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LeFevre v. Fishers Island Ferry District

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 18, 2018

RAYMOND LeFEVRE, Plaintiff,
v.
FISHERS ISLAND FERRY DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TRANSFER VENUE

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Raymond LeFevre (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint in this Court against Fishers Island Ferry District (“Ferry District”), the Town of Southold, and, in their official and individual capacities, William R. Bloethe, II, Peter Rugg, Diana Shillo, and Andrew Ahrens (together, “Individual Defendants”). Compl., ECF No. 1.

         On October 12, 2017, the Town of Southold moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer venue to United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“Eastern District of New York”), arguing that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction. First Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 25.

         On November 11, 2017, the Individual Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint, arguing that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction. Second Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 38.

         For the following reasons, the motions are DENIED as moot.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Mr. LeFevre, who lives in Connecticut, allegedly worked for the Fishers Island Ferry District from 2007 until October 15, 2015, in Suffolk County, New York. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 17.

         The Fishers Island Ferry District, a municipal corporation located in Suffolk County, New York, is operated by a Board of Commissioners and fiscally overseen by the Town of Southold. Id. ¶ 11. Bloethe, Rugg, Shillo, and Ahrens allegedly were elected Commissioners for the Fishers Island Ferry District's Board. Id. ¶¶ 12-16.

         A. Factual Allegations

         In 2007, the Fishers Island Ferry District allegedly hired Mr. LeFevre to work as a “Ticket Agent/Freight Agent.” Id. ¶¶ 17-18. In 2013, Mr. LeFevre allegedly was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and Sleep Apnea. Id. ¶ 19. Mr. LeFevre alleges that he made the Ferry District aware of his diagnoses and that he needed to work “with consistent hours in order for him to control his food intake.” Id. ¶ 20. Mr. LeFevre allegedly requested to be scheduled from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. to help regulate his sleep cycles and glucose levels. Id. ¶ 21.

         At the beginning of April 2014, Nick Espinoza, a scheduler for the Ferry District, allegedly scheduled Mr. LeFevre to work forty hours over six days per week with shifts that would occur at different times throughout the week. Id. ¶¶ 22-23. Mr. Espinoza also allegedly scheduled Mr. LeFevre to work from 12 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. on every other Friday. Id. ¶ 23.

         Mr. LeFevre alleges that the inconsistency in his working schedule caused “dangerous elevations” of his glucose levels and affected his sleep apnea. Id. ¶¶ 24-25. Around October 1, 2014, Mr. LeFevre allegedly informed Roland Burns, Operations Manager for District, that his varying work schedule led to difficulties in his ability to regulate his glucose levels during his working shift and worsened his sleep apnea. Id. ¶¶ 22, 26. Mr. LeFevre allegedly visited an emergency room, which showed “dangerous elevations in LeFevre's glucose.”[1] Id. ¶ 28. After his visit to the emergency room, Mr. LeFevre allegedly informed Mr. Burns of his health issues and requested not to work evening shifts. Id. ¶ 29. Mr. Burns allegedly told Mr. LeFevre to appear to his scheduled evening shift on Friday October 3, 2014. Id. ¶ 30.

         On October 3, 2014, at approximately 3 p.m., Mr. LeFevre allegedly became ill and told Mr. Burns he needed to leave work. Id. ¶ 31. Mr. Burns allegedly denied Mr. LeFevre medical leave from his shift on October 3, 2014, and instead sent Mr. LeFevre home on an unpaid suspension for insubordination and disruptive behavior. Id. ¶ 32.

         On November 14, 2014, Mr. LeFevre allegedly was notified that the Ferry District filed charges against him. Id. ¶ 33. A hearing allegedly took place on June 23 and June 24, 2015. Id. ¶ 34. On September 11, 2015, the Hearing Officer allegedly issued a decision recommending that Mr. LeFevre be dismissed. Id. On October 23, 2015, the Ferry District's Board, including the Individual Defendants, allegedly accepted the Hearing Officer's recommendation and passed a resolution to terminate Mr. LeFevre as an employee “‘effective October 12, ...


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