Law School Case Brief
Christiansen v. Omnicom Grp., Inc. - 167 F. Supp. 3d 598 (S.D.N.Y. 2016)
When considering a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court should "draw all reasonable inferences in [the plaintiff's] favor, assume all well-pleaded factual allegations to be true, and determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief."
Plaintiff Matthew Christiansen, an openly gay man who is HIV-positive, brought suit against his employer, DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. ("DDB"); DDB's parent company, Omnicom Group, Inc. ("Omnicom"); his former supervisor, Joe Cianciotto; and DDB executives Peter Hempel and Chris Brown (together, "Defendants"). In his First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), Plaintiff alleged claims for sexual stereotyping, disability-based discrimination, and retaliation in violation of federal, state, and local laws; as well as state-law claims for aiding and abetting discrimination, slander per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, and labor law violations. Defendants, in two separate motions, moved to dismiss the FAC, which the court granted.
Was the grant of dismissal proper?
In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a district court may consider the facts alleged in the complaint, documents attached to the complaint as exhibits, and documents incorporated by reference in the complaint. Even where a document is not incorporated by reference, the court may nevertheless consider it where the complaint relies heavily upon its terms and effect, which renders the document integral to the complaint. Plaintiff's complaint was time-barred and failed on the merits.
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