Chang v. Vail Resorts, Inc. et al
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS TO AND ADOPTING RECOMMENDATIO OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE: Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge [#59], filedFebruary 12, 2016, is Approved and Adopted as an order of this court Denying as Moot 2 Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Granting 51 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; Denying as Moot 16 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; Denying as Moot 19 Motion to Dismiss; Denying as Moot 25 Motion to Dismiss; Granting 29 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.Signed by Judge Robert E. Blackburn on 3/15/2016.(cmira)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Robert E. Blackburn
Civil Action No. 15-cv-01731-REB-NYW
DR. LENA CHANG, an individual,
VAIL RESORTS, INC., a Delaware corporation,
ROCKRESORTS INTERNATIONAL, LLC, a Delaware corporation,
GREAT HOUSE LIMITED, a Cayman Islands company, and
HALF MOON BAY LIMITED, a Jamaica company,
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS TO AND ADOPTING
RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
The matters before me are (1) the Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge [#59],1 filed February 12, 2016; and (2) Plaintiff’s Objections to
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge [ECF No. 59] [#61], filed
February 26, 2016. I overrule the objections, adopt the recommendation, and grant the
apposite motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted
and on the basis of forum non conveniens.
As required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), I have reviewed de novo all portions of the
recommendation to which objections have been filed, and have considered carefully the
recommendation, objections, and applicable caselaw. The recommendation is
“[#59]” is an example of the convention I use to identify the docket number assigned to a
specific paper by the court’s case management and electronic case filing system (CM/ECF). I use this
convention throughout this order.
exquisitely detailed and exceptionally well-reasoned. So thoroughly has the magistrate
judge considered and analyzed the issues raised by and inherent to the motions that
any extended exegesis on my part would be little more than a festooned reiteration of
her excellent work.
Plaintiff’s objections share the same shortcomings found in her complaint. Her
arguments do little more than pile attenuated inferences atop insupportable conjectures
in an unavailing effort to cast the allegations of her complaint as adequate to state a
plausible claim of tortious interference against the Vail defendants. The magistrate
judge’s conclusion that those allegations were conclusory and inadequate did not
subject plaintiff to a “heightened pleading standard,” as plaintiff argues, but correctly
interpreted the relevant precedents that expatiate plaintiff’s burden to substantiate the
allegations of her complaint with averments of fact, as opposed to mere legal
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173
L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 562, 127 S.Ct.
1955, 1969, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007); Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1247-48
(10th Cir. 2008); Ridge at Red Hawk, L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177 (10th
Cir. 2007). Plaintiff’s effort to cast the magistrate judge’s analysis of the pleading
deficiencies of her complaint as improper fact finding appears to demonstrate a
profound misunderstanding of the relevant legal standards that pertain.
Plaintiff’s objections to the recommendation to grant the motion of defendants
Great House Limited and Half Moon Bay Limited to dismiss on forum non conveniens
grounds is premised largely on her mistaken impression that her claim against the Vail
defendants is not properly dismissed. Given my agreement with the magistrate judge’s
recommendation otherwise, I likewise concur with her analysis of the threshold inquiries
that govern resolution of the forum non conveniens motion. See Gschwind v. Cessna
Aircraft Co., 161 F.3d 602, 605 (10th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S.Ct. 1755 (1999).
As for the objections to the analysis of the private and public interest factors that must
be considered once these threshold matters are found to weigh in favor of a forum non
conveniens dismissal, plaintiff relies on little more than unsubstantiated supposition and
impermissible inference to contravene the magistrate judge’s well-supported conclusion
that these considerations weigh heavily in favor of dismissal on forum non conveniens
grounds. Again, I am in complete agreement with the magistrate judge’s cogent
analysis of these relevant standards and concomitant recommendation to dismiss these
I thus find and conclude that the arguments advanced, authorities cited, and
findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation proposed by the magistrate
judge should be approved and adopted.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. That the Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge [#59], filed
February 12, 2016, is approved and adopted as an order of this court;
2. That the objections stated in Plaintiff’s Objections to Recommendation of
United States Magistrate Judge [ECF No. 59] [#61], filed February 26, 2016, are
3. That Defendants Half Moon Bay Limited and Great House Limited’s
Motion To Dismiss Pursuant to the Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens [#29], filed
September 14, 2015, is granted;
4. That defendants Vail Resorts, Inc., and RockResorts International, LLC’s
Motion To Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6) [#51], filed November 23, 2015, is granted;
5. That plaintiff’s claims are dismissed without prejudice as follows:
a. As against defendants, Vail Resorts, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and
RockResorts International, LLC, a Delaware corporation, for failure to
state a claim on which relief may be granted; and
b. As against defendants, Great House Limited, a Cayman Islands
company, and Half Moon Bay Limited, a Jamaican company, on the basis
of forum non conveniens;
6. That the following motions are denied as moot:
a. Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction [#2], filed August 11,
b. Defendants Vail Resorts, Inc., and RockResorts International, LLC’s
Motion To Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) [#16], filed September 3, 2015;
c. Defendant Half Moon Bay Limited’s Motion To Dismiss [#19], filed
September 3, 2015; and
d. Defendant Great House Limited’s Motion To Dismiss [#25], filed
September 10, 2015;
7. That judgment without prejudice shall enter in favor of defendants, Vail
Resorts, Inc., a Delaware corporation; RockResorts International, LLC, a Delaware
corporation; Great House Limited, a Cayman Islands company; and Half Moon Bay
Limited, a Jamaican company, and against plaintiff, Dr. Lena Chang, as to all claims for
relief asserted herein; and
8. That this case is closed.
Dated March 15, 2016, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
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