Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Great Lakes Acquisition Corp. v. Deary

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

October 4, 2019

GREAT LAKES ACQUISITION CORP. d/b/a/ GREAT LAKES CARING, Plaintiff,
v.
CHERI LYN DEARY, Defendant.

          R. Steven Whalen Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [8]

          LAURIE J. MICHELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         When Cheri Lyn Deary left her job at Great Lakes Caring (“Great Lakes”), a business providing home health care, she did not walk out empty-handed. Great Lakes paid Deary “in excess of six figures” upon her departure in April 2017 and, in exchange, Deary signed an employment agreement that included a covenant not to compete. (ECF No. 7, PageID.83.)

         Several months later, Great Lakes noticed something suspicious. A November 2018 filing with the State of Michigan showed the formation of a new health care company named Careline Health Group-MI, LLC (“Careline”). (ECF No. 7, PageID.90.) Cheri Lyn Deary was the company's resident agent. (Id.) And her home address was the company's registered office. (Id.) After seeing this, Great Lakes filed a lawsuit against Deary seeking an injunction and money damages for violation of the employment agreement. (ECF No. 1, PageID.13-14; ECF No. 7, PageID.87) In response to the suit, Deary filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (ECF No. 3.) Great Lakes amended the complaint but Deary says it still fails to state a claim. (ECF No. 8.) For the reasons discussed below, this Court will grant Deary's motion and dismiss the suit.

         In deciding a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court “construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, and determines whether the complaint ‘contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Heinrich v. Waiting Angels Adoption Servs., Inc., 668 F.3d 393, 403 (6th Cir. 2012) (alteration in original) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). The Court “need not, however, accept unwarranted factual inferences.” Bennett v. MIS Corp., 607 F.3d 1076, 1091 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The factual allegations must “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Great Lakes' original complaint included 22 paragraphs and an exhibit, which was a copy of Careline's articles of organization with Deary's name listed as the registered agent. (ECF No. 1.) The complaint also excerpted the covenant not to compete, which required Deary not to “engage in any self-employment, employment with any other entity, work as a consultant or independent contractor, or have full or partial ownership of any entity” in the region for two years in fields such as “home health care, hospice, care, [and] palliative care”-the core businesses of Great Lakes. (ECF No. 1, PageID.11; ECF No. 7, PageID.83.) Deary filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that neither her status as Careline's resident agent nor her alleged participation in the operation of Careline stated a claim for breach of contract. (ECF No. 3, PageID.36-39.)

         Soon after, Great Lakes filed an amended complaint that included the previous material as well as nine new paragraphs. (ECF No. 7.) The new complaint detailed that Careline was owned by Joseph Mead (Deary's son-in-law), that Mead had no experience in the industry, and that Mead nevertheless created the company. (ECF No. 7, PageID.84- 85.) Additionally, the complaint contained six other fresh allegations:

12. Upon information and belief, Mead established Careline with Deary's aid and assistance.
13. Upon information and belief, but for Deary's aid and assistance Mead would not have been able to establish and operate Careline. . . .
17. Upon information and belief, Deary has been directly and indirectly assisting Careline in competing with Great Lakes in violation [of] the Covenant not to Non-Compete [sic].
18. Upon information and belief, Deary acted as the agent of Careline in violation of the Covenant not to Non-Compete [sic].
19. Upon information and belief, Deary has provided formal or informal consulting services to Careline in violation of the Covenant not to Non-Compete [sic].
20. Upon information and belief, Careline, with Deary's assistance, has solicited Great Lakes' prospective patients and engaged in ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.