United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
case arises from an accident that occurred during the
unloading of a railcar in February, 2015. Plaintiffs Michael
and Alla Hale (“plaintiffs” or “the
Hales”) bring this action against Pan Am Railways, Inc.
(“Pan Am”), Americold Logistics LLC
(“Americold”) and Cryo-Trans, Inc.
“defendants”), alleging that defendants were
negligent in their operation of Railcar CRYX 5017 which
caused Mr. Hale's injuries.
before the Court are the motions to dismiss of defendants Pan
Am and Cryo-Trans (Docket No. 18 and 20). For the following
reasons, Pan Am's motion to dismiss will be denied but
Cryo-Trans's motion to dismiss will be allowed.
are Connecticut residents and Mr. Hale was an employee of
C&S Wholesale Grocers (“C&S”) at its
facility in Hatfield, Massachusetts from 1996 until the time
of the accident. C&S operates regional distribution
centers where it receives food products and ships them to
supermarkets and other retail stores.
Hale alleges that on February 3, 2015, he was instructed to
unload Railcar CRYX 5017 which was loaded with pallets
containing frozen tater tots shipped from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Mr. Hale states that the railcar arrived and
was rejected by C&S due to weight distribution issues.
Because the car was unbalanced, it could not be moved and Mr.
Hale and other employees of C&S were instructed to unload
the railcar. During the process of unloading, several
packages of frozen tater tots, weighing approximately 80
pounds, fell on Mr. Hale.
complaint, Mr. Hale details the injuries he suffered as a
result of the incident, including injuries to both feet,
requiring surgery, and injuries to his ankles, knees, neck
and back. Mr. Hale also notes that he suffers from post
traumatic stress disorder, has been unable to return to work
and has been determined to be partially disabled.
Americold and Pan Am are Delaware corporations with their
principal places of business in Atlanta, Georgia and
Billerica, Massachusetts, respectively. Defendant Cryo-Trans
is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of
business in Maryland.
filed this action in May, 2017, alleging that defendants were
negligent in the operation of the railcar. Ms. Hale brings a
claim for loss of consortium against all defendants.
Defendant Americold filed its answer and cross-claims for
contribution against Cryo-Trans and Pan Am in June, 2017.
Cryo-Trans and Pan Am separately moved to dismiss the
complaint in July, 2017. Americold and the Hales separately
opposed those motions which are the subject of this
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). In considering the merits of a motion to dismiss, the
Court may look only to the facts alleged in the pleadings,
documents attached as exhibits or incorporated by reference
in the complaint and matters of which judicial notice can be
taken. Nollet v. Justices of Trial Court of Mass.,
83 F.Supp.2d 204, 208 (D. Mass. 2000), aff'd, 248 F.3d
1127 (1st Cir. 2000). Furthermore, the Court must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Langadinos v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68, 69
(1st Cir. 2000). If the facts in the complaint are sufficient
to state a cause of action, a motion to dismiss the complaint
must be denied. See Nollet, 83 F.Supp.2d at 208.
a court must accept as true all of the factual allegations
contained in a complaint, that doctrine is not applicable to
legal conclusions. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009). Threadbare recitals of the legal elements which are
supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice to
state a cause of action. Id. Accordingly, a
complaint does not state a claim for relief where the
well-pled facts fail to warrant an inference of any more than
the mere possibility of misconduct. Id. at 1950.