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Planque v. TJX Companies Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

April 4, 2017

LINDA PLANQUE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE TJX COMPANIES, INC., a Delaware Corporation; and HOMEGOODS, INC., a, Delaware Corporation, Defendants.

          Shannon D. Sims Attorney for Plaintiff

          Sharon C. Peters David C. Campbell Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP Minh N. Vu Seyfarth Shaw LLP Attorneys for Defendant HomeGoods, Inc.

          OPINION & ORDER

          MARCO A. HERNÁNDEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Linda Planque brings this action against HomeGoods, Inc., alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181, 12182, and a state law negligence claim.[1] Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. ECF 10. Because Plaintiff has not satisfied Article III's standing requirements and failed to state a claim, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted and this case is dismissed. The Court also grants Plaintiff leave to amend.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is disabled and uses a powered wheelchair. Compl. ¶¶ 4, 12, ECF 1. On September 17, 2014, she went shopping at Defendant's store. Id. at ¶ 11. She alleges that the checkout counter was too high for her to reach from her wheelchair. Id. at ¶ 12. Plaintiff gave her card to Defendant's employee to pay for her purchase. Id. at ¶ 13. Defendant's employee asked Plaintiff multiple times if she would like to open a store credit card and Plaintiff refused each time. Id. at ¶¶ 14-16. Defendant's employee was holding Plaintiff's card while asking if Plaintiff was interested in a store credit card. Id. When Plaintiff reached for the card reader, her “wheelchair control was bumped sending her and the wheelchair into the counter.” Id. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the accident, she has suffered and continues to suffer severe injuries and her wheelchair was badly damaged. Id. at ¶¶ 18-19.

         Plaintiff further alleges that her injuries were a direct result of Defendant's store being inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs and its failure to train its employees to properly handle customers with disabilities. Id. at ¶¶ 20-22. She seeks injunctive relief under the ADA, prohibiting Defendant from continuing discrimination against persons with disabilities. Id. at ¶¶ 24-27. Additionally, she claims that Defendant negligently failed to train its employees in handling customer issues and created hazardous conditions for persons using wheelchairs. Id. at ¶¶ 29-32.

         STANDARDS

         Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may move to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

A Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack may be facial or factual. In a facial attack, the challenger asserts that the allegations contained in a complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction. By contrast, in a factual attack, the challenger disputes the truth of the allegations that, by themselves, would otherwise invoke federal jurisdiction.

Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004) (internal citation omitted).

         The Court must accept the factual allegations contained in the Complaint as true when determining whether subject matter jurisdiction exists. Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004). However, when resolving a factual attack on jurisdiction, the court may review extrinsic evidence without converting the motion to a motion for summary judgment and the court “need not presume the truthfulness of the plaintiff's allegations.” Safe Air for Everyone, 373 F.3d at 1039. Once the motion has been converted into a factual motion, the plaintiff “must furnish affidavits or other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction.” Id. (citation omitted).

         Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face[, ]” meaning “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). Additionally, “only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 679. A complaint must contain “well-pleaded facts” which “permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679. In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint's factual allegations, the court must accept all material facts alleged in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Wilson v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2012). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)[.]” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations and footnote omitted). However, the court need not accept unsupported conclusory allegations as ...


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