United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
GEORGE.I. IIAZEL United States District Judge.
Modesta Meh brought this action against Defendants Katia
Yvettc Bruce and the Washington Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority ("WMATA"). alleging damages
related to a vehicular collision. ECF No. 2. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1446. WMATA removed this matter from the
Circuit Court for Prince George's County. Maryland to
this Court. ECF No. 1. This Memorandum Opinion and
accompanying Order address Defendant WMATA"s Motion to
Dismiss Defendant Katia Yvette Bruce (ECF No. 6). A hearing
is unnecessary. Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons
stated below. Defendant WMATA's Motion to Dismiss Katia
Yvette Bruce is GRANTED.
November 26. 2013. Plaintiff was operating a vehicle on
Cherry Hill Road in Prince George's County. Maryland. ECF
No. 2 ¶ 5. As Plaintiff drove through the intersection
of Cherry Hill Road and Calverton Boulevard. Defendant Bruce
tailed to stop for a Hashing red light and collided with
Plaintiffs vehicle. ECF No. 2 ¶ 6. At the time of the
collision. Bruce was operating a vehicle owned by Defendant
WMATA and acting as an agent for WMATA. ECF No. 2 ¶ 6;
ECF No. 5 ¶ ("Defendant WMATA denies the
allegations contained in Paragraph Six of Plaintiff s
Complaint, except that Defendant WMATA admits that Defendant
Katia Yvette Bruce was acting in the scope of her agency as
an operator of a Metro Access motor vehicle owned by the
Defendant WMATA at the time of the occurrence."*).
filed her Complaint in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County. Maryland on January 8. 2016. ECF No. 2.
On February ll). 2016. WMATA removed the matter to
this Court, filed an Answer, and filed a Motion to Dismiss as
to Defendant Bruce only. ECF Nos. 1, 5, 6. Plaintiff has not
filed an Opposition to WMATA's Motion to Dismiss, which
was due on March 7. 2016.
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule")
12(b)(I). 12(b)(6). and 12(h)(3). WMATA argues that
Plaintiffs claims against Bruce should be dismissed. ECF No.
6. Lack of subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised by a
defendant under Rule 12(b)(1). Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). If the
Court determines that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction,
the Court must dismiss the action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). In
instances in which immunity is established, the Court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction. Smith v. Wash. Metro. Area.
Transit Auth.. 290 F.3d 201, 205 (4th Cir. 2002)
("To the extent the METRO'S complained-ofactions
fall within its cloak of immunity, we lack subject matter
jurisdiction over such claims.").
12(b)(6) permits a defendant to present a motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, "to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.''' Ashcroft v.
Iqbal 556 U.S. 662. 678. 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009): see
also Conn. Gen. Life Ins. Co. v. Advanced Surgery Cir.
o/Beihesda. LLC, No. DKC 14-2376, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
91689, at * 13 (D. Md. July 15. 2015) ("At this stage,
all well-pled allegations in a complaint must be considered
as true and all factual allegations must be construed in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff). "A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
IqbaL 556 U.S. at 678.
is an agency of the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of
Virginia and the District of Columbia created for the design
and implementation of a unified regional transit system.
Transp. 10-204(1)(d) and (2). As a government agency, it is
immune from suit except to the extent that is waives
sovereign immunity. Smith v, Cromer. 159 F.3d 875.
879 (4th Cir. 1998) ("Where an agency has not waived its
immunity to suit, the state court (and the federal court on
removal) lacks jurisdiction to proceed against a federal
employee acting pursuant to agency direction.'').
Under Section 80 of the WMATA Compact.
[WMATA] shall be liable for its contracts and for its torts
and those of its directors, officers, employees and agents
committed in the conduct of any proprietary function, in
accordance with the law of the applicable signatory
(including rules of conflict of laws), but shall not be
liable for any torts occurring in the performance of a
governmental function. The exclusive remedy for such
breach of contracts and torts for which [WMA TA] shall be
liable, as herein provided, shall he by suit against [WMA
Md. Code Ann.. Transp. § 10-204(80) (EexisNexis 2016)
(emphasis added). Plaintiffs claim against Defendant Bruce is
barred by immunity because Bruce was acting as an agent for
WMATA at the time of the collision. ECF No. 2 ¶ 6.
Plaintiffs exclusive remedy for its alleged tort is her claim
against WMATA. Accordingly, the Court must be dismiss the
claim against Bruce for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction
and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Defendant WMATA's
Motion to Dismiss Defendant Katia Yvette Bruce (ECF No. 6).
Defendant Bruce shall be removed ...