News Brief

Pak and O’Brien Obtain Dismissal of Truck Driver’s Wrongful Termination and Defamation Claims

January 16, 2019

Yoora Pak (Partner-Virginia) and Colleen K. O’Brien (Associate-Baltimore) obtained a dismissal with no leave to amend in a truck driver’s wrongful termination and defamation claims against his former employer, a national automobile transportation company. Nearly three years after the plaintiff’s termination of employment, he filed a Complaint in Baltimore City Circuit Court alleging the company mistakenly fired him and that he was defamed by the employer’s reporting of an on-the-job accident of which it had no evidence. The plaintiff claimed back pay, vacation pay, lost wages, unemployment, consequential damages and punitive damages.

Yoora and Colleen timely removed the plaintiff’s action to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on diversity grounds, and promptly filed a Rule 12(b)(6) Twombly-Iqbal Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Court found that it could not “stretch” the allegations in the plaintiff’s Complaint to make out a plausible claim for wrongful discharge, nor were the plaintiff’s vague allegations sufficient to sustain even the first element of a defamation claim. Shadonna Hale (Of Counsel-Baltimore) connected Yoora and Colleen with the Texas-based corporate client.

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