United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge
Block (“Block”) filed suit against Vehicle
Logistics Solutions, LLC (“VLS”), and several
individual Defendants alleging, inter alia,
discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, hostile
environment, and wrongful termination in violation of Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act and Michigan's Elliot Larsen
Civil Rights Act. The Court dismissed without prejudice the
individual Defendants from Block's complaint for failure
to prosecute. Block filed a motion for leave to file a first
amended complaint, seeking to re-add the individual
reasons that follow, that motion is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
alleges that while employed at VLS, she was subjected to
sexual harassment. She says she was continuously harassed by
a coworker, Defendant Arice Burton (“Burton”).
Block claims her supervisor, Defendant April Randles
(“Randles”), was aware of the harassment but did
nothing to address it. VLS Management, according to Block,
was also aware of the situation, and on certain occasions,
made cruel and insensitive jokes about Burton's sexual
harassment of Block. [Complaint, Par. 7, 22, 23, 25].
severely, Block alleges that on one occasion she was working
alone with Burton, and he cornered her in a back room and
raped her. Block says she reported the assault to Randles,
who failed to report the incident to her superiors, and tried
to poke fun at the assault and defend Burton's actions.
Block claims that in retaliation for reporting the assault,
she was transferred to another position, where she suffered
harassment and hostility. Due to bogus complaints made
against her by a coworker, Gwen Glover (“Glover”)
(named defendant in original complaint, but dropped in first
amended complaint), Block says she was terminated.
[Complaint, Par. 26-28, 30, 36, 38, 40-41].
failed to serve her May 4, 2017 complaint on any of the
individual defendants. On September 18, 2017, the Court
issued an order requiring Block to show cause as to why her
case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. [Doc.
# 8]. Block filed a response saying that she was unable to
serve them because she did not have their addresses. [Doc. #
9]. She asked the Court to either give her more time for
service, to compel VLS to give her home addresses of the
individual Defendants who were current VLS employees, or to
allow her to effectuate alternative service. On October 25,
2017, the Court entered an order granting Block until
November 1, 2017 to properly make these requests by motion.
[Doc. # 10]. Block did not do that, and on January 5, 2018,
the Court dismissed her claims against the individual
Defendants, without prejudice. [Doc. # 11].
motion for leave to file a first amended complaint, Block
says that she now believes that she will be able to
successfully serve the individual Defendants. In response,
VLS argues that the individual Defendants were properly
dismissed, and Block's proposed amendments are futile.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court should grant
leave for a party to amend its pleading “when justice
so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). “Several
factors influence whether the Court should allow a party to
amend its pleading including undue delay in filing, lack of
notice to opposing party, bad faith by the moving party,
undue prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of the
amendment.” Seals v. Gen. Motors Corp., 546
F.3d 766, 770 (6th Cir. 2008) (internal quotations and
citations omitted). “A proposed amendment is futile if
the amendment could not withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss.” Rose v. Hartford Underwriters Ins.
Co., 203 F.3d 417, 420 (6th Cir. 2000).
motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. RMI Titanium Co. v.
Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir.
1996). A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible on its face
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). A complaint
“must contain something more ... than ... a statement
of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally
cognizable right of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (citations omitted).
ability to serve the individual Defendants is not a factor
the Court takes into consideration when deciding her motion.
VLS primarily argues that Block's proposed amendments are
futile, which is one of the factors influencing the
Court's decision on a motion to amend. In analyzing the
futility of Block's proposed amendments, the Court will,
for the first time, conduct a merits-based review of
Block's allegations under the Rule 12(b)(6) standard.
Block Fails To State A Claim Against Defendants Angelo
Filippis And Terry Rupe
original complaint, Block makes general allegations against
Defendants Angelo Filippis (“Filippis”) and Terry
Rupe (“Rupe”). In Block's motion, she seeks
to amend her complaint by re-adding the same general
allegations - not associated with any count - against
Filippis and Rupe. Neither Filippis nor Rupe are named as
Defendants in any of the counts in Block's original or
alleges that while employed at VLS, Filippis falsely accused
her of walking off her job without permission, although she
had received permission by Rupe to leave. She claims that
Filippis' false accusation led to an investigation by
VLS. While under investigation, she claims she was