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Sturkey v. Duty Free Americas, Inc.

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

August 1, 2018

GINA STURKEY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DUTY FREE AMERICAS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND COMPLAINT (DOC. 12) AND DENYING PLAINTIFFS' CORRECTED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND COMPLAINT (DOC. 13)

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs Gena Sturkey, Latoya Jones, Corlette Person, Yun Bonilla, Suchet Guha, Nancy Tarevski, Ping Moceri, Aminat Ahmed, Jie Wu, Junying Lu, Hexhire Agolli, Lester Berry, Faye Jones, and Hazel Hager bring numerous state-law claims against their former employer Duty Free Americas, Inc. This matter is presently before the Court on plaintiffs' motions for leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiffs filed their first motion, titled “motion for leave to amend complaint to add a new party and count, ” on November 20, 2017. (Doc. 12). Plaintiffs filed a second motion, titled “corrected motion for leave to amend complaint to add a new party and count, ” on November 30, 2017. (Doc.13). Defendant responded to the first motion on December 4, 2017. (Doc. 14). Defendant responded to the second motion on December 14, 2017. (Doc. 16). Plaintiffs filed a reply on December 26, 2017. (Doc. 17). Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(f)(2), the Court shall rule without oral argument. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs' first motion to amend, (Doc. 12), is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART and plaintiffs' second motion to amend, (Doc. 13), is DENIED.

         I. Background

         Defendant, a national travel retailer, employed plaintiffs pursuant to a sales and/or service contract with Detroit Metro Airport. (Doc. 1 at PageID 2-3). On or about December 2015, defendant lost its contract with Detroit Metro Airport. (Doc. 1 at PageID 3). Defendant's contract term was scheduled to end on September 19, 2016. (Id.). In February 2016, Bud Silloway met with plaintiffs to discuss severance pay. (Id.). Silloway stated that plaintiffs would receive a severance payment equal to one week of wages for every year of employment if plaintiffs worked through the end of the Detroit Metro Airport contract. (Id.).

         Plaintiffs continued working for defendant until the Detroit Metro Airport contract ended. (Doc. 1 at PageID 3-4). Defendant thereafter provided plaintiffs with their severance payments. (Doc. 1 at PageID 4). These payments, however, were equal to half of one week's wages for every year of employment. (Id.). In a letter dated October 6, 2016, Silloway corrected his previous statement and explained that defendant's usual policy only compensated for half of one week's employment for every year of employment. (Id.). Plaintiffs filed this suit in the Eastern District of Michigan on January 24, 2017 to recover additional severance payment. (Doc. 1).

         II. Legal Standard

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), after a responsive pleading is filed, “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. The court should freely grant leave when justice so requires.” “A court need not grant leave to amend, however, where amendment would be ‘futile.'” Miller v. Calhoun Cty., 408 F.3d 803, 817 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)). Amendment of a complaint is futile when the proposed amendment would not permit the complaint to survive a motion to dismiss. Id.

         A court confronted with a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) must construe the complaint in favor of the plaintiff, accept the allegations of the complaint as true, and determine whether the plaintiff's factual allegations present plausible claims. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554-56 (2007). “[N]aked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement” and “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s]” are insufficient to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The complaint need not contain “detailed” factual allegations, but its “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all of the allegations in the complaint are true.” Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007).

         III. Analysis

         A. Plaintiffs' First Motion for Leave to Amend

         Plaintiffs' seek leave to amend their complaint to (1) add Eva Vigh as an additional plaintiff, and (2) add an additional count against defendant.

         Plaintiffs assert that Eva Vigh was also employed by defendant, believed she would receive a severance payment equal to one week's salary for each year of employment, but instead received only half of that amount. Vigh's claims appear identical to plaintiffs' so the Court shall GRANT plaintiffs' leave to amend their complaint to include Vigh.

         Plaintiffs' second request, however, must be denied. Plaintiffs' motion, incorrectly filed as an exhibit, states interest in adding a Title VII claim. (Doc. 12-1 at PageID 108). The proposed amended complaint, (Doc. ...


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