United States District Court, D. Maryland
Lipton Hollander United States District Judge
case was initiated by self-represented plaintiff Emmanuel
Edokobi, who lodges multiple claims against several
defendants. The claims appear to relate to a motor vehicle
accident that occurred on October 24, 2015, in the course of
plaintiffs employment, and for which he sought workers'
compensation benefits. ECF 14 ("First Amended
Complaint" or "FAC").
has sued his employer, Mondo International, LLC
("Mondo"); Travelers Insurance Charter Oak Fire
Insurance Co. ("Charter Oak" or
"Travelers"), his employer's worker's
compensation insurer; Christine Wounaris, a Charter Oak
.claims handler; Kathy Stone, a vocational rehabilitation
specialist; and Stone's company, Stone Vocational
Services, LLC ("Stone Vocational"). Id. at
is almost 50 pages in length and contains 45 causes of action
against defendants. ECF 14, ¶¶ 114-334. Plaintiffs
original suit included 36 exhibits. He appended seven more
exhibits to the FAC. ECF 14-2 - ECF 14-8. Jurisdiction is
founded on the basis of a federal question, under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. ECF 14, ¶ 10.
of the counts in the FAC set forth claims that are either not
cognizable as causes of action or are based on Maryland law.
These include "Conspiracy to Commit Intentional
Infliction of Emotional Distress"; "Conspiracy to
Ruin Plaintiffs Life By Sending Plaintiff to Harms Way";
defamation; fraudulent misrepresentation; common law torts;
and aiding and abetting. Id. In Count Seven,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), plaintiff alleges that
defendants conspired to deprive him of "Equal Protection
of the laws." Id. ¶¶ 148-150. In
addition, plaintiff seeks injunctive relief (id.
¶¶ 327-331) as well as declaratory relief, damages,
and costs. Id. ¶ 335.
motions are pending. Charter Oak moves to dismiss the FAC,
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and under Fed. R. Civ. 12(b)(6), for failure to
state a claim. ECF 26. The motion is supported by a
memorandum of law (ECF 26-1) (collectively, "Charter Oak
Motion"), and an exhibit. ECF 26-2. Charter Oak
contends, inter alia, that plaintiffs allegations
fail to confer subject matter jurisdiction.
joins the Charter Oak Motion (ECF 47), supported by a
memorandum of law. ECF 47-1 (collectively, "Mondo
Motion"). Also, Mondo moves to dismiss the FAC, pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2), for lack of personal jurisdiction;
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(4), for insufficient process; and
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5), for insufficient service of
process. Id. Plaintiff opposes the Charter Oak and
Mondo motions (ECF 72), with several exhibits. ECF 72-2 -ECF
addition, Stone and Stone Vocational (collectively, the
"Stone Defendants") move to dismiss the FAC,
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), for failure to
state a claim. ECF 53. The motion is supported by a
memorandum of law (ECF 53-1) (collectively, "Stone
Motion"). Plaintiff opposes the Stone Motion (ECF 77),
supported by exhibits. ECF 77-2 - ECF 77-6.
filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint
("SAC") on December 17, 2018. ECF 41 ("Motion
for Leave"). The proposed SAC (ECF 41-2) is 50 pages in
length and contains 44 causes of actions. Id.
counts of the SAC (Counts One through Five and Count
Twenty-One) set forth claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3).
ECF 41-2, ¶¶ 110-144. Thirty-six counts allege
claims based on Maryland tort and employment law.
Id. Counts Forty-Three and Forty-Four seek
injunctive relief. Id. ¶¶ 346-350.
Notably, the SAC names four additional defendants: two
corporate officers of Mondo, Michael Kirven and Tim Johnson,
and two corporate officers of Charter Oak, Nicholas Seminara
and Daniel Stephen Frey. Id. at 1.
SAC, plaintiff asserts jurisdiction based on diversity, 28
U.S.C. § 1332; federal question, 28 U.S.C. § 1331;
and supplemental jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). ECF
41-2, ¶ 8. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
damages for bodily injury, impairment of earning capacity,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and
post-traumatic stress disorder. He relies on the Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution; 42 U.S.C. § 1985(e);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(a)(1); and a host of provisions in the Labor
and Employment Article of the Maryland Code as well as the
Code of Maryland Regulations ("COMAR"). ECF 41-2 at
oppose the Motion for Leave, asserting that the proposed
amendment would be futile. ECF 61; ECF 64; ECF 66.
On December 21, 2018, plaintiff sought "Court Permission
to Respond to Defendants' Response to Second Amended
Complain[t] Rather Than Responding to Defendants' Current
Motions to Dismiss For Lack of Jurisdiction and Failure to
State a Claim" (ECF 58), on the basis that "the
Second Amended [Complaint] has Addressed those Issues of Lack
of Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim."
