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Jassie v. Mariner

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 10, 2016

JANOT JASSIE
v.
KEITH MARINER

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently pending and ready for resolution in this employment discrimination action is a motion for leave to amend filed by Plaintiff Janot Jassie (“Plaintiff”). (ECF No. 30). The issues have been briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, the motion for leave to amend will be denied.

         I. Background [1]

         In the motion for leave to amend, Plaintiff recites some allegations previously set forth in the amended complaint and maintains claims for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and for denial of employer-provided benefits. (ECF No. 30, at 1). He asserts that he stopped working for Genesis Healthcare (“Genesis”), his former employer, on September 28, 2013.[2] According to Plaintiff:

Genesis cancelled my health insurance on [September 29, ] weeks before [it] terminated [my employment] on [October 17].
During the period after Genesis cancelled my insurance but while I was still a Genesis employee, I received medical care on [October 15] at Doctors Community Hospital in Prince George’s County that would have been covered by my insurance had Genesis not prematurely cancelled it.
Because Genesis prematurely cancelled my insurance I owe the hospital $2500.00.

(ECF No. 30, at 2). Plaintiff further contends that Genesis failed to compensate him for the 13 vacation days he used between September 29 and October 17, or the remaining 47 vacation days he had purportedly accrued during the course of his employment.

         On March 2, 2015, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County against Keith Mariner, a regional human resources manager at Genesis.

         (ECF No. 2). Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on May 8, asserting claims of age discrimination, wrongful cancellation of health insurance, and hardship. (ECF No. 7). Mr. Mariner removed the action to this court (ECF No. 1) and moved to dismiss the amended complaint or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement (ECF No. 12). Plaintiff moved to amend. (ECF No. 20).

         The court granted Mr. Mariner’s motion to dismiss on all claims and denied without prejudice Plaintiff’s motion to amend. (ECF Nos. 22; 23). The court reasoned that Mr. Mariner was not the proper defendant for Plaintiff’s ADEA claim, and Plaintiff failed to include Genesis as a defendant in either his Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) charge or the amended complaint. (ECF No. 22, at 7-9). Similarly, the court determined that Mr. Mariner was not the proper defendant for Plaintiff’s claim concerning wrongful cancellation of health insurance. Moreover, Plaintiff failed to state a claim for wrongful cancellation under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Id. at 14 (“[W]hether Plaintiff’s claim is considered as a statutory [Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”)] claim or as a claim under state law for breach of contract, the factual allegations in the amended complaint cannot withstand Rule 12(b)(6) scrutiny.”)). Finally, the court interpreted Plaintiff’s claim for hardship as a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The amended complaint provided no allegations sufficient to sustain such a claim against Mr. Mariner. (Id. at 15-17).[3] In light of Plaintiff’s pro se status, however, the court granted him time to file a properly supported motion for leave to amend that comports with Local Rule 103.6 and the federal pleading standards.

         The court subsequently granted Plaintiff three extensions of time to file for leave to amend. (ECF Nos. 25; 27; 29). On April 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed the pending motion naming only Genesis as a defendant. (ECF No. 30). Mr. Mariner responded in opposition. (ECF No. 31).

         II. Standard of Review

         A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days after serving it or within 21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), whichever is earlier. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). When the right to amend as a matter of course expires, “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Rule 15(a)(2) provides that courts should “freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires, ” and commits the matter to the discretion of the district court. See Simmons v. United Mortg. & Loan Inv., LLC, 634 F.3d 754, 769 (4th Cir. 2011). Denial of leave to amend is appropriate “only when the amendment would be prejudicial to the opposing party, there has been bad faith on the part of the ...


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