Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Hartford
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE MOTION TO STRIKE
Susan Peck, Judge Trial Referee.
November 10, 2015, the plaintiff, Fredrick Spears, filed a
four-count complaint against the defendant, Cardinal Health
200, LLC. The defendant removed the action to federal court
on the basis of diversity of jurisdiction. Thereafter, it was
remanded to state court on the ground that complete diversity
did not exist. Upon remand, on February 17, 2016, the
plaintiff filed an amended complaint adding a fifth count
alleging common-law wrongful termination in violation of
amended complaint contains the following factual allegations:
The plaintiff is a black male who was hired as a Machine
Operator in June 2010, by AeroMed. As a condition of his
employment with AeroMed, the plaintiff was required to take
and pass a urinalysis drug test, which he did. AeroMed
required periodic urinalysis drug testing every six months
and the plaintiff always passed. In November 2014, AeroMed
was purchased by the defendant. Towards the end of November
2014, the acting president of AeroMed, Sherry Grey, announced
to all of the production employees that the defendant was
requiring another round of drug testing. Rather than
performing urinalysis drug testing, the defendant performed
hair follicle testing. Hair follicle testing can detect drug
exposure from as far back as five to seven years prior to the
test and has the potential to detect possible drug exposure
from a time before the plaintiff began working for AeroMed,
the predecessor to the defendant.
fifteen employees in the plaintiff's department were
required by the defendant to take this new form of drug test
and, of the fifteen, at least seven results, including that
of the plaintiff, came back positive for some type of drug.
The plaintiff received the results on or about December 9,
2014, and on December 18, 2014, the plaintiff's
employment with the defendant was terminated based on the
positive test results, effective December 31, 2014. The
plaintiff alleges that several of his black and/or Hispanic
coworkers were also terminated for positive test results;
however, similarly situated white coworkers with positive
test results were not terminated.
before the court is the defendant's motion to strike
counts two, three, four, and five of the amended complaint on
March 17, 2016. This matter has been fully briefed by the
parties and was argued at short calendar on May 2, 2016.
TO STRIKE 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). " A motion to strike challenges the legal
sufficiency of a pleading, and, consequently, requires no
factual findings by the trial court." (Internal
quotation marks omitted.) JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v.
Winthrop Properties, LLC, 312 Conn. 662, 670, 94 A.3d
622 (2014). " A motion to strike is properly granted if
the complaint alleges mere conclusions of law that are
unsupported by the facts alleged." (Internal quotation
marks omitted.) Santorso v. Bristol Hospital, 308
Conn. 338, 349, 63 A.3d 940 (2013).
Two and Three--Violations of § § 31-51u and
court granted the motion to strike counts two and three in
open court at the time of oral argument on May 2, 2016,
concluding that the allegations set forth therein fail to
support a claim on which relief may be granted because the
statutes upon which these counts rely assume drug testing by
urinalysis, and not the hair analysis drug testing that was
performed. See Schofield v. Loureiro Engineering
Associates, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of
Waterbury, Docket No. CV-14-6024702-S (May 22, 2015,
Roraback, J.) (60 Conn.L.Rptr. 419, 420, ) (allegations and
arguments almost identical to the present case).
Four--Invasion of Privacy
to the Restatement, " [o]ne who invades the right of
privacy of another is subject to liability for the resulting
harm to the interests of the other." 1 Restatement
(Second), Torts § 652A (1977). In Goodrich v.
Waterbury Republican-American, Inc., 188 Conn. 107,
127-28, 448 A.2d 1317 (1982), the Supreme Court listed four
categories of invasion of privacy, the " unreasonable
intrusion upon the seclusion of another, " being one of
them. Since Goodrich, the common-law tort of
invasion of privacy has been, and continues to be, applied in
the employment context. " One who intentionally
intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or
seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is
subject to ...