Id. at 5 (emphasis in original). However, plaintiff
proceeded to file responses in opposition to defendants'
motions to dismiss. ECF 72; ECF 77. Accordingly, I shall deny
ECF 58, as moot.
addition, plaintiff has filed two motions to compel. ECF 16;
ECF 71. Plaintiff moves to compel "Defendants to Restart
paying plaintiffs weekly temporary total disability
payments." ECF16. The motion is supported by several
exhibits. ECF 16-2-ECF 16-7. And, plaintiff moves to compel
Mondo and Charter Oak "to Produce Workers'
Compensation Commission Rulings and Adjudication. . .."
hearing is necessary to resolve the motions. See
Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall grant
plaintiffs Motion for Leave (ECF 41). And, I shall construe
the Charter Oak Motion (ECF 26), the Mondo Motion (ECF 47),
and the Stone Motion (ECF 53) as motions lodged against the
Second Amended Complaint. I shall also grant defendants'
motions to dismiss. Therefore, I shall deny, as moot,
plaintiffs' motions to compel (ECF 16; ECF 71) and his
motion to consolidate (ECF 39).
a Maryland citizen, is "a field computer
technician." ECF 41-2, ¶¶ 11, 22. Mondo
"is a limited liability company organized and existing
under the laws of Delaware, with a principal place of
business" in New York. Id. ¶ 12. It is
"registered to operate" in Maryland and
"offers to sell products and services throughout the
United States," including in Maryland. Id.
¶¶ 12-13. Kirven, whose "Domicile is in the
State of New York," is the "Founder and
Chairman" of Mondo. Id. ¶ 14. And,
Johnson, whose "Domicile is in the State of New
York," is the "Chief Executive Officer
('CEO') and a Key Executive Officer and Board
Member" of Mondo. Id. ¶ 15.
Oak "offers property and automotive insurance
solutions" and "sells and offers" insurance
"and other services throughout the United States,"
including in Maryland. Id. ¶¶ 16-17. It
has a principal place of business in Connecticut.
Id. ¶ 16.
is the "Executive Vice President ('SVP') of
Special Liability Group" and a "Board Member"
of Charter Oak. ECF 41-2, ¶ 18. His "Domicile is in
the State of Connecticut." Id. Frey, whose
"Domicile is in the State of Connecticut," is the
"Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
('CFO')" and "Board Member" of Charter
Oak. Id. ¶ 19.
is a "Vocational Rehabilitation Practitioner
Appointed" by Mondo and Charter Oak for plaintiffs WCC
"CLAIM NO: B 810879." Id. ¶ 20
(emphasis in original). Notably, Stone's "Domicile
is in the State of Maryland." Id. Stone
Vocational Services, LLC "is a limited liability company
organized and existing under the laws of the State of
Maryland," with a "principal place of
business" in Maryland. Id. ¶ 21; see
also ECF 54 (Disclosure Statement).
March 15, 2015, Mondo hired Edokobi as a computer technician
and assigned him to work at Unisys Corporation
("Unisys"), a "Texas-based Tech Agency."
Id. ¶ 22. Unisys assigned plaintiff to work at
Dell Corporation ("Dell") "to provide
Tech-support to Dell Computer Users" in Washington, D.C.
Id. Plaintiff s job with Unisys "involve[d]
driving to different locations" in Washington, D.C, and
his "daily work operations commenced by" driving to
the FedEx Shipping Center "to drop off used parts and
pick up new parts" Id. ¶ 23. At the time,
plaintiff also had a second job driving limousines,
"Luxury Sedans" and other "High-end
Vehicles." Id. ¶ 39.
alleges that on October 10, 2015, he completed a
"Medical Fitness" exam, as required by the Maryland
Motor Vehicle Administration ("MVA") and the
Maryland Department of Transportation ("MDOT").
Id. ¶ 41. According to plaintiff, his
completion of the "Medical Fitness" exam
demonstrated "no medical issues" with his
"Left Arm" or his "Left- Hand."
Id. ¶ 42.
October 14, 2015, at approximately 10:45 a.m., plaintiff was
driving to the FedEx Shipping Center when another vehicle
rear-ended his vehicle. Id. ¶ 25. As a result
of the impact, plaintiff "was Temporarily
Unconscious" and "taken to George Washington
University Hospital[.]" ECF 41-2, ¶ 25. When
Edokobi regained "Consciousness," he
"discovered" that he suffered injuries to his left
arm, left hand, left leg, back, and neck. Id. ¶
26. Plaintiff claims that he "was not able to Lift or
Move" his left arm or his left hand. Id. ¶
27. Due to the "excruciating" pain, the nurses at
the hospital intermittently gave him "Pains [sic] Relief
Medications." Id. ¶ 28.
to plaintiff, the nurses told him that the pain and
immobility affecting the left side of his body would subside
in a week. Id. ¶¶ 32-33. But, he was
advised that if the pain continued after a week, he should
see his primary care doctor or go to the emergency room.
Edokobi's wife arrived at the hospital, she called Robert
Bradley, plaintiffs manager at Unisys, as well as to Mondo
and his clients, to inform them of the auto accident.
