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Gil v. State of Connecticut Department of Transportation

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Hartford

April 22, 2016

Kyle Gil
v.
State of Connecticut Department of Transportation Opinion No. 133479

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          CESAR A. NOBLE, J.

         The defendant Department of Transportation has moved to strike counts one and two of the plaintiff's employment discrimination complaint on the respective grounds that: 1) the plaintiff has failed to state a claim of disability discrimination under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA); and 2) the plaintiff has failed to state a claim of failure to accommodate under CFEPA because he has failed to allege that he requested an accommodation to work, and that the accommodation was denied. For the foregoing reasons the defendant's motion to strike is denied.

         I

         FACTS

         On May 26, 2015, the plaintiff, Kyle Gil, filed a two-count complaint against the defendant, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation. The complaint alleges disability discrimination and failure to accommodate in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), specifically General Statutes § 46a-60(a)(1).

         The plaintiff alleges the following facts. At all material times the plaintiff was an employee of the defendant, the Department of Transportation. The plaintiff was allegedly performing his job duties at or above a satisfactory level. The plaintiff suffers from obstructive sleep apnea which causes excessive daytime sleepiness and substantially affects the major life activity of sleeping. As a result of his sleep apnea and the medication he was taking, the plaintiff was tardy to work. The plaintiff told his supervisor, John Wells, that his tardiness was related to his disability, and on or about March 7, 2014, the plaintiff was terminated for excessive tardiness and for being a " no call, no show" which the defendant knew was related to his disability.

         On August 21, 2015, the defendant filed a motion to strike the entire complaint on the grounds that the counts therein are legally insufficient to state a claim of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. In support of the motion to strike, the defendant submitted a memorandum of law. On October 1, 2015, the plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition to the defendant's motion to strike, arguing that counts one and two should not be stricken because he has pleaded legally sufficient causes of action for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under CFEPA. The court heard oral arguments on the motion on April 11, 2016.

         II

         STANDARD

         " The purpose of a motion to strike is to contest . . . the legal sufficiency of the allegations of any complaint . . . to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Fort Trumbull Conservancy, LLC v. Alves, 262 Conn. 480, 498, 815 A.2d 1188 (2003). " The role of the trial court in ruling on a motion to strike is to examine the [complaint], construed in favor of the [plaintiff], to determine whether the [pleading party has] stated a legally sufficient cause of action." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Coe v. Board of Education, 301 Conn. 112, 117, 19 A.3d 640 (2011). " In ruling on a motion to strike, the court is limited to the facts alleged in the complaint." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Faulkner v. United Technologies Corp., 240 Conn. 576, 580, 693 A.2d 293 (1997). " [A] motion to strike challenges the legal sufficiency of a pleading and, consequently, requires no factual findings by the trial court . . . [The court] construe[s] the complaint in the manner most favorable to sustaining its legal sufficiency . . . Thus, [i]f facts provable in the complaint would support a cause of action, the motion to strike must be denied . . . Moreover, [the court notes] that [w]hat is necessarily implied [in an allegation] need not be expressly alleged . . . It is fundamental that in determining the sufficiency of a complaint challenged by a defendant's motion to strike, all well-pleaded facts and those facts necessarily implied from the allegations are taken as admitted . . . Indeed, pleadings must be construed broadly and realistically, rather than narrowly and technically." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Coppola Construction Co. v. Hoffman Enterprises Ltd. Partnership, 309 Conn. 342, 350, 71 A.3d 480 (2013).

         III

         DISCUSSION

         A

         Disability ...


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