United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
K. BREDAR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are motions for judgment on the pleadings by
Defendants Honeywell International, Incorporated, and
Ingersoll Rand Company. (ECF Nos. 190, 193.) The motions have
been briefed (ECF Nos. 196 & 201), and no hearing is
required, Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). The motions will be
granted, but Plaintiffs will be permitted to file an amended
Standard for Motion for Judgment on the
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is
assessed under the same standard applicable to motions to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See Walker v. Kelly,
589 F.3d 127, 139 (4th Cir. 2009). 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 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Facial plausibility exists
“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. An inference of a mere possibility of
misconduct is not sufficient to support a plausible claim.
Id. at 679. As the Twombly opinion stated,
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” 550 U.S. at 555.
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.' . . . Nor
does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557). Although
when considering a motion to dismiss a court must accept as
true all factual allegations in the complaint, this principle
does not apply to legal conclusions couched as factual
allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Allegations of the Complaint
this case was removed to federal court, Plaintiffs filed a
“Short Form Asbestos Complaint” in the Circuit
Court for Baltimore City, Maryland. Therein, Plaintiffs
alleged the following, in pertinent part:
The deceased plaintiff, EARL J. RHODES, was in the U.S. Navy
and worked as a laborer and boilermaker from 1952 to 1956
onboard including, but not limited to, the USS Tarawa CV40.
He was then employed as a laborer, welder and boilermaker on
board numerous ships from 1956 to 1959 at Bethlehem Steel
Sparrows Point Shipyard and from 1959 to 1963 as a laborer at
Eastern Stainless Steel. From 1963 to 1972, the deceased
Plaintiff worked as a laborer and mechanic at James Gibbons
Trucking, Hess Oil Company and Strescon Industries, Inc. He
was also employed as a laborer, truck mechanic and salesman
from 1972 to the late 1970s at Earl's Luber-Finer &
Sons Sales & Service.
The deceased plaintiff, EARL J. RHODES, suffered from
mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases . . . diagnosed in
(Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 2.) The complaint also
incorporates paragraphs one (1), two (2) and three (3) as
well as Count I (Negligence), Count II (Strict Liability),
Count III (Loss of Consortium), Count IV (Survival Action -
Negligence), Count V (Survival Action - Strict Liability),
Count X (Conspiracy) and Count XI (Fraud) of The Law Offices
of Peter T. Nicholl Master Complaint CT-2.
(Id. unnumbered paragraph, p. 11.) In addition,
Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate herein by reference the
allegations and claims asserted in Count VI, paragraphs 25-31
(Wrongful Death) and Count VII, paragraphs 32-34 (Wrongful
Death - Strict Liability) of the CT Master Complaint.
(Id. ¶ 1 [sic], p. 12.) Otherwise,
Plaintiffs made bare allegations of negligence and strict
liability. (Id. ¶ 4, p. 12.)
their opposition to the instant motions, Plaintiffs argued
the Short Form Complaint and the CT-2 Master Complaint, read
together, plausibly allege their claims for relief.
(Pls.' Opp'n Supp. Mem. 2-3.) After the Court
directed them to do ...