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Adams v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 1, 2018

JOSEPH ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, FELICIA FIELDS, JIMMY SETTLES, and UAW, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS [#12]

          Denise Page Hood Chief Judge

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural Background

         On August 25, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Joseph Adams (“Adams”) brought this action in Michigan's 19th District Court against Defendants Ford Motor Company (“Ford”), Felicia Fields (“Fields”), Jimmy Settles (“Settles”), and UAW (“UAW”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Adams alleges that Ford violated the collective bargaining agreement by wrongfully terminating him, and that UAW breached the duty of fair representation by failing to legally represent his interests. (Doc # 1-1, Pg. 4) Adams seeks to be awarded his pension from Ford. (Id.) On September 15, 2017, Defendants Fields and Ford removed this action to federal court because Adams's claims arise under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (“LMRA”). (Doc # 1) Defendants Ford and Fields filed an Answer on September 22, 2017. (Doc # 3) On September 26, 2017, Defendants UAW and Settles consented to removal, and filed an Answer. (Doc # 4; Doc # 5)

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed on December 15, 2017. (Doc # 12) Adams filed an Answer to the present Motion on January 18, 2018. (Doc # 14) Defendants filed a Reply on February 2, 2018. (Doc # 15)

         Defendants request the Court issue a judgment in their favor because Adams's hybrid § 301 LMRA claim is time-barred by the six-month statute of limitations. (Doc # 12, Pg. 6) For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is GRANTED.

         B. Factual Background

         Ford terminated Adams's employment on August 22, 1986. (Doc # 1-1, Pg. 6) Adams brought this claim against Ford for wrongful termination and the UAW for breaching its fiduciary obligation to represent his interest. (Doc # 1-1, Pg. 4) Adams was unable to work due to an injury he suffered. Adams alleges Ford “breached . . . by not verifying the injury in a timely manner.” (Id.) Adams has provided the Court with a doctor's note and a letter from Ford, both dated during August 1986, to support his wrongful termination claim. (Id. at 24-25) Adams also alleges the UAW failed to meet its “fiduciary obligation to be his legal representative . . . [and] represent [him] in a fair and equitable way”, and failed to allow the grievance process to “take its full course.” (Id. at 11) Adams attached a copy of the original grievance letter and a letter from the UAW indicating the denial of his grievance to the Complaint. (Id. at 21, 26)

         Since the late 1980s until the present, Adams has written several letters to various entities discussing the claims alleged in this action. Adams has written at least four letters to Ford, six letters to the UAW, and letters to top government officials, including President George W. Bush and United States Senator Carl Levin. (Id. at 12-23, 27) Adams brought this action roughly thirty-one years after his termination from Ford.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standards of Review

         1. Rule 12(c)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) authorizes parties to move for judgment on the pleadings “[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Motions for judgment on the pleadings are analyzed under the same standard as motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Warrior Sports, Inc. v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 623 F.3d 281, 284 (6th Cir. 2010) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). “For purposes of a motion for judgment on the pleadings, all well-pleaded material allegations of the pleadings of the opposing party must be taken as true, and the motion may be granted only if the moving party is nevertheless clearly entitled to judgment.” Id.

         In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), the Supreme Court explained that “a plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Id. at 555. A plaintiff's factual allegations, while “assumed to be true, must do more than create speculation or suspicion of a legally cognizable cause of action; they must show entitlement to relief.” LULAC v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007) (emphasis in original) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “To state a valid claim, a complaint ...


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