Gross v. Southeast Hospital Association
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion (Doc. No. 41) for leave to file an amended complaint is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court shall detach pages 317 of Doc. No. 41 and file it as Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Further, the Clerk of Court shall detach Doc. No. 41-1 and file it as an exhibit to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 12/2/2016. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MARGIE ELAINE GROSS,
No. 1:15CV00181 AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Margie Elaine Gross’s motion (Doc. No.
41) for leave to file an amended complaint. Defendant Southeast Hospital Association filed
a memorandum in opposition, and Plaintiff thereafter submitted a reply. The motion is fully
briefed and ready for disposition. For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant
Plaintiff filed her original complaint pro se on October 15, 2015, alleging
employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), as
amended, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the “ADEA”), as
amended, on the basis of Plaintiff’s race, color, disability, and age.
Now represented by counsel, Plaintiff seeks the Court’s leave to file an amended
complaint, adding, in addition to her claims under Title VII and the ADEA, claims under
the Missouri Human Rights Act (the “MHRA”), Title I of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (the “ADA”), and common law. Plaintiff again alleges discrimination on the basis of
her race, color, disability, and age. She also states that she has exhausted all administrative
remedies, and has initiated this action within 90 days of receiving a Notice of Right to Sue
from the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, and within the time discussed by the
Court’s Amended Case Management Order (Doc. No. 37).
In response, Defendant argues, inter alia, that Plaintiff’s motion should be denied
because the amended complaint is futile and raises allegations that have already been
dismissed by the Court’s Memorandum and Order entered May 12, 2016 (Doc. No. 26).
More specifically, Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s amended complaint contains Title
VII, ADEA, and ADA claims based on allegations that have already been dismissed or were
not covered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge at issue. Defendant
further argues that Plaintiff’s MHRA claims are untimely on their face, and that her
common law claim is preempted by the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act. Defendant
also contends that the continuing violation exception to the statute of limitations for
discrimination claims under Missouri law does not apply to this case.
In reply, Plaintiff asserts that she has met the standard for granting leave to amend,
and that the standard for denying such a motion for futility is difficult to meet. Plaintiff
further asserts that she requested leave to amend her complaint within the time allowed by
the Court’s Case Management Order, and that she has pleaded her claims with sufficient
factual and legal basis. Last, Plaintiff states that Defendant’s opposition brief is in actuality
a motion to dismiss which asks the Court to decide the merits of Plaintiff’s case.
Under Rule 15(a)(2), Fed. R. Civ. P., “a party may amend its pleading only with the
opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave. The court should freely give leave
when justice so requires.” “A district court may deny leave to amend if there are
compelling reasons such as undue delay, bad faith, or dilatory motive, repeated failure to
cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the non-moving
party, or futility of the amendment.” Reuter v. Jax Ltd., Inc., 711 F.3d 918, 922 (8th Cir.
2013) (citation and internal quotations omitted). This Court has found that the “standard for
dismissing a motion to amend because of futility is stringent.” Coller v. Doucette,
4:09CV00780 AGF, 2010 WL 319652, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 20, 2010). Here, Plaintiff
alleges facts that, if true, plausibly establish claims under federal and state law.
The Court rejects Defendant’s contentions that the proposed amended complaint is
futile. “[A] party’s motion to amend should be dismissed on the merits only if it asserts
clearly frivolous claims or defenses. Likelihood of success on the new claim is no basis for
denying an amendment unless the claim asserted therein is clearly frivolous. Id. (quoting
Gamma-10 Plastics, Inc. v. Am. President Lines, Ltd., 32 F.3d 1244, 1255–56 (8th Cir.
1994)). Although Defendant may assert valid defenses to Plaintiff’s new claims, the Court
cannot hold at this time that the proposed amended complaint is clearly frivolous and thus
futile. The Court therefore finds that Plaintiff has met the standard for granting leave to
amend her complaint.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion (Doc. No. 41) for leave to file
an amended complaint is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court shall detach pages 3–17 of Doc.
No. 41 and file it as Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint. Further, the Clerk of Court shall
detach Doc. No. 41-1 and file it as an exhibit to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint.
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 2nd day of December, 2016
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