Weber v. IBEW Local 124 et al
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS GAVIN SEALY'S AND THOMAS FURMAN'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS, 29 and 31 . Signed on 7/7/15 by District Judge Ortrie D. Smith. (Order mailed to Darryl Weber.) (Matthes, Renea)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DARRYL L. WEBER,
IBEW LOCAL 124 APPRENTICESHIP )
BOARD MEMBERS, R.F. FISHER
ELECTRIC COMPANY, TOM FURMAN )
and GAVIN SEELY,
Case No. 4:14-CV-1118-W-ODS
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS GAVIN SEALY’S AND THOMAS FURMAN’S
MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Pending are Defendants Gavin Seeley1 and Thomas Furman’s Motions to
Dismiss. Doc. #29, Doc. #31. The Motions are granted.
Plaintiff Darryl Weber (“Plaintiff”) was a member of the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers Local 124 Apprenticeship Program (“Apprenticeship Program”).
He alleges various entities and individuals associated with the Apprenticeship Program
discriminated against him in a variety of ways, and Plaintiff has filed many lawsuits
against these various entities and individuals. Here, Plaintiff has sued IBEW Local 124
Apprenticeship & Board Members & Companies, R.F. Fisher Electric Co., Thomas
Furman, and Gavin Seeley, alleging he was discriminated against based on his race
and his disability. Doc. #27. In his original Complaint, Plaintiff attached a U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission Dismissal and Notice of Rights. Doc. #1-2.
While Plaintiff spells Mr. Seeley’s last name “Sealy,” Mr. Seeley’s attorneys have spelled his last
The liberal pleading standard created by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
requires “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant
fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.’” Id. (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In ruling on a motion to dismiss,
the Court “must accept as true all of the complaint’s factual allegations and view them in
the light most favorable to the Plaintiff[ ].” Stodghill v. Wellston School Dist., 512 F.3d
472, 476 (8th Cir. 2008).
To 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. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is
not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. 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.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
In keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss
can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While
legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be
supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Id. at 1950.
Additionally, a court must liberally construe a pro se complaint and “pro se
litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties.” Whitson v. Stone
County Jail, 602 F.3d 920, 922 n.1 (8th Cir. 2010). However, pro se complaints “still
must allege sufficient facts to support the claims advanced.” Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
While Plaintiff’s Complaint does not cite a specific statute Defendants allegedly
violated, the Court finds his most cognizable claims can be asserted pursuant to Title
VII for alleged race discrimination and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
for discrimination based on his alleged disabled status. All claims under Title VII and
the ADA must be brought against a covered employer. The Eighth Circuit has held
individuals are not covered employers under Title VII. Spencer v. Ripley County State
Bank, 123 F.3d 690, 691 (8th Cir. 1997). Here, Defendants Gavin Seeley and Thomas
Furman are individuals and thus are not subject to liability under Title VII.
While the Eighth Circuit has not expressly held whether individual liability exists
under the ADA, the definitions of employer under Title VII and the ADA are analogous.
Many courts within the Eighth Circuit have determined the Eighth Circuit would not
impose individual liability under the ADA. See, e.g. Ebersole v. Novo Nordisk, Inc.,
2011 WL 6115655, at *1-2 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 8, 2011); Donnelly v. St. John’s Mercy
Medical Center, 2008 WL 2699859, at *1-2 (E.D. Mo. June 30, 2008); Stevenson v.
Best Buy Corp., 2005 WL 3434770 at *3 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 14, 2005). Additionally, several
Circuits have reached the same conclusion regarding individual liability. See, e.g.
Butler v. City of Prairie Village, Kan., 172 F. 3d 736, 744 (10th Cir. 1999); Mason v.
Stallings, 82 F.3d 1007, 1009 (11th Cir. 1996).
Accordingly, this Court finds Defendants Gavin Seeley and Thomas Furman as
individuals are not subject to liability under the ADA. Because this provides sufficient
grounds for the Court to grant Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, the Court need not
address the remainder of Defendant Gavin Seeley’s arguments in support of his Motion
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Gavin Seeley’s and Thomas Furman’s
Motions to Dismiss are granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Ortrie D. Smith
ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DATE: July 7, 2015
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