United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
DEGUILIO JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
case arises from Plaintiff April Johnson's allegation
that she experienced sexual harassment while performing
janitorial services for the Town of St. John, Indiana (the
Town). Her complaint brings numerous claims against the Town,
Town Manager Stephen Kil and Town police officers Frederick
Frego, Michael Fryzel and James Turturillo. The Defendants
have now filed two motions to dismiss in which they argue
that several of the counts alleged in Johnson's amended
complaint fail to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. [DE 40, 46]. Those motions are fully briefed and ripe
for review. [DE 41, 45, 47, 50, 55, 56].
reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court will take the facts alleged by
the Plaintiff to be true and draw all reasonable inferences
in her favor. A complaint must contain only a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However,
that statement must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009). Evaluating whether a plaintiff's claim
is sufficiently plausible to survive a motion to dismiss is
“a context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
April Johnson performed janitorial services for the Town of
St. John, Indiana. It is not clear what her precise
employment status was. While she describes herself as a
“contractor, ” she also asserts that she was paid
by the Town and that the Town “exercised enough control
over Plaintiff to create an employer-employee
relationship.” [DE 30 at 4].
she alleges that she was sexually harassed in the course of
her job duties by Town police officers Michael Fryzel, Fred
Frego and James Turturillo. She identifies numerous
particular instances of misconduct by Fryzel and Frego,
. 2010-2015: Fryzel referred to Johnson as a
“spinner” that he could easily move around on his
lap during sex. [DE 30 at 5].
. 2015-2015: Fryzel and Frego referred to
Johnson as “comanched” (a pejorative term for a
woman who has had sex with a black man). [DE 30 at 5]. They
also mocked Johnson for having a hearing impairment. For
example, they made sexually explicit comments about her and
then joked that she could not hear them.
. 2015: Fryzel saw Johnson eating yogurt and
told her she was eating his semen.
. January 2015: Fryzel approached Johnson
while she was bending over and said “I can see your
tits.” [DE 30 at 5].
. February 2015: Fryzel “struck
Plaintiff.” [DE 30 at 6].
also asserts that Frego and Turturillo observed Fryzel
sexually harass her from 2010-2015, though did nothing to
in April 2015, Johnson reported this harassment to the Lake
County Prosecutor's Office, the Indiana State Police and
the EEOC. After she complained to those agencies, she found
feces in her work area on a day that Turturillo and another
Town employee were on duty. On September 29, 2015, Town
Manager Stephen Kil called the Plaintiff to inform her that
she would be fired. She was terminated the next day. The
Plaintiff then received a ...