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Bartra v. Marriott International Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

January 16, 2018

WILSON BARTRA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC., and JOHN DOE MANUFACTURER, Defendants.

          ORDER

          VICKI MILES-LAGRANCE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is defendant Marriott International, Inc.'s (“Marriott”) Motion to Dismiss, filed October 4, 2017. On October 23, 2017, plaintiff filed his response, and on November 6, 2017, Marriott filed its reply.

         I. Introduction

         This case arises from an on-the-job injury to plaintiff on August 20, 2016, while plaintiff was working for Marriott. Plaintiff was employed by Marriott as a dishwasher in its hotel in Norman, Oklahoma. Plaintiff alleges that approximately a year prior to August 20, 2016, the dishwashing machine began sounding as if it was about to burst and plaintiff, with the other dishwashers, continually reported this to both the management and maintenance department. Neither management nor maintenance repaired or removed the machine.

         On August 20, 2016, the pipe underneath the dishwashing machine burst and spewed extreme hot water over the entire body of plaintiff and caused him to sustain severe bodily injuries, both physically and mentally. Marriott immediately began providing him with workers compensation benefits pursuant to the Administrative Workers' Compensation Act (“AWCA”). On June 30, 2017, plaintiff entered into a joint petition settlement of his workers' compensation claim.

         On April 25, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant action in the District Court for Cleveland County, State of Oklahoma. On September 6, 2017, this case was removed to this Court. Marriott now moves this Court to dismiss plaintiff's cause of action against it pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6) and Okla. Stat. tit. 85A, § 5, due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         II. Motion to dismiss standard

         Regarding the standard for determining whether to dismiss a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the United States Supreme Court has held:

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. 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. The plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotations and citations omitted). Further, “[a] court reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint presumes all of plaintiff's factual allegations are true and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991).

         III. Discussion

         Marriott asserts, in part, that plaintiff's cause of action against it is barred by the exclusive remedy provisions in the AWCA. The exclusive remedy provisions provide, in pertinent part:

A. The rights and remedies granted to an employee subject to the provisions of the Administrative Workers' Compensation Act shall be exclusive of all other rights and remedies of the employee, his legal representative, dependents, next of kin, or anyone else claiming rights to recovery on behalf of the employee against the employer, or any principal, officer, director, employee, stockholder, partner, or prime contractor of the employer on account of injury, illness, or death. Negligent acts of a co-employee may not be imputed to the employer. No. role, capacity, or persona of any employer, principal, officer, director, employee, or stockholder other than that existing in the role of employer of the employee shall be relevant for consideration for ...

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