United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss and Motion for Entry of a Vexatious Litigant Order.
Dkt. # 14. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. Dkt. # 17. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Defendant's Motion. Dkt. # 14.
following is taken from Plaintiff's Complaint, which is
assumed to be true for the purposes of this motion to
dismiss. Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th
Cir. 2007). The Court also takes judicial notice of the court
records submitted by Defendant in support of its Motion.
Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th
Cir. 2001); see also Bennett v. Medtronic, Inc., 285
F.3d 801, 803 n. 2 (9th Cir. 2002).
the seventh complaint filed by pro se Plaintiff Jo
Ann Currie regarding injuries she allegedly sustained while
visiting two plasma centers in Everett, Washington.
Plaintiff's first six complaints were filed against Alpha
Therapeutics Corporation (“Alpha”). Two of the
six complaints were filed in this District. Dkt. # 15 Exs.
21, 28. All six of Plaintiff's complaints were dismissed.
Dkt. # 15. In one of the cases filed in this District, the
Court granted Alpha's motion for a vexatious litigant
order against Plaintiff. Dkt. # 15 Ex. 27. On August 4, 2017,
Plaintiff filed this Complaint, her seventh, against
Defendant Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings America, Inc. Dkt. #
is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Corporation. Dkt. # 12. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Corporation also owns approximately 56.34% of Mitsubishi
Tanabe Pharma Corporation. Id. Mitsubishi Tanabe
Pharma Corporation owns Welfide International Corporation.
Welfide International Corporation owns Alpha. Id.
Complaint contains very few factual allegations. Plaintiff
alleges that she “sustained physical injuries both to
body and mind” as a result of Defendant's conduct
as described in the Complaint and “appeals brief
74007-5”. Dkt. # 1. The Court will assume that this
refers to the brief Plaintiff filed in the Court of Appeals
of the State of Washington, Cause No. 74007-5-I. Dkt. # 5 Ex.
32. The brief also contains very little description of the
events that led Plaintiff to file this lawsuit.
Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion alleges
that Plaintiff was injured at a plasma center operated by
Alpha. She also alleges that her right to privacy was
violated when Alpha allowed another employee on to the floor
without warning. Plaintiff then returned to the center in
1997, said nothing and left. In 1999, Plaintiff went to
another plasma center that was not operated by Alpha. A nurse
asked Plaintiff a personal question, so Plaintiff left.
Plaintiff then went to another plasma center and was
assaulted. Dkt. # 17 at 2-3. Plaintiff alleges that this
conduct constituted negligence, violation of the HIPAA Act,
and a violation of Defendant's duty to provide reasonable
care. Dkt. # 1. Plaintiff states that she is bringing this
case against Defendant because she was told that Alpha does
not exist anymore. Id.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a complaint for
failure to state a claim. The rule requires the court to
assume the truth of the complaint's factual allegations
and credit all reasonable inferences arising from those
allegations. Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910
(9th Cir. 2007). A court “need not accept as true
conclusory allegations that are contradicted by documents
referred to in the complaint.” Manzarek v. St. Paul
Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th
Cir. 2008). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 568 (2007).
Complaint contains almost no factual allegations regarding
Defendant. Plaintiff alleges only that she called Defendant
and sent them documents because she found out that Alpha was
no longer in business. If not for Defendant's corporate
disclosure statement and the facts alleged in Defendant's
Motion, the Court would have no basis from which to make the
connection between Defendant and the alleged actions in the
Complaint. The only connection between Defendant and Alpha is
that they are both subsidiaries of the same corporation:
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation. Plaintiff refers to
Defendant as “Defendant” and attributes several
actions to the “Defendant” but makes no factual
allegations showing that this particular Defendant engaged
in, or was responsible for, any of the conduct that gave rise
to Plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff does not allege that
Defendant operates any of the plasma centers mentioned in her
Complaint, nor does she allege a connection between Alpha and
Defendant such that Defendant would be responsible for
Alpha's actions. Even taking Plaintiff's allegations
as true and construing them liberally, the Complaint does not
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face. Therefore, Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED.
also requests that the Court enter an additional vexatious
litigant order against Plaintiff. A district court must
consider the following factors when considering whether to
enter a vexatious litigant order: (1) whether the litigant
has received notice and an opportunity to be heard; (2)
whether there is an adequate record for review; (3) whether
the litigant's actions are frivolous or harassing; and
(4) the order must be narrowly tailored to prevent the
litigant's abusive behavior. Molski v. Evergreen
Dynasty Corp., 500 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir. 2007).
Here, Plaintiff received notice and an opportunity to be
heard with respect to Defendant's Motion. See
Id. at 1058-59. While she does not provide any
substantive argument in response to Defendant's request
for entry of a vexatious litigant order, merely remarking
that this is “not a frivolous case”, she had an
opportunity to respond and did so. Dkt. # 17. There is also
an adequate record for review. While the Court will not list
every case filed by Plaintiