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Ledesma v. CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 16, 2017

NORA LEDESMA, Plaintiff,


          ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc.'s (“Defendant”) motion to dismiss Plaintiff Nora Ledesma's (“Plaintiff”) complaint and to strike Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief, disgorgement, and attorneys' fees. For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff's amended complaint shall be due by July 18, 2017.


         Plaintiff's complaint alleges as follows. Plaintiff brings claims as an employee against her former employer. Dkt. 1, Ex. 3 (“Cmpl.”) ¶ 1. She was employed by Defendant as a truck driver for approximately 11 years until her termination in 2014. Id. ¶ 13-14. Throughout that time, Plaintiff was an excellent employee and received an award in 2012 for her work and safe driving. Id. ¶ 15.

         On March 11, 2014, Defendant's dispatch office contacted Plaintiff to see if she was available to pick up a load in Victorville, CA. Id. ¶ 16. Plaintiff accepted the assignment. Id. The next day, on March 12, 2014, Plaintiff observed a weather advisory pursuant to which high-profile vehicles were not advised in the Victorville, CA area. Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff contacted the dispatcher and informed him that, due to inclement weather, she was unable to go pick up the load. Id. ¶18. The dispatcher advised Plaintiff that she was required to complete the assignment, despite the inclement weather. Id. Plaintiff reiterated that she could not complete the assignment because it was too dangerous to do so. Id.

         Plaintiff then received a call from her immediate supervisor, Fleet Manager Fernando Jimenez (“Jimenez”). Id. ¶ 20. Like the dispatcher, Jimenez informed Plaintiff that she was required to complete the assignment because she had already accepted it and the trip was set. Id. Accordingly, Plaintiff set off for San Bernardino. Id. ¶ 21. She called the dispatcher to notify him that she was en route. Id.

         While Plaintiff was driving, Jimenez called her. Id. ¶ 22. According to Jimenez, the dispatcher had informed Jimenez that Plaintiff told the dispatcher that Jimenez had forced Plaintiff to complete the assignment. Id. Jimenez was furious and yelled at Plaintiff. Id. She informed him that she was willing to complete the assignment, but he responded that she should “just go home.” Id. After arriving home, Jimenez notified Plaintiff that she would be terminated. Id. ¶ 23. Plaintiff requested another chance at employment, but Jimenez declined. Id.


         Plaintiff filed her complaint on March 10, 2016 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, bringing claims for (i) wrongful termination in violation of California Labor Code Sections 6310 and 6311, and (ii) unfair competition in violation of California Business & Professions Code Section 17200. In connection with her unfair competition claim, Plaintiff seeks “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, including but not limited to orders that Defendant[] account for, disgorge, and restore to Plaintiff the compensation unlawfully withheld from her.” Cmpl. ¶ 38.

         Defendant removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, which then transferred the action to this Court. This case is related to putative class action Valadez v. CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-05433-EDL. Defendant filed this motion to dismiss and to strike on April 27, 2017, and the Court held a hearing on June 13, 2017.


         A complaint will survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) if it contains “sufficient factual matter . . . to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court's “inquiry is limited to the allegations in the complaint, which are accepted as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Lazy Y Ranch LTD v. Behrens, 546 F.3d 580, 588 (9th Cir. 2008). A court need not, however, accept as true the complaint's “legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.” Id. at 679. Thus, a reviewing court may begin “by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id.


         A. Plaintiff's ...

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