Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Clark v. Choudry

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 29, 2016

LISA CLARK, et al.
v.
MUBASHAR A. CHOUDRY, M.D., et al

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently pending and ready for resolution in this case is a partial motion to dismiss filed by Plaintiffs/Counter-Defendants Lisa Clark, Heather Donnelly, and Aminda Gailey ("Plaintiffs" or "Counter-Defendants"). (ECF No. 12). The issues have been briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, Counter-Defendants' partial motion to dismiss will be granted.

         I. Background [1]

         Plaintiffs sued Defendants/Counter-Claimants Dr. Mubashar Choudry ("Dr. Choudry"), Advanced Vascular Resources, LLC ("AVR"), AVR Management, LLC, and Advanced Vascular Resources of Hagerstown, LLC (collectively "Defendants" or "Counter-Claimants") alleging, inter alia, discrimination based on sex and retaliatory wrongful discharge. Plaintiffs' complaint arises from alleged sexual harassment by Dr. Choudry while Plaintiffs were employed by AVR. (ECF No. 1).

         Dr. Choudry formed AVR with his brother, Javed Choudry ("Mr. Choudry"), and his former business partner, Barbara O'Dare.[2] (ECF No. 10 ¶ 11). Defendants employed Ms. Clark as a paralegal from March 2013 through December 2014, Ms. Gailey as a receptionist from October 2013 through December 2014, and Ms. Donnelly as a marketing and promotion employee from March to December 2014. Defendants allege financial troubles required termination of approximately forty employees, including Plaintiffs, in or around December 2014. (Id. ¶¶ 19, 21). Defendants concede that each plaintiff reported Dr. Choudry's sexual harassment before AVR terminated their employment, but Defendants deny that any sexual harassment occurred and allege that AVR decided to terminate Plaintiffs' employment before learning of the sexual harassment allegations. (Id. ¶ 40).

         Defendants' counterclaim stems from correspondence Plaintiffs' attorney sent to Dr. Choudry, which stated Plaintiffs' allegations of sexual harassment, made a settlement demand, and threatened to file "administrative charges, civil suits, criminal charges, and claims with the professional licensing boards" if the parties did not reach a settlement. (Id. ¶¶ 46-47). The letter allegedly said, "[W]e will pursue all means necessary to ensure that Dr. Choudry is not only barred from practicing medicine, but that he will be behind bars." (Id. ¶ 47). According to Defendants,

After their termination, Plaintiffs and their attorneys began a campaign to enlist current and former employees of AVR in their scheme. They did this by constantly contacting former and current employees of AVR by phone. During these conversations, and in voice mail messages, Plaintiffs told the employees about Dr. Choudry's alleged sexual harassment of them and encouraged them to contact [Plaintiff's attorney]. Plaintiffs stated it would be ‘financially worthwhile' to join their lawsuit. Plaintiffs also told employees that if they join the lawsuit they [could] make money.

(Id. ¶ 48). Defendants allege that Plaintiffs and their attorney contacted employees at their AVR office during work hours, which was "disruptive."

         Plaintiffs pursued criminal and administrative means to report Dr. Choudry's alleged sexual harassment. Ms. Donnelly first filed a police report in Texas. (Id. ¶¶ 52-53).[3] Plaintiffs then filed complaints of sexual harassment with the Maryland Board of Physicians and the District of Colombia Medical Licensing Board. (Id. ¶ 55).[4]

         Plaintiffs subsequently commenced this civil action, filing a forty-five count complaint against Defendants. (ECF No. 1). In their complaint, Plaintiffs allege: discrimination based on sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Maryland Human Rights Act, and the Montgomery County Code; wrongful discharge; battery; tortious interference with a contractual relationship; tortious interference with an economic relationship; civil conspiracy; aiding and abetting; intentional misrepresentation, concealment, or nondisclosure; negligent hiring, retention, and supervision; intentional infliction of emotional distress; false imprisonment; and violations of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Act.

         Defendants filed an answer (ECF No. 9) and a five-count counterclaim against Plaintiffs alleging: civil conspiracy; defamation; abuse of process; tortious interference with an economic relationship; and extortion (ECF No. 10). Defendants aver that Plaintiffs commenced this action as "the culmination of their lengthy and futile efforts to extract a large cash settlement from Dr. Choudry and AVR." (Id. ¶ 9). Defendants further allege:

Plaintiffs schemed together and with others to extort monies from Dr. Choudry and AVR. Plaintiffs did this by making false accusations of sexual harassment against Dr. Choudry. In furtherance of their scheme, the Plaintiffs and agents made false statements to current and former employees of AVR, to law enforcement, and the medical licensing boards. Those efforts failed and Plaintiffs now seek to use this case to obtain monies to which they are not entitled.

(Id.).

         Plaintiffs filed an answer and contemporaneously filed a partial motion to dismiss Count III (abuse of process) and Count V (extortion) of the counterclaim. (ECF Nos. 11; 12). Defendants have not ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.