United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to Amend Complaint (Motion), filed on August 20, 2018.
(Doc. 19). Defendant filed a Preliminary Response to
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint on August
21, 2018, and a Substantive Response Opposing Plaintiff's
Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint on August 30, 2018.
(Docs. 20 and 21). Having considered the Motion, the proposed
First Amended Complaint for Employment Discrimination, and
the accompanying briefing, the Court denies the Motion to
alleges in his proposed First Amended Complaint (FAC) that
Defendant employed him from June 21, 2012, until January 9,
2015. (Doc. 19) at 3, ¶ 5. Sometime in November 2014,
Plaintiff became ill and was later diagnosed with a ruptured
ulcer in his abdomen, necessitating emergency surgery.
Id. at 4, ¶¶ 6-7. Defendant placed
Plaintiff on paid leave while Plaintiff recovered from
surgery and until Plaintiff returned to work on January 8,
2015. Id. at 4, ¶¶ 8-9. Plaintiff returned
to work with doctor's orders to perform light work duty,
which Plaintiff provided to his supervisor. Id. at
4, ¶ 10.
Plaintiff returned to work on January 8, 2015, Defendant
tasked him with lifting tools weighing over 100 pounds and
traveling to four or five locations on rough roads.
Id. at 4, ¶ 11. At some point that day,
Plaintiff informed his supervisor that he could not make any
more trips. Id. at 4, ¶ 12. Plaintiff's
supervisor directed Plaintiff to obtain a doctor's note
if he could not complete a full day's work. Id.
Plaintiff visited his doctor that day, and the doctor gave
Plaintiff a note explaining that Plaintiff should life no
more than ten pounds and avoid jarring movements.
Id. at 4, ¶ 13. Plaintiff returned to work
later that day but was unable to give the note to his
supervisor. Id. at 5, ¶ 16. Instead, Plaintiff
was instructed to meet with Glenn Coates the next morning.
met with Mr. Coates the next day, January 9, 2015.
Id. at 5, ¶ 17. Mr. Coates asked Plaintiff to
resign. Id. Plaintiff refused, and Defendant
thereafter fired him. Id. at 5, ¶ 18. At some
later time, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Id. at 5, ¶ 19. On April 26, 2017, he received
a Notice of Right to Sue. Id. at 5, ¶ 20.
19, 2018, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's Complaint for
failure to state a claim and granted Plaintiff thirty (30)
days to file a motion for leave to amend his Complaint. (Doc.
17) at 10-11. Plaintiff timely moved to amend his complaint
as follows. (Doc. 19). First, the proposed FAC contains a
single claim: that Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff
in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Id. Factually, Plaintiff seeks to add ¶ 14,
alleging that “Plaintiff's physical impairments
were anticipated to last longer than six months.”
Id. at 4. Plaintiff also moves to include
¶¶ 15 and 23, which both state that
“Plaintiff's physical impairments prevented him
from performing the essential functions of his job, however,
Plaintiff could have performed those function[s] of his job
if a reasonable accommodation would have been made by
Defendant.” Id. at 5.
opposes the Motion on the basis that Plaintiff's new
allegations are conclusory, rendering the amendment futile
because the FAC would be subject to dismissal for failure to
state a claim. (Doc. 21).
Standard of Review
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2), “a party may amend its pleadings
only with the opposing party's written consent or the
court's leave.” As the Tenth Circuit has explained,
Rule 15(a) provides that leave to amend “shall be
freely given when justice so requires.” Refusing leave
to amend is generally only justified upon a showing of undue
delay, undue prejudice to the opposing party, bad faith or
dilatory motive, failure to cure deficiencies by amendments
previously allowed, or futility of amendment.
Frank v. U.S. West, Inc., 3 F.3d 1357, 1365-66 (10th
Cir. 1993) (citations omitted).
proposed amendment is futile if the complaint, as amended,
would be subject to dismissal for any reason, including that
the amendment would not survive a dispositive motion such as
a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Gohier v.
Enright, 186 F.3d 1216, 1218 (10th Cir. 1999).
deciding whether a claim is subject to a Rule 12(b)(6)
dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted, the Court must accept all well-pleaded
allegations as true and must view them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. See Zinermon v. Burch,
494 U.S. 113, 118 (1990); Swanson v. Bixler, 750
F.2d 810, 813 (10th Cir. 1984). Rule 12(b)(6) requires that a
complaint set forth the grounds of a plaintiff's
entitlement to relief through more than labels, conclusions,
and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must
allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim of relief.
Id. at 570. A claim is facially plausible if the
plaintiff pleads facts sufficient for the court to reasonably
infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged
misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ...