United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Coburn (“Mr. Coburn” or “Plaintiff”),
a seventy-three-year-old man living in Windham, Connecticut,
sued Lyman Products Corporation (“Lyman Products”
or “Defendant”) under the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621,
et seq., for refusing to hire him. Lyman Products
moves to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that Mr. Coburn
has failed to allege facts sufficient to infer age
reasons discussed below, Defendant's motion to dismiss is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
spring of 2014, Lyman Products had an open position for a
customer service representative. Compl. ¶ 11, ECF No. 1.
The manager of the customer service department allegedly
reached out to David Lyman, the owner of a large shooting
range, and asked whether he could recommend anyone for the
open position. Id. ¶ 14. Mr. Lyman allegedly
recommended Mr. Coburn, a seventy-three-year-old man with
fifty-five years of experience in the handloading and
firearms industry. Id. ¶¶ 15, 23.
Products then invited Mr. Coburn to apply for the position.
Id. ¶ 11. Mr. Coburn applied, id.
¶ 12, and interviewed with the human resources manager
and the customer service department manager, id.
¶¶ 16-17. They allegedly told Mr. Coburn that he
would need a second interview before he could be hired and
instructed him to call Lyman Products in two days to arrange
for the second interview; Mr. Coburn allegedly called, but no
one responded to or ever returned his call. Id.
¶¶ 19-21. Mr. Coburn also alleges that Lyman
Products never contacted his references. Id. ¶
Products allegedly acknowledged that Mr. Coburn possesses the
skill and technical ability to perform the job, but
nevertheless hired Julie Rodriguez, a woman twenty-five years
younger than Mr. Coburn, who allegedly did not meet the
minimum published requirements for the position. Id.
¶¶ 25-26. Mr. Coburn alleges that Ms. Rodriguez
left the position after approximately one month “as she
was unable to perform the work, ” and that after that,
the position remained open for approximately six months.
Id. ¶¶ 27-28. Mr. Coburn allegedly applied
for the position again, but received no response from Lyman
Products. Id. ¶ 28.
six months later, Lyman Products allegedly hired Joan Starrin
for the position, someone approximately twenty-five years
younger than Mr. Coburn, and who also allegedly did not meet
the minimum published requirements for the position.
Id. ¶¶ 29-30. Several months after that,
Lyman Products hired another person for the position, someone
approximately twenty-five years younger than Mr. Coburn, who
also allegedly did not meet the minimum published
requirements for the position. Id. ¶¶
Coburn filed a timely claim with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and received a
Notice of Right to Sue. Id. ¶¶ 5-6.
January 26, 2017, Mr. Coburn filed this Complaint, claiming
that Lyman Products violated the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 623, by refusing to hire Mr.
Coburn for the customer service representative position,
despite Mr. Coburn's qualifications for the job.
Id. ¶¶ 33-36. Mr. Coburn alleges that
Lyman Products treated him “in a disparate manner based
upon his age.” Id. ¶ 37.
Products has moved to dismiss the Complaint under Rule
12(b)(6), arguing that Mr. Coburn has failed to allege facts
sufficient to support a plausible inference that
“but-for his age, he would have been hired.” Mot.
to Dismiss at 5, ECF No. 14. Lyman Products argues that
“[t]he mere fact that those hired were younger than the
Plaintiff, in particular where Plaintiff was 73 years old, is
not enough to plausibly establish an inference of
discriminatory motive, ” and that Mr. Coburn's
Complaint does not contain any other facts that would support
such an inference. Id. at 6.