Id. ¶ 30. On October 14, 2015, at approximately
5:00 p.m., plaintiff was released from the hospital.
Id. ¶ 36. According to plaintiff, he was given
Ibuprofen and "Diazepam (Valium)." Id.
October 22, 2015, plaintiff went to his primary health
doctor, Dr. Wang, because he continued to experience pain in
his left hand, left arm, left leg, back, and neck.
Id. ¶ 37. Dr. Wang referred plaintiff to an
"Orthopedic Doctor," as well as a psychologist,
"due to anxiety and nightmares" following the
accident. Id. ¶¶ 37-38.
claims that he has been driving in the United States for the
past 18 years, and has no "moving violation or any
points [o]n [his] driving records ...." Id.
¶ 43. Plaintiff also alleges that he has a "STAR
EMBEDDER" on his driver's license, "which
demonstrates a mark of excellent driving records."
Id. (emphasis in original).
to the SAC, Edokobi was involved in a "Head-on"
auto accident in December 1995, in which he broke bones in
his left arm and left leg, and another person died. ECF 41-
2, ¶ 44. Plaintiff states that in 1996, he
underwent surgery for those injuries, performed by Dr.
DePasquale at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington,
D.C. Id. ¶ 46. In addition, Edokobi claims to
have had another surgical procedure on his left leg at the
University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore in 1997.
Id. ¶ 47.
alleges that following Edokobi's surgery in 1996, he had
a "painless-non-union," i.e., a broken
bone that failed to heal, in his left arm. Id.
¶ 48. He still used his left hand to lift and carry
computers and equipment and to drive buses and other
commercial vehicles without pain or medical issues.
Id. ¶¶ 48-50.
states that on March 11, 2016, Dr. Michael S. Murphy
performed a medical examination of his left arm and left hand
and filed a medical report. Id. ¶ 57. Plaintiff
contends that Dr. Murphy's medical report "is
incorrect and bias[ed] and prejudicial to Plaintiff[.]"
Id. In the report, Dr. Murphy allegedly wrote:
"THERE IS NO ELBOW FLEXION ON PLAINTIFF'S RIGHT
HAND" Id. ¶ 58 (emphasis in
maintains that no doctor has treated his left arm or left
hand. Id. ¶ 61. Further, he claims that he was
scheduled to undergo bone reconstructive surgery by Dr.
Robert Buber of "OrthoBethesda." Id.
However, Dr. Buber "later backed off' from
performing the surgery. Id. In a medical report
dated April 27, 2017, Dr. Buber referred to plaintiffs
medical condition as "the Conversion Disorder."
February 20, 2018, Dr. Stephen W. Siebert, Charter Oak's
psychiatrist, allegedly provided Edokobi a "Psychiatric
Independent Medical Reevaluation Addendum." Id.
¶ 62. According to Edokobi, Dr. Siebert's Addendum
"contradicts" Dr. Buber's medical report of
April 27, 2017. Id. ¶62.
treat his left arm and left hand, plaintiff received laser
treatment on September 29, 2017. ECF 41-2, ¶ 78.
Plaintiff claims he paid out of pocket for the treatment,
because Charter Oak and Mondo "Have Refused to Pay for
Plaintiffs Medical Treatment. ..." Id. ¶
alleges that on October 2, 2017, Edokobi sent a letter to
Christine Nizer, the "Administrator" of the MVA, to
request "an extension of time" to complete the
"Medical Examiner's Certificate" for his
commercial driver's license. Id. ¶ 51.
According to plaintiff, he sent the letter asking for an
extension, because his left hand could not "Grip or Hold
Anything" as a result of the accident on October 14,
2015. Id. ¶¶ 51-52.
response to Edokobi's letter, the MVA's "Medical
Experts" sent plaintiff a "Health
Questionnaire," requesting the contact information of
his doctors and any current medications he was taking.
Id. ¶ 54. Plaintiff claims that he "was
informed that MVA's Medical Experts Conducted
Comprehensive Medical Investigations" on the
"Medical Conditions" of his left arm and left hand.
Id. ¶ 55.
the MVA's medical experts completed their investigation,
the MVA purportedly revoked Edokobi's commercial
driver's license and placed him under "J-LICENSE
RESTRICTIONS." Id. ¶ 56 (emphasis in
original). This prevented him from driving a vehicle without
a driving instructor. Id.
to the SAC, on April 27, 2018, defendants "sought and
obtained from WCC Commissioner Lauren Godwin an Order to
Train Plaintiff in the Adoptive Driving and to Install
Adoptive Driving Equipment ... on the Steering Wheels of
Plaintiff s Vehicle." Id. ¶ 80.
May 2018, Edokobi has received "psychiatric
treatments" from Dr. Patrick Sheehan for "Anxiety,
Depression, Emotional Distress, Fear, Panic Attacks,
Nightmares" and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
("PTSD"). ECF 41-2, ¶¶ 66, 68. He claims
that he continues to experience "serious
Nightmares" related to the 1995 ...