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Hocin v. Orange Lake Country Club, Inc.

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

August 29, 2019

AARON HOCIN, Plaintiff,
v.
ORANGE LAKE COUNTRY CLUB, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Aaron Hocin (Hocin) filed this action against Defendant Orange Lake Country Club, Inc. (OLCC), alleging wrongful termination in violation of public policy and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). The Court has diversity jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         Pending before the Court is OLCC's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Having carefully considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, the parties' answers to the Court's interrogatories, and the applicable law, the Court will grant the motion.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Hocin began working for OLCC in March 2016 as a sales representative. Complaint ¶ 5. This case stems from a series of events that occurred between May 2018 and June 2018. Id. ¶¶ 11-18. According to Hocin's complaint, another employee of OLCC assaulted and battered Hocin's pregnant wife (the incident) at a company party on May 30, 2018. Id. ¶ 12. On or about May 31, 2018, Hocin filed a police report regarding the incident, and reported it to OLCC's Human Resource Director. Id. ¶¶ 13-14.

         Hocin alleges members of OLCC's management team harassed, intimidated, and threatened him in an effort to get him to forget about the incident. Id. ¶ 17. On or about June 9, 2018, OLCC terminated Hocin, allegedly for his refusal to withdraw the police report he had filed. Id. ¶ 18. No criminal charges have resulted from the incident to date. Parties' Joint Response to Court's Interrogatories ¶ 1.

         Hocin thereafter filed this lawsuit against OLCC. After OLCC filed the present motion to dismiss, Hocin filed a response in opposition, and OLCC filed its reply in support. The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant issues, is prepared to adjudicate the motion.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency of the complaint. Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive a motion to dismiss, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require a complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

         Rule 8(a) does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” but “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007), to “give the defendant fair notice of what the … claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 255 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A claim is considered facially plausible “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).

         In considering a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's well-pled allegations are taken as true, and the complaint and all reasonable inferences are liberally construed in the plaintiff's favor. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). The Court may consider only the facts alleged in the complaint, which may include any documents either attached to or incorporated in the complaint, and matters of which the Court may take judicial notice. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007).

         Although the Court must accept the Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, any conclusory allegations are unentitled to an assumption of truth, and even those allegations pled with factual support need to be accepted only to the extent “they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. In sum, the factual allegation must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption all the allegations in the complaint, even if doubtful in fact. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         IV. ...


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