United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
Covino (“plaintiff” or “Covino”),
proceeding pro se, brings claims for intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress against Spirit
Airlines, Inc. (“defendant” or
before this Court is the motion of Spirit to dismiss
plaintiff’s complaint on all counts.
Covino avers that she was a passenger on a Spirit flight from
Las Vegas to Boston in April, 2017. During the flight, Covino
attempted to use the lavatory. She claims that a Spirit
flight attendant stopped her from doing so by yelling,
cursing and blocking her passage. Covino does not allege why
she believes she was denied access but Spirit asserts that
the lavatory was temporarily unavailable because it was
occupied by another passenger or crew member.
the altercation, the flight attendant reported plaintiff and
the incident to Boston International Logan Airport
(“Logan”). Upon arrival at Logan, Covino was
escorted off the plane and questioned by Massachusetts State
Police Officer Gendreau (“Officer Gendreau”)
before other passengers could disembark. Plaintiff alleges
that Officer Gendreau questioned her about the incident and
then provided her with his contact information.
purchased her ticket to Boston through Spirit’s
“ticketless” online booking system. In doing so,
she checked a box acknowledging her agreement with the terms
and conditions set forth in Spirit’s Contract of
Carriage (“COC”). The full text of the COC was
made available to Covino via a hyperlink on Spirit’s
booking system. The COC is also published and publicly
available on Spirit’s website.
filed the instant suit against Spirit in Massachusetts
Superior Court in December, 2018. In January, 2019, Spirit
removed the case to this Court. Covino seeks damages for
intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress
arising out of the flight attendant’s conduct in
denying her access to the lavatory.
Motion to Dismiss
moves to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint as preempted by
the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and as time-barred by
Standard of Review
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 only look 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, 228 F.3d
1127 (1st Cir. 2000).
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 the factual allegations in a
complaint, that doctrine is not applicable to legal
conclusions. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662 (2009).
Threadbare recitals of 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 of relief where the ...