United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
H. ENGLAND, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Tamitra Cole (“Cole”) brings this employment
action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
as amended, naming Gestamp North America, Inc.
(“Gestamp NA”), Gestamp Alabama, LLC
(“Gestamp Alabama”), Will Smith
(“Smith”), and Sonya B. Green
(“Green”) as defendants. (Doc. 11). Cole, an
African-American female, alleges that African American
decision-makers discriminated against her on the basis of
color by promoting another African-American female to a
position Cole sought and terminating Cole's employment.
(See id.). Defendants Gestamp NA and Gestamp Alabama
(collectively “Gestamp Defendants”) have moved to
dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (Doc.
15). Defendants Smith and Green have each moved to dismiss.
(Docs. 16 & 17). Cole filed a response in opposition to
the motions. (Doc. 22). The Gestamp Defendants, Smith, and
Green filed reply briefs. (Docs. 24, 25, & 26). After the
undersigned notified the parties that the Gestamp
Defendants' motion would be treated as a motion for
summary judgment (doc. 30), Cole filed an additional response
brief (doc. 31) and the Gestamp Defendants filed an
additional reply (doc. 33). For the reasons outlined below,
the Gestamp Defendant's motion (doc. 15) will be
GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, and
Smith and Green's motions (doc. 16 & 17) will be
Standard of Review
Motion to Dismiss - Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing the pleader is entitled to relief.”
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require 'detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Mere “labels and conclusions” or “ a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” are insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678. (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders 'naked
assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual
enhancement.” Id. (citing Bell Atl.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 557).
12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P., permits dismissal when a complaint
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
“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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted). A complaint states a facially
plausible claim for relief “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citation omitted). The
complaint must establish “more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.;
see also Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 555
(“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”). Ultimately,
this inquiry is a “context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Summary Judgment - Fed.R.Civ.P. 56
Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Rule 56
“mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate
time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial burden of proving the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at
323. The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party, who is
required to “go beyond the pleadings” to
establish there is a “genuine issue for trial.”
Id. at 324. (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). A dispute about a material fact is genuine
“if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
Court must construe the evidence and all reasonable
inferences arising from it in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co.,
398 U.S. 144, 157, (1970); see also Anderson, 477
U.S. at 255 (all justifiable inferences must be drawn in the
non-moving party's favor). Any factual disputes will be
resolved in Plaintiff's favor when sufficient competent
evidence supports Plaintiff's version of the disputed
facts. See Pace v. Capobianco, 283 F.3d 1275,
1276-78 (11th Cir. 2002) (a court is not required to resolve
disputes in the non-moving party's favor when that
party's version of the events is supported by
insufficient evidence). However, “mere conclusions and
unsupported factual allegations are legally insufficient to
defeat a summary judgment motion.” Ellis v.
England, 432 F.3d 1321, 1326 (11th Cir. 2005) (per
curiam) (citing Bald Mtn. Park, Ltd. v. Oliver, 836
F.2d 1560, 1563 (11th Cir. 1989)). Moreover, “[a] mere
‘scintilla' of evidence supporting the opposing
party's position will not suffice; there must be enough
of a showing that the jury could reasonably find for that
party.” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577
(11th Cir. 1990) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).
Basic Summary Judgment Facts
Green, Gestamp Alabama's current Human Resources Manager,
provides a declaration stating that Cole was employed by
Gestamp Alabama as a Human Resources Generalist from August
2016 until her termination on April 6, 2018, and that at no
time was Cole employed by Gestamp NA. (Doc. 15-1 at 2,
Gestamp Defendants also provide a copy of Cole's EEOC
Charge of Discrimination against “Gestamp, ”
which she described as located at 7000 Jefferson Metro
Parkway, McCalla, Alabama 35111. (Doc. 15-1 at 4-7). Cole
filed the EEOC Charge on June 19, 2018, alleging color
discrimination in violation of Title VII. (Id.). On
January 10, 2019, Cole filed her complaint in this case
naming Gestamp NA, Smith, and Green as defendants. (Doc. 1).
After Gestamp NA moved to dismiss (doc. 6), Cole filed her
First Amended Complaint, adding Gestamp Alabama as a
defendant. (doc. 11).
First Amended Complaint asserts a single cause of action for
“Equal Rights Under Law” and is followed by
allegations supporting both discrimination and retaliation
claims without reference to which claims are asserted against
which defendant. (Doc. 11).