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Smith v. Sam Carbis Solutions Group, LLC

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

March 6, 2017

Cynthia Smith, Plaintiff,
v.
Sam Carbis Solutions Group, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Cynthia Smith filed this action against her former employer, Defendant Sam Carbis Solutions Group, LLC, alleging she was terminated in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act[1](“FMLA”). See Complaint [ECF No. 1]. Defendant filed a partial motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's state law claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. See ECF No. 5.

         The matter is now before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Rogers, III, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g) for the District of South Carolina. See R & R [ECF No. 18]. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court grant Defendant's partial motion to dismiss. R & R at 1, 8. Plaintiff has filed timely objections to the R & R. See Pl.'s Objs. [ECF No. 22]. Defendant has filed a reply to Plaintiff's objections. See ECF No. 24.

         Legal Standards

         I. Review of the R & R

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review of those portions of the R & R to which specific objections are made, and it may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         The Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only “general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific error in the [M]agistrate [Judge]'s proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews only for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the Court need not give any explanation for adopting the Magistrate Judge's recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).

         II. Rule 12(b)(6)

         When deciding a motion to dismiss made under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the district court must accept all well-pleaded facts alleged in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 253 (4th Cir. 2009). A complaint must state a “‘plausible claim for relief'” to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Walters v. McMahen, 684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir. 2012) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009)). The court will not dismiss the plaintiff's complaint so long as she provides adequate detail about her claims to show she has a “more-than-conceivable chance of success on the merits.” Owens v. Baltimore City State's Attorneys Office, 767 F.3d 379, 396 (4th Cir. 2014) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563. A complaint will survive a motion to dismiss if it contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.

         Discussion[2]

         Plaintiff alleges she was subjected to a hostile work environment during her employment with Defendant from September 2008 to June 2015. Compl. at ¶¶ 3-5. She alleges she went on medical leave after suffering an emotional breakdown on May 19, 2015, initiated a workers' compensation claim on June 11, 2015, and was terminated on June 30, 2015. Id. at ¶¶ 4, 6, 10. She asserts five causes of action: (1) FMLA interference, (2) FMLA retaliation, (3) IIED, (4) retaliatory discharge for filing a workers' compensation claim, and (5) wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. Id. at ¶¶ 12-41.

         Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's state law claims for IIED and wrongful discharge. See ECF No. 5. The Magistrate Judge recommends granting Defendant's motion. R & R at 3-12. Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation. See Pl.' Objs. at 3-6.

         I. IIED

         The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing Plaintiff's IIED claim because she fails to state a ...


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