United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Sina Proeung alleges that her former employer, defendant Nova
Biomedical Corp. ("Nova")/ violated the Family and
Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. §2601 et
seq., by terminating her without notifying her of
her rights under the FMLA. Nova moves to dismiss for failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It argues
that Proeung released her FMLA claim under a valid severance
now moves to amend her complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15(a)(2). She seeks to add facts regarding
whether her release was knowing and voluntary. Nova opposes
the amendment as futile. The court finds, however, that
Proeung's proposed amended complaint would not be futile.
Therefore, the motion to amend is being allowed.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) requires a party to obtain
leave of court, absent the opposing party's consent, to
amend a pleading more than 21 days after serving it or, if a
responsive pleading is required, more than 21 days after
service of a motion under Rule 12(b) . In this case, 50 days
elapsed between Nova's Motion to Dismiss and
Proeung's Motion to Amend. Furthermore, Nova opposes
plaintiff's Motion to Amend. See Dkt. No. 12.
Accordingly, Proeung must obtain the court's permission
to amend her complaint.
court must "freely give" permission to a party to
amend a pleading "when justice so requires."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The Supreme Court has admonished
district courts to grant leave to amend unless there is an
"apparent or declared reason-such as undue delay, bad
faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated
failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of
allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc."
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). When
considering whether an amendment would be futile, the court
"applies the same standard of legal sufficiency as
applies to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion." Glassman v.
Computervision Corp., 90 F.3d 617, 623 (1st Cir. 1996).
In other words, a complaint is futile if it, "as
amended, would fail to state a claim upon which relief could
be granted." Id.
court must deny a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if
the plaintiff alleges "a plausible entitlement to
relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 559 (2007). That is, the 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) (internal quotations
omitted). A claim is facially plausible if the plaintiff
pleads "factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id. at 683. "Where a
complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief."
Id. at 678 (internal quotations omitted).
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
court must "take all factual allegations as true and . .
. draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff." Rodriguez-Ortiz v. Marao Caribe,
Inc., 490 F.3d 92, 96 (1st Cir. 2007). The court
"neither weighs the evidence nor rules on the merits
because the issue is not whether plaintiffs will ultimately
prevail, but whether they are entitled to offer evidence to
support their claims." Day v. Fallon Cmty. Health
Plan, Inc., 917 F.Supp. 72, 75 (D. Mass. 1996).
facts alleged in the proposed amended complaint include the
began working for Nova in July 2012. See Am. Compl.
¶6 (Dkt. No. 10-1). In March 2015, she fell at work and
suffered an injury that prevented her from working. See
id. ¶¶8-9. "While undergoing treatment
for her work-related injuries, Proeung developed Cushings
disease from being given too many cortisone injections over a
short period of time . . . ." Id. ¶IO. Her
symptoms included trembling and weakness. See id.
September 2015, Proeung returned to work. See id.
¶13. Shortly thereafter, she experienced
"uncontrollable trembling and weakness . . . ."
See id. ¶14. Nova sent Proeung home and
instructed her not to return until she obtained a
physician's clearance. See id.
November 2016, Proeung was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.
See id. ¶17. On February 11, 2016, Nova
terminated Proeung because her Myasthenia Gravis prevented
her from performing the requirements of her job, and
determined that her Myasthenia Gravis was unrelated to any
injuries she sustained at work. See id. ¶20.
Upon terminating ...