United States District Court, D. Colorado
CLINTON A. BROWNWOOD, Plaintiff,
WELLS TRUCKING, LLC, Defendant.
A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss Amended Complaint [Docket No. 21]. The Court has
subject matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331.
Wells Trucking, LLC hired plaintiff Clinton A. Brownwood as a
truck driver in October, 2012. Docket No. 19 at 2, ¶ 9.
Defendant required plaintiff to maintain an active Commercial
Driver's License (“CDL”) in order to work as
a truck driver. Id. at 3, ¶ 11. On multiple
occasions, plaintiff requested “that he be considered
and promoted for a permanent Operator position.”
Id. at 3, ¶ 15. The operator position did not
require a CDL or other certification. Id., ¶
16. On one occasion, Nate Owens, a lead manager for
defendant, told plaintiff that he was “too fat”
to be an operator. Id. at 4, ¶ 24.
suffers from morbid obesity. Id. at 4, ¶ 25. As
a result, a physician required plaintiff to take a sleep
apnea test before the physician would approve plaintiff for
his CDL-required physical. Id. at 5, ¶ 32.
Plaintiff was unable to pay for the required test.
Id., ¶¶ 34-35. Plaintiff spoke with Mr.
Owens about whether defendant would help plaintiff to pay for
the sleep apnea test, but defendant refused to provide
financial assistance. Id., ¶¶ 36-37.
Following plaintiff's request for assistance with the
sleep apnea test, defendant informed plaintiff that it
intended to terminate his employment. Id. at 6,
¶ 39. Plaintiff once again “requested a promotion,
or at the very least a temporary accommodation, and to be
placed in the Operator position.” Id., ¶
refused to pay for the sleep apnea test or allow plaintiff to
work in the operator position until he could take the sleep
apnea test. Id., ¶ 42. Defendant terminated
plaintiff on September 22, 2014. Id., ¶ 44.
25, 2016, plaintiff filed this lawsuit against defendant.
Docket No. 1. Plaintiff's amended complaint seeks relief
under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq.
Docket No. 19 at 7-9, ¶¶ 55-72. Specifically,
plaintiff claims that defendant discriminated against him in
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12112 and retaliated against
him in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12203. Id.
Defendant has moved to dismiss both of plaintiff's
claims. Docket No. 21.
court's function on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is not to
weigh potential evidence that the parties might present at
trial, but to assess whether the plaintiff's Complaint
alone is legally sufficient to state a claim for which relief
may be granted.” Dubbs v. Head Start, Inc.,
336 F.3d 1194, 1201 (10th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted). In
doing so, the Court “must accept all the well-pleaded
allegations of the complaint as true and must construe them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Alvarado v. KOB-TV, L.L.C., 493 F.3d 1210, 1215
(10th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks and citation omitted). At
the same time, however, a court need not accept conclusory
allegations. Moffett v. Halliburton Energy Servs.,
Inc., 291 F.3d 1227, 1232 (10th Cir. 2002).
“[s]pecific 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.'”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curiam) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)) (omission marks, internal quotation
marks, and citation omitted). The “plausibility”
standard requires that relief must plausibly follow from the
facts alleged, not that the facts themselves be plausible.
Bryson v. Gonzales, 534 F.3d 1282, 1286 (10th Cir.
“where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged - but it has not shown - that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and alteration marks omitted). Thus, even though modern
rules of pleading are somewhat forgiving, “a complaint
still must contain either direct or inferential allegations
respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a
recovery under some viable legal theory.”
Bryson, 534 F.3d at 1286 (quotation marks and
Plaintiff's Discrimination Claim
prohibits discrimination “against a qualified
individual on the basis of disability.” Adair v.
City of Muskogee, 823 F.3d 1297, 1304 (10th Cir. 2016)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a)). In order to establish a
discrimination claim under the ADA, “a plaintiff must
show that (1) he is disabled as defined under the [ADA]; (2)
he is qualified, with or without reasonable accommodation by
the employer, to perform ...