United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
JOSHUA J. WOLFGRAM, Plaintiff,
G4S SECURE SOLUTIONS USA, INC., Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
William C. Lee, Judge
matter is before the court on a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), filed by the defendant, G4S Secure
Solutions (USA), Inc. (“G4S”), on August 6, 2018.
Plaintiff, Joshua J. Wolfgram (“Wolfgram”), filed
his response on August 27, 2018, to which G4S replied on
September 4, 2018.
before the court is a Motion to Strike Exhibits Submitted by
Defendants, filed by Wolfgram on August 27, 2018. G4S
responded to the motion on September 4, 2018. Wolfgram has
declined to file a reply.
following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be granted and
the motion to strike will be denied.
facts, viewed most favorably towards Wolfgram, are as
follows. Wolfgram served in the United States Army from 1994
through 2004. In 2004, Wolfgram suffered an injury with
degenerative osteoarthrosis at the talo-navircular joint, of
left foot pes planus with internal derangement, a condition
associated with arthritis of the foot. Wolfgram suffered this
injury while on deployment in Iraq. Wolfgram states that his
injury has caused him to suffer a physical impairment which
has limited one or more major life activities as defined in
42 U.S.C. § 12102, including, but not limited to the
ability to work.
applied for employment at ¶ 4S and was employed at the
General Motors plant location for G4S in Allen County,
Indiana. Wolfgram states that G4S was aware of his
service-connected impairment and disability, as well as his
status as a veteran.
about January 16, 2017, Wolfgram received a written
disciplinary warning which stated that he reported to his
scheduled shift wearing non-issued uniform pants. This notice
referenced a prior final write-up on January 13, 2017 for not
wearing issued uniform pants. Wolfgram was suspended for
three days, and warned that “Future violations of the
employee dress code will result in investigative suspension
and up to removal from the site”.
about January 26, 2017, Wolfgram was removed from the GM site
for insubordination, failure to follow direct orders, and for
his continued failure to wear the designated G4S uniform.
Wolfgram's termination from G4S was finalized effective
February 10, 2017. Wolfgram filed the present suit alleging
that G4S discriminated against him on the basis of disability
in violation of the ADA. Specifically, Wolfgram alleges that
G4S failed to engage in the interactive process in an effort
to reasonably accommodate his disability at work (Count 1)
and that G4S discriminated against him by terminating his
employment (Count II). G4S now seeks to have the complaint
dismissed for failure to state a claim.
complaint should be dismissed when it fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. Dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) serves to eliminate actions which are fatally flawed
in their legal premises and designed to fail, thereby sparing
litigants the burden of unnecessary pretrial and trial
activity.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244
F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001) (quoting Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989)). According to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, a pleading that states a
claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plain
statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction,
unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs
no new jurisdictional support; (2) a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought, which may
include relief in the alternative or different types of
relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). As the Supreme Court has observed,
"[a] pleading that offers 'labels and
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'"
prevail on a failure to accommodate claim under the ADA,
Plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) he is a qualified
individual with a disability; (2) his employer was aware of
the disability; and (3) his employer failed to reasonably
accommodate the disability. E.E.O.C. v. Sears, Roebuck
& Co., 417 F.3d 789, 797 (7th Cir. 2005). When an
employee requests an accommodation for a disability, an
employer is required to engage in a good faith
“interactive process to determine the extent of the
disability and what accommodations are appropriate and
available.” O'Toole v. Acosta, 2018 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 49678, at *36 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 26, 2018) (quoting
E.E.O.C. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 417 F.3d 789,
803 (7th Cir. 2005)).
motion to dismiss, G4S argues that Wolfgram has not even
alleged that he requested a disability accommodation. In
response, Wolfgram states that his complaint raised the issue
of the poor quality of his prior issued pants, as well as not
having received new issued pants. Wolfgram claims that the
non-approved pants he wore to work were a reasonable
accommodation in order to allow him to carry his glasses.
notes in reply, even accepting as true Wolfgram's
allegation that he raised the issue of the poor quality of
the company-issued pants, that allegation simply does not
suffice as an request for a reasonable accommodation related
to an alleged disability. The law is clear that a plaintiff
raising a reasonable accommodation claim under the ADA must
demonstrate that the requested accommodation has some
connection with the alleged disability suffered. See,
e.g., Felix v. N.Y. City Transit Auth., 154 F.Supp.2d
640, 660 (“[B]ecause there was no nexus or causal
connection between [the plaintiff]'s ADA-qualifying
limitation and the reasonable accommodation sought, [the
plaintiff] cannot invoke the protections of the ADA.”).
Inexplicably, Wolfgram's Complaint fails to indicate how
wearing poor quality uniform pants inhibited his performance
of the essential job functions or how the quality of pants
relates in any way to his arthritic condition. Further, even
accepting as true that Wolfgram informed G4S that wearing
poor quality pants affected his ability to carry his glasses,
that fact still does not constitute an allegation that he
requested a reasonable accommodation for his foot-related
disability, which is the only disability alleged in his
there are no circumstances where relief could be granted to
Wolfgram on his ADA claim, the motion to dismiss ...