United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
W. EGINTON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Carmen Perez-Dickson brings this employment discrimination
action against defendants Bridgeport Board of Education,
Sandra Kase, and Paul Vallas. Perez-Dickson is a Black
Hispanic who alleges that defendants discriminated against
her based on her race or ethnicity. Perez-Dickson also
alleges that defendants retaliated against her based on (1)
her complaints of racial discrimination and (2) her exercise
of free speech pursuant to the Connecticut Constitution.
have filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint in
its entirety. For the following reasons, defendants'
motion will be granted.
with the underlying facts and procedural history of this case
function of a motion to dismiss is "merely to assess the
legal feasibility of the complaint, not to assay the weight
of the evidence which might be offered in support
thereof." Ryder Energy Distribution v. Merrill Lynch
Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984).
When deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all
well-pleaded allegations as true and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the pleader. Hishon v. King,
467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984). The complaint must contain the
grounds upon which the claim rests through factual
allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). A plaintiff is
obliged to amplify a claim with some factual allegations in
those contexts where such amplification is needed to render
the claim plausible. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009).
prior action between these parties (“Perez-Dickson
I”), this court concluded that plaintiff had
proffered insufficient evidence of similarly situated
comparators to admit an inference of discriminatory purpose.
13-cv-198 (WWE). Plaintiff similarly failed to adduce
evidence showing that the challenged actions were pretext for
retaliation. Accordingly, summary judgment was granted in
favor of defendants. On de novo review, the Second
Not only did none of the cited comparators hold the position
of principal, but also, most were accused of a single act of
abuse, not the multiple acts charged to plaintiff, each of
which was preserved on videotape. Like the district court, we
further conclude that, even if plaintiff had carried her
prima facie burden, she failed to adduce evidence that would
allow a reasonable fact finder to conclude that, in the face
of the serious (and documented) allegations of student abuse
by plaintiff, defendants' actions in placing her on paid
administrative leave pending investigation were a pretext for
Perez Dickson v. Bridgeport Board of Education, 2017
WL 362771, at *2 (2d Cir. Jan. 24, 2017).
court previously dismissed the instant case
(“Perez-Dickson II”) as duplicative of
Perez-Dickson I. The court reasoned that because
plaintiff could have moved to add the allegations contained
in this case to the prior action but failed to do so within
the schedule prescribed by the magistrate judge, plaintiff
should not be permitted to circumvent the unmet deadlines by
filing a duplicative action. These additional claims are of
such a nature that they could have and should have been
joined in the first action. Nevertheless, the Second Circuit,
in Curtis v. Citibank, N.A., held that a
“plaintiff has no continuing obligation to file
amendments to the complaint to stay abreast of subsequent
events; plaintiff may simply bring a later suit on those
later-arising claims.” 226 F.3d 133, 139 (2d Cir.
2000). Accordingly, the Second Circuit remanded
Perez-Dickson II. Defendants now move to dismiss the
case in its entirety.
II adds claims that, subsequent to being placed on paid
administrative leave (the subject of Perez-Dickson
I), plaintiff was given a six month suspension
without pay and was not granted the same rights and
privileges as other administrators. Further, in August 2014,
plaintiff was notified by the State Department of Education
that her licensure as an administrator would not be renewed.
Finally, plaintiff alleges that defendants' actions were
not based on serious, documented allegations of student
abuse, but were instead retaliation for plaintiff's
speech in 2012 concerning “the inability of school
administrators to handle children who are disciplinary
cognizant of its duty to accept all well-pleaded allegations
as true, for purposes of efficiency and fairness, the court
takes judicial notice of the records of Perez-Dickson
Kase and Mr. Vallas
Sandra Kase was Chief Administrative Officer and Paul Vallas
was Superintendent of Schools until their employment with the