adjustment failed to resolve the dispute, Local
853 wrote Plaintiff and represented that the “grievance
was final and binding. . . . The union has exhausted its
defense of your termination under the collective bargaining
agreement [‘CBA'].” Id. ¶¶
17, 18. After Plaintiff discovered Local 853's statement
was false, he requested Defendant submit his dispute to an
impartial arbitrator pursuant to the terms of the agreement.
Id. ¶¶ 18-19. Plaintiff alleges Defendant
did not submit his dispute to an impartial arbitrator.
Id. ¶ 20.
initiated this action in California Superior Court against
Local 853 alleging four state law claims: breach of contract,
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing,
intentional misrepresentation, and negligent
misrepresentation. See Compl. Defendant removed the
action to this Court, asserting the Complaint alleges a
breach of the duty of fair representation, a claim that
arises under the National Labor Relations Act
(“NLRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq., a federal
question that gives the Court subject matter jurisdiction.
See Not. of Removal ¶ 3. The Court found
Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act
(“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), preempted
Plaintiff's claims, and denied Plaintiff's motion to
remand the action:
The Court finds Local 853 properly removed the action on the
grounds that Plaintiff's claims are founded on rights
created by the CBA, or alternatively, substantially dependent
on the CBA. Plaintiff alleges Local 853 failed to submit his
dispute to an independent arbitrator as required by the CBA,
thereby breaching the terms of the CBA and the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and misrepresented
the terms of the CBA in writing. As such, Local 853
“had a right to remove the action on the grounds of
LMRA preemption.” Medina v. SEIU-United
Healthcare Workers W., 2013 WL 3157923, at *3
(N.D. Cal. June 20, 2013); see also Adkins [v.
Mireles], 526 F.3d [531, ] 539 [(9th Cir. 2008)].
Order Denying Mot. to Remand at 8-9 (“Remand
Order”), Dkt. No. 19.
now asks the Court to dismiss the entire action on the ground
Plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable six-month
statute of limitations. See Mot.
Rule 12(b)(6), a party may file a motion to dismiss based on
the failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of
a complaint as failing to 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 facial plausibility standard is not a
“probability requirement” but mandates
“more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations and citations omitted).
For purposes of ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court
“accept[s] factual allegations in the complaint as true
and construe[s] the pleadings in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire
& Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir.
2008). “[D]ismissal may be based on either a lack of a
cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under a cognizable legal theory.” Johnson
v. Riverside Healthcare Sys., 534 F.3d 1116, 1121 (9th
Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted);
see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326
(1989) (“Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes a court to dismiss a
claim on the basis of a dispositive issue of law”).
under the liberal pleading standard of Rule 8(a)(2), under
which a party is only required to make “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ” a “pleading that offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.) “[C]onclusory
allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are
insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss.” Adams
v. Johnson, 355 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2004); see
also Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011)
(“[A]llegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not
simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must
contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give
fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively”). The court must be able to “draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663.
“[D]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim [for relief] is [a] context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Id. at 663-64.
Rule 12(b)(6) motion is granted, the “court should
grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading
was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not
possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, ...