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El Samad v. Shoukry

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

September 4, 2018

AHMAD EL SAMAD, Plaintiff,
v.
AHMED F. SHOUKRY, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JUDGE JAMES T. MOODY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Ahmad El Samad (“El Samad”) brings suit against defendant Ahmed F. Shoukry (“Shoukry”).[1] (DE # 1.) Plaintiff alleges that he and defendant entered into two agreements: a partnership agreement for the operation of a medical clinic (“Partnership Agreement, ” DE # 15-1), and an employment agreement (“Employment Agreement, ” DE # 1-1 at 5-12). (DE # 1 ¶¶ 2, 6.) According to plaintiff, defendant failed to meet the requirements of these agreements, causing financial loss and other damages. (Id. ¶ 7.) Based on these events, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant on September 18, 2017, alleging “breach of contract, ” “breach, ” “extortion, ” and “false claims.” (Id.)

         Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on October 13, 2017. (DE # 14.) That motion was fully briefed by the parties. On July 23, 2018, this court issued an order which (1) granted defendant's motion to dismiss in part, (2) granted plaintiff until August 22, 2018, to move for leave to amend the complaint, and (3) reserved ruling on all other arguments made by defendant in the motion to dismiss. (DE # 40.) The deadline set in that order has now passed, and plaintiff has not moved for leave to amend. For the following reasons, all of the claims in plaintiff's complaint are dismissed.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Defendant has moved to dismiss plaintiffs' claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. A judge reviewing a complaint under a Rule 12(b)(6) standard must construe it in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, accept well-pleaded facts as true, and draw all inferences in the non-movant's favor. Erickson v. Pardus , 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007); Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 595 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010). Under the liberal notice-pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the complaint need only contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To satisfy Rule 8(a), “the statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         “While the federal pleading standard is quite forgiving, . . . the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ray v. City of Chicago, 629 F.3d 660, 662-63 (7th Cir. 2011); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570. A plaintiff must plead “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). To meet this standard, a complaint does not need detailed factual allegations, but it must go beyond providing “labels and conclusions” and “be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Sanjuan v. Am. Bd. of Psychiatry & Neurology, 40 F.3d 247, 251 (7th Cir. 1994) among other authorities). As the Seventh Circuit recently explained, a complaint must give “enough details about the subject-matter of the case to present a story that holds together.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A.Count I: Breach of Contract

         Count I of the complaint alleges breach of the Employment Agreement (DE # 1 ¶ 6.) In its prior order, the court ruled that plaintiff had not demonstrated he was the real party in interest for claims related to the Employment Agreement. (See DE # 40 at 7.) Instead, the court found that The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery, LLC, (the “Indiana LLC”), was the real party in interest for those claims.

         Under Rule 17(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, an action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. Pursuant to Rule 17(a)(2), the court has given plaintiff a reasonable amount of time, 30 days, to join or substitute the Indiana LLC into the action. (DE # 40 at 7-8.) Plaintiff failed to move for leave to amend the complaint or otherwise join the Indiana LLC during that time period. Accordingly, Count I of the complaint is dismissed.

         B. Count II: Breach

         Count II of the complaint alleges breach of both the Employment Agreement and the Partnership Agreement. (DE # 1 ¶ 7.) For the same reasons that Count I was dismissed, the court also dismisses Count II to the extent it relates to breach of the Employment Agreement.

         As to the Partnership Agreement, the court previously ruled that-due to the lack of relevant law and arguments provided by both parties-it could not determine whether plaintiff was the real party in interest for claims related to the Partnership Agreement. (See DE # 40 at 9-10.) However, for jurisdictional reasons, the court concluded that plaintiff held the burden of demonstrating that he, and not the Institute of Foot & Ankle ...


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