Avendano et al v. Security Consultants Group, Inc. et al, No. 3:2013cv00168 - Document 51 (D. Nev. 2014)

Court Description: ORDER granting defendants' 17 motion for a more definite statement; denying without prejudice 17 motion to dismiss defendants Paragon and Securitas. Amended Complaint due 2/14/2014. Signed by Judge Howard D. McKibben on 01/27/2014. Signed by Judge Howard D. McKibben on 01/27/2014. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - KR)
Download PDF
Avendano et al v. Security Consultants Group, Inc. et al Doc. 51 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ISAAC AVENDANO and ROLAND DUENAS, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) SECURITY CONSULTANTS GROUP, INC., ) et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _________________________________ ) 3:13-cv-00168-HDM-VPC ORDER 18 Before the court is a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal 19 Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or in the alternative a motion 20 for a more definite statement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 21 Procedure 12(e) (#17), filed by defendants Security Consultants 22 Group, Inc. (“SCG”), Paragon Systems, Inc. (“Paragon”), and 23 Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. (“Securitas”). 24 plaintiffs have opposed (#18), and the defendants have replied 25 (#23). 26 The The plaintiffs, who were employees of SCG (Compl. ¶¶ 12-13), 27 assert in their complaint eleven different claims for relief 28 against defendants SCG, Paragon, and Securitas. These include 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 multiple Title VII claims, a claim under § 1981, claims under NRS 2 §§ 613.330 and 613.340, a breach of contract claim under NLRA § 3 301, and a claim of “tortious interference with prospective 4 business relationship / economic advantage.” 5 197, 204-212.) 6 NLRA § 301 against defendants United Government Security Officers 7 of America, International Union (“UGSOA International”) and United 8 Government Security Officers of America, Local 283 (“UGSOA Local 9 238"). (See Compl. ¶¶ 112- Plaintiffs also assert one claim for relief under (See Compl. ¶¶ 198-203.) Defendants UGSOA International 10 and UGSOA Local 238 are not parties to the motion (#17) presently 11 before the court. 12 Standard 13 In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the 14 court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint 15 as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from such 16 allegations. 17 2000). 18 the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. 19 States, 234 F.3d 428, 435 (9th Cir. 2000). LSO, Ltd. v. Stroh, 205 F.3d 1146, 1150 n.2 (9th Cir. The allegations of the complaint also must be construed in Shwarz v. United 20 “Under the notice pleading standard of the Federal Rules, 21 plaintiffs are only required to give a ‘short and plain statement’ 22 of their claims in the complaint.” 23 1061, 1071 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Diaz v. Int’l Longshore & 24 Warehouse Union, Local 13, 474 F.3d 1202, 1205 (9th Cir. 2007)). 25 While this rule “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,’ . 26 . . it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully- 27 harmed-me accusation.” 28 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Paulsen v. CNF, Inc., 559 F.3d Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) 2 1 A pleading is insufficient if it offers only labels and 2 conclusions, a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of 3 action, or “naked assertions devoid of further factual 4 enhancement.” 5 complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter . . . to state a 6 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” 7 plausibility standard demands “more than a sheer possibility that a 8 defendant has acted unlawfully.” 9 Id. (internal punctuation omitted). Thus, a Id. The Id. Where a complaint “is so vague or ambiguous that [a] party 10 cannot reasonably prepare a response,” the court may order the 11 plaintiff to file a more definite statement. 12 12(e); see also Bautista v. Los Angeles County, 216 F.3d 837, 843 13 n.1 (9th Cir. 2000). 14 Analysis 15 Fed. R. Civ. P. Defendants SCG, Paragon, and Securitas jointly move to dismiss 16 all claims against Paragon and Securitas, or in the alternative, 17 for a more definite statement against those defendants. 18 defendants state that at the time of the plaintiffs’ alleged 19 injuries, the plaintiffs were employed by SCG, not by Paragon or 20 Securitas. 21 “affiliated corporate entities with no independent allegations 22 against them,” and as such should be dismissed. 23 (D. Mot. 6.) The They argue that Paragon and Securitas are (D. Mot. 7.) With regard to defendant Paragon, the plaintiffs allege that 24 “in or about April 2011 Paragon acquired SCG and assumed the 25 responsibilities and duties of SCG under its applicable collective 26 bargaining agreements . . . ” and that “Paragon was involved in, 27 oversaw, ratified or otherwise authorized the actions of SCG as set 28 forth therein.” (Compl. ¶ 8.) They also allege that “Paragon’s 3 1 legal counsel represented SCG’s interests in matters related to 2 issues arising on or after July 24, 2012 in regards to SCG’s 3 compliance with Arbitrator Charles Askin’s Award issued in FMCS 4 Case No. 11-53396-A.” (Id.) With regard to defendant Securitas, the plaintiffs allege that 5 6 “in or about 2010 Securitas acquired Paragon and thereafter in or 7 about April 2011 funded Paragon’s acquisition of SCG for 8 $22,000,000" and that “Securitas was involved in, oversaw, 9 ratified, or otherwise authorized the actions of SCG and Paragon 10 set forth therein.” (Compl. ¶ 9.) They also claim that 11 “Securitas’ in house counsel represented SCG’s interests at EEOC 12 proceedings regarding the Plaintiffs held in Reno, NV on or about 13 December 4, 2012.” (Id.) The defendants are correct that there are no other independent 14 15 allegations made against either Paragon or Securitas. The 16 plaintiffs at times make allegations against “SCG/Paragon” without 17 explaining what relationship they intend to convey by referring to 18 the two parties in this manner. 19 125.) 20 “Company Defendants,” referring collectively to SCG, Paragon, and 21 Securitas. 22 Plaintiffs were employed by Company Defendants . . . ), 116-122, 23 127-131.) (See, e.g., Compl. ¶¶ 35, 65, 74, At other times, the plaintiffs make allegations against (See Compl. ¶ 9; see, e.g., Compl. ¶¶ 115 (“While 24 “It is a general principle of corporate law deeply ingrained 25 in our economic and legal systems that a parent corporation . . . 26 is not liable for the acts of its subsidiaries.” 27 Bestfoods, 524 U.S. 51, 61 (1998) (internal citations omitted). 28 Additionally, while not all of the plaintiffs’ claims are Title VII 4 U.S. v. 1 claims, “in the absence of special circumstances,” such as an 2 “indication that the parent-subsidiary relationship is a ‘sham,’” 3 or that the parent corporation “participated in or influenced the 4 employment policies” of the subsidiary, “a parent corporation is 5 not liable for Title VII violations of its wholly owned 6 subsidiary.” 7 (9th Cir. 1981). Watson v. Gulf & W. Industries, 650 F.2d 990, 993 8 As discussed above, while it is true that the plaintiffs need 9 only give a “short and plain statement” (Paulsen, 559 F.3d at 1071) 10 of their claims in their complaint and are not required to provide 11 “detailed factual allegations” (Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678), the 12 complaint “must still contain sufficient factual matter . . . to 13 state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face” (id.). 14 the case at hand, the plaintiffs have made the extremely limited 15 and vague allegations that Paragon and Securitas were “involved in, 16 oversaw, ratified or otherwise authorized the actions of SCG set 17 forth therein,” (Compl. ¶¶ 8-9) and that Paragon’s and Securitas’ 18 in house counsels at certain times represented SCG (id.). 19 making various allegations against “SCG/Paragon” and “Company 20 Defendants,” the plaintiffs have provided no further specificity as 21 to Paragon’s and Securitas’ individual involvement in the events 22 described in the complaint or their individual relationships with 23 SCG, information necessary to demonstrate how Paragon and Securitas 24 might be held liable for the plaintiffs’ claims. 25 Compl.) 26 In While (See generally The court must accept the plaintiffs’ material allegations as 27 true (LSO, 205 F.3d at 1150 n.2) and construe them in the light 28 most favorable to the plaintiffs (Shwarz v. United States, 234 F.3d 5 1 at 435). 2 plaintiffs’ allegations against Paragon and Securitas are “so vague 3 or ambiguous that [Paragon and Securitas] cannot reasonably prepare 4 a response. 5 843 n.1. 6 However, even when doing so, the court finds that the Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). See also Bautista, 216 F.3d at Accordingly, the defendants’ motion for a more definite 7 statement (#17) is GRANTED. On or before February 14, 2014, the 8 plaintiffs shall file an amended complaint that clearly identifies 9 the alleged conduct engaged in by defendants Paragon and Securitas 10 that forms the basis for their liability under the plaintiffs’ 11 claims. 12 defendants Paragon and Securitas from this lawsuit. 13 Failure to do so will result in the court’s dismissal of In light of this order, the defendants’ motion to dismiss 14 defendants Paragon and Securitas from this lawsuit is DENIED 15 WITHOUT PREJUDICE. 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 DATED: This 27th day of January, 2014. 18 19 ____________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6