MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON MASSACHUSETTS BAY
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY'S MOTION TO DISMISS
D. Wilson, Justice of the Superior Court.
plaintiff, Thomas Tyron, sues the defendant, Massachusetts
Bay Transportation Authority (the " MBTA"),
alleging that the MBTA has violated G.L.c. 149, § 185
(the " Whistle Blower Act"). The MBTA now moves for
dismissal under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that (1) the
applicable statute of limitation has expired, and (2) the
plaintiff has failed to set forth factual allegations
sufficient to state a claim under the Whistle Blower Act.
reviewed the parties' briefs and heard oral argument on
the matter, I DENY the MBTA's motion to dismiss.
facts as taken from the complaint, and accepted as true for
purposes of this motion, are as follows.
2001, the plaintiff held a superintendent position at the
MBTA. In August 2001, the plaintiff discovered that several
members of the work crew he supervised, including Patrick
Kineavy, were submitting timesheets falsely indicating that
they had worked overtime when they had not. The plaintiff
investigated the matter further and determined that the
crewmembers should not be paid for the claimed overtime. The
plaintiff brought the results of his investigation to the
attention of his supervisor.
September 2001, the crewmembers filed a complaint with the
MBTA's Office of Diversity and Civil Rights, alleging
that the plaintiff had harassed them by excessively
supervising them and not paying them the claimed overtime. In
June 2002, Kineavy sent the Office of Diversity and Civil
Rights a follow-up letter complaining that the office had not
investigated his complaint. Kineavy also sent a copy of this
letter to the plaintiff.
Kineavy and the plaintiff continued to work at the MBTA.
Eventually Kineavy was promoted to a supervisory position.
about January 6, 2011, the plaintiff was informed that his
position might be eliminated. Around the same time, Director
Stephen Tychron (" Director Tychron") informed the
plaintiff that there was an open position for a
superintendent of the Green Line. Although the plaintiff
expressed interest in the position, it was given to a younger
employee with allegedly less education, less experience, and
a less impressive record of accomplishments. On or about
January 31, 2011, the plaintiff was informed that his
position was going to be eliminated and that his final day of
work would be February 2, 2011. The plaintiff responded by
tendering his retirement notice.
on the belief that he was not selected for the Green Line
superintendent position because of his age, the plaintiff
filed an age discrimination complaint with the Massachusetts
Commission Against Discrimination. The complaint was lodged
against Director Trychon. In June 2013, Director Tychron
informed the plaintiff that the decisions to eliminate the
plaintiff's position and to hire someone else for the
Green Line superintendent position were not his; Kineavy in
fact made those decisions.
plaintiff alleges that Kineavy eliminated the plaintiff's
position and refused to hire the plaintiff as a Green Line
superintendent in retaliation for the plaintiff's actions
in 2001. The plaintiff argues that he blew the whistle on
Kineavy in 2001 and suffered an adverse employment action in
2011, and, as a result, he has a claim under the Whistle
Blower Act. The MBTA has moved to dismiss the plaintiff's
claim on the grounds that (1) the applicable statute of
limitation has expired, and (2) the plaintiff has failed to
set forth factual allegations sufficient to state a claim
under the Whistle Blower Act.
evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint under the motion to
dismiss standard of Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must
accept as true the factual allegations of the complaint and
all reasonable inferences drawn from those allegations that
are favorable to the plaintiff. Blank v. Chelmsford
Ob/Gyn, P.C., 420 Mass. 404, 407, 649 N.E.2d 1102
(1995). The complaint must contain " allegations
plausibly suggesting (not merely consistent with) an
entitlement to relief . . ." Iannacchino v. Ford
Motor Co., 451 Mass. 623, 636, 888 N.E.2d 879 (2008),
quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555-57, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). While the
complaint need not set forth detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff is required to present more than mere labels and
conclusions and must raise a right to relief " above the
speculative level." Id.