Campbell v. Reliance Health Care Inc et al
ORDER denying 45 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; denying 47 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 8/22/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CARROLYN CAMPBELL; AMANDA
HODGES; CRYSTAL WALTERS; and
HEATHER CROW, all individually and
on behalf of others similarly situated
RELIANCE HEALTH CARE, INC.;
NORTHWEST HEALTH & REHAB,
INC. dfb/a North Hills Life Care &
Rehab; OCNC, INC. dfb/a Silver Oaks
Heath & Rehabilitation; SCNC, INC.
dfb/a Spring Creek Health & Rehab;
and BRANDON ADAMS & BRYAN
ADAMS, both individually and in his
capacity as owner, manager, officer andfor
incorporator of Reliance Health Care,
Inc. and Northwest Health & Rehab, Inc.
Plaintiffs, two licensed practical nurses and two certified nurse
assistants, have sued the nursing homes they used to work for, alleging
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Arkansas Minimum Wage
Act. Plaintiffs have also sued Reliance, Brandon Adams, and Bryan Adams.
Reliance appears to be a parent corporation involved in various individual
nursing home corporations by way of Healthcare Provider Services
Agreements. And the Adamses appear to be the corporate owners and
officers of Reliance and officers of the other entities.
Reliance and the
Adamses move to dismiss, saying Plaintiffs have no standing and no
plausible claims against them.
The standing argument, made only by Reliance, fails. If what Plaintiffs
allege is true- Reliance managed these facilities, including payroll- then the
stool has all three legs: injury-in-fact, causation, and redressability. Bennett
v. Spear, 520 U.S. 154, 162 (1997).
The no-plausibility argument, made by Reliance and both Adamses,
fails too. Contrary to Defendants' contentions, the second amended and
substituted complaint goes beyond could to did. The FLSA defines employer
broadly as" any [individual or corporation] acting directly or indirectly in the
interest of an employer in relation to an employee." 29 U.S.C. § 203(a) & (d).
The Arkansas law is similar. ARK. CODE ANN.§ 11-4-203(4)(A). Measuring
the facts alleged (including the role created by the Management Agreement)
against those deemed important in the persuasive precedent from other
circuits, Plaintiffs have made plausible joint-employer claims against Reliance
and each Adams. In re Enterprise Rent-A -Car Wage & Hour Employment
Practices Litigation, 683 F.3d 462,468 (3d Cir. 2012); Bonnette v. California Health
and Welfare Agency, 704 F.2d 1465,1470 (9th Cir. 1983). This pleading satisfies
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) as interpreted in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Just because the claims against the corporate parent and the corporate
owners and officers are plausible, however, does not mean they will pan out.
The Court directs the parties to conduct discovery on the management and
relationship issues while doing their collective-action discovery on the three
nursing homes where Plaintiffs worked. The parties need to bring the
Reliance and Adamses issues back to the Court for final resolution before the
case gets to the conditional-certification stage and before Reliance is put to
discovery about all its nursing homes.
Motions to dismiss, Document Nos. 45 & 47, denied.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?