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Castro v. De Marne & Day, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 15, 2015

EDUARDO LANDEVARDE CASTRO, Plaintiff,
v.
de MARNE & DAY, INC., and ALFRED GOLDSCHMIDT, in his individual capacity, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THEODORE D. CHUANG, District Judge.

Plaintiff Eduardo Landevarde Castro filed this action against Defendants de Marne & Day, Inc. ("de Marne & Day") and Alfred Goldschmidt alleging disparate treatment, a hostile work environment. and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e el seq. (2012). Castro also brings a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"). Presently pending are Defendants' Motion to Strike Paragraphs 38 and 39 of the Complaint and Motion to Dismiss Count IV (the IIED claim) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).[1] The motions are fully briefed and ripe for disposition. No hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons that follow, the Motions are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are set forth as alleged in the Amended Complaint and are taken as true for the purposes of resolving the Motions. Castro was employed as a mason worker for de Marne & Day. He alleges that Goldschmidt, his supervisor, levied abusive insults and profanity against Hispanic employees and subjected Hispanic employees to inferior working conditions. Castro is Hispanic, and Goldschmidt is white. Castro specifically alleges that Goldschmidt called Hispanic employees "fucking idiots" and "little pieces of shit, " and that he called Castro a "motherfucker, " a "son of a bitch, " and "trash." Am. Compl. ¶ 19, ECF No. 13. Goldschmidt commented that the Hispanic employees "didn't speak any English" and that the only thing they "were good for was digging." Id. He refused to allow Hispanic workers to speak Spanish on the job and threatened that they could "go home" or "go back to their countries" if they did. Id. ¶ 22. Goldschmidt also made the Hispanic employees work in extreme heat and torrential ram, including while using slippery equipment and scaffolding. He refused to provide them protective gear, such as gloves and dust masks to wear during insulation removal.

Castro alleges that as a result of Goldschmidt's conduct, he experienced high blood pressure, psoriasis, and low self-esteem. He suffered from chronic insomnia, which caused him to wake up 15 to 20 times during the night, and frequent nightmares relating to the abuse. Castro started to "withdraw from family, friends, and social settings" and was diagnosed with anxiety, severe depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, for which he continues to receive treatment. Id. ¶¶ 40, 43, 44.

Despite Castro's internal complaints, de Marne & Day did nothing to address the verbal abuse and working conditions. Castro filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on August 12, 2009. On August 27, 2009, nearly two weeks afier alerting de Marne & Day of his EEOC complaint, Castro was terminated. In Paragraphs 46 and 47 of the Amended Complaint, Castro described the results of the EEOC process as follows:

46. On July 28, 2013 the EEOC issued a Detennination letter with a "reasonable cause" finding.
47. On May 30, 2014 the EEOC issued a Notice of Failure to Conciliate and a Notice of Right to Sue, with a finding of "reasonable cause."

Id. ¶¶ 46, 47.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

To defeat a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege enough facts to state a plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 696 (2009). The Court must examine the complaint as a whole, consider the factual allegations in the complaint as true, and construe the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994); Lambeth v. Bd. of Comm'rs of Davidson Cnty., 407 F.3d 266, 268 (4th Cir. 2005).

II. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Defendants move to dismiss the IIED claim for failure to state a claim. To establish an IIED claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) the conduct was "intentional or reckless"; (2) the conduct was "extreme and outrageous"; (3) there is a "causal connection between the wrongful conduct and the emotional distress"; and (4) the emotional distress was severe. Manikhi v. Mass. Transit Admin., 758 A.2d 95. 113 (Md. 2000) ...


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