United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge.
Katherine Parker and Montrell Woody bring this action
pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”)
against the United States Postal Service
(“USPS”)seeking damages for injuries they allegedly
suffered as a result of a motor vehicle collision with a USPS
truck on July 2, 2014. (ECF No. 1 at ¶¶ 2-5.)
pending before this Court is defendant's Partial Motion
to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, for Partial Summary
Judgment (“Defendant's Motion”) (ECF No. 14).
Through this Motion, defendant seeks to dismiss the claims of
plaintiff Woody as time barred. (ECF No. 14-1 at 2.) The
parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing
is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion is
GRANTED and plaintiff Woody's claims are DISMISSED WITH
Woody seeks to recover damages for injuries he allegedly
suffered as a result of a motor vehicle collision with an
USPS truck on July 2, 2014 in west Baltimore. (ECF No. 1 at
¶¶ 2-4.) Mr. Woody was a passenger in the car
driven by co-plaintiff Parker at the time of the accident.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the accident was caused
by the negligence of USPS's agent, Michael Randolph.
(Id. at ¶¶ 8-10.) Plaintiff also alleges
that USPS was negligent in entrusting Mr. Randolph with the
USPS truck and in its supervision of Mr. Randolph's use
of the truck. (Id. at ¶¶ 11-30.)
Woody filed an administrative claim for damages in the autumn
of 2014. (ECF No. 14-2.) His claim was denied by
letter dated February 2, 2015. (ECF No. 14-3.) By letter
dated July 2 and received on July 6, 2015, plaintiff
requested that USPS reconsider its denial of his claim. (ECF
No. 14-4.) USPS denied the request for reconsideration by
letter dated July 10, 2015. (ECF No. 14-5.) USPS's letter
denying plaintiff's request for reconsideration stated:
In accordance with 28 U.S.C. 2401(b) and 39 C.F.R. 912.9(a),
if dissatisfied with the Postal Service's final decision
of an administrative claim, a claimant may file suit in a
United States District Court no later than six (6) months
after the date the Postal Service mails the notice of that
final action. Accordingly, any suit filed in regards to this
denial must be filed no later than six (6) months from the
date of the mailing of this letter, which is the date shown
above. Further, note the United States of America is the only
proper defendant in a civil action brought pursuant to the
Federal Tort Claims Act and such suit may be heard only by a
federal district court.
(ECF No. 14-5) (emphasis added.) The instant suit was filed
on February 26, 2016, more than seven months after the date
on which USPS's decision letter was mailed. (ECF No. 1.)
Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes
the dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The
purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) is “to test the sufficiency of
a complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the
facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of
defenses.” Presley v. City of Charlottesville,
464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006); see also Goines v.
Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd., 822 F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th Cir.
2016). The sufficiency of a complaint is assessed by
reference to the pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2), which
provides that a complaint must contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To survive a
motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain
facts sufficient to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl., Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). In reviewing a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, a court “‘must accept as true
all of the factual allegations contained in the
complaint'” and must “‘draw all
reasonable inferences [from those facts] in favor of the
plaintiff.'” E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
v. Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011)
(citations omitted); see Houck v. Substitute Tr. Servs.,
Inc., 791 F.3d 473, 484 (4th Cir. 2015).
limited exceptions, a court may consider documents beyond the
complaint without converting the motion to dismiss to one for
summary judgment. Goldfarb v. Mayor & City Council of
Baltimore, 791 F.3d 500, 508 (4th Cir. 2015). A court
may properly consider documents that are “explicitly
incorporated into the complaint by reference and those
attached to the complaint as exhibits . . . .”
Goines, 822 F.3d at 166 (citations omitted); see
U.S. ex rel. Oberg, 745 F.3d at 136 (quoting Philips
v. Pitt Cty Memorial Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir.
2009)); Anand v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 754 F.3d
195, 198 (4th Cir. 2014); Am. Chiropractic Ass'n v.
Trigon Healthcare, Inc., 367 F.3d 212, 234 (4th Cir.
2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 979 (2004);
Phillips v. LCI Int'l Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618
(4th Cir. 1999).
may also “consider a document submitted by the movant
that was not attached to or expressly incorporated in a
complaint, so long as the document was integral to the
complaint and there is no dispute about the document's
authenticity.” Goines, 822 F.3d at 166
(citations omitted). To be “integral, ” a
document must be one “that by its ‘very
existence, and not the mere information it contains, gives
rise to the legal rights asserted.'” Chesapeake
Bay Found., Inc. v. Severstal Sparrows Point, LLC, 794
F.Supp.2d 602, 611 (D. Md. 2011) (citation omitted) (emphasis
Motion for ...