United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
MICHAEL A. MAXIE, Plaintiff,
MANPOWER INC., et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Miller, Jr. Judge, United States District Court
A. Maxie filed a complaint against the Manpower Inc. and
number of individual defendants. Mr. Maxie has also filed a
concurrent motion to proceed in forma pauperis against both
entities. Mr. Maxie qualifies for a filing fee waiver, but
his complaint doesn't state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Accordingly, Mr. Maxie's motion to proceed in
forma pauperis is denied and his case is dismissed.
court “may screen the complaint prior to service on the
defendants, and must dismiss the complaint if it fails to
state a claim.” Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778,
783 (7th Cir. 1999). The court must dismiss an in forma
pauperis complaint if it fails to state a claim under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Both 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
have the same standard. Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1027 (7th Cir. 2013). To state a
claim, a complaint need only contain a short and plain
statement showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief.
See EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d
773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). The court must accept as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of Mr. Maxie. See
Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th Cir.
2009). A complaint must “state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Adams v. City of Indianapolis, 742 F.3d 720, 728
(7th Cir. 2014). “Specific facts are not necessary; the
statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what .
. . the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). The
court will interpret Mr. Maxie's complaint liberally
because he's litigating without counsel. See Ray v.
Clements, 700 F.3d 993, 1002 (7th Cir. 2012).
Maxie claims that Manpower Inc. treated him unfairly after he
hurt himself in a slip-and-fall while at Hertz Rental Car in
South Bend and under the employ of Manpower Inc. Mr. Maxie
alleges that Manpower Inc. instructed him to return to work
while he was incapacitated, refused to rehire him after they
terminated his employment, and that the termination was due
to him filing a worker's compensation claim. Mr. Maxie
has also listed other defendants in his complaint, including
Gallagher Bassett Insurance Company, various individuals on
the Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana, and St.
Joseph County Superior Court Judge Margot F. Reagan. He
requests $300, 000 in damages.
court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to hear this case.
“[R]ecovery for personal injury or death by accident
arising out of employment and in the course of employment can
be sought exclusively under the Worker's Compensation Act
and that such actions are cognizable only by the Worker's
Compensation Board.” Perry v. Stitzer Buick GMC,
Inc., 637 N.E.2d 1282, 1286 (Ind. 1994). “The
Indiana Worker's Compensation Act provides the exclusive
remedy for recovery of personal injuries arising out of and
in the course of employment.” GKN Co. v.
Magness, 744 N.E.2d 397, 401-02 (Ind. 2001). Even
allegations of bad faith by an employer or insurance carrier
falls within the exclusive ambit of the Indian Worker's
Compensation Act. Amerisafe Risk Services v. Estate of
Wadsack ex rel. Wadsack, 980 N.E.2d 842, 844
(Ind.Ct.App. 2012). This court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Mr. Maxie's claim against his employer
Manpower Inc. The Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana
would be the proper venue for this claim.
law recognizes a valid cause of action for terminating
employment in retaliation for filing a worker's
compensation claim. Frampton v. Central Indiana Gas
Co., 260 Ind. 249, 252 (1973) (“Retaliatory
discharge for filing a workmen's compensation claim is a
wrongful, unconscionable act and should be actionable in a
court of law.”); Tony v. Elkhart County, 918
N.E.2d 363 (Ind.Ct.App. 2009) (extending the relation cause
of action to “constructive discharge.”). To the
extent that Mr. Maxie's complaint alleges that he was
subject to retaliatory termination for filing a worker's
compensation claim, such relief could be granted by an
Indiana court. But Mr. Maxie hasn't alleged diversity of
citizenship. This federal court therefore lacks personal
Maxie doesn't offer any allegations against Gallagher
Bassett Insurance Company in his complaint. Nor does Mr.
Maxie offer any allegations against the various members of
the Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana or Judge
Reagan. These individuals appear to have been included only
because of unfavorable decisions rendered against Mr. Maxie
in prior judicial and administrative proceedings.
Mr. Maxie's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
[Doc. No. 4] is DENIED and his amended complaint [Doc. No. 2]
is DISMISSED. The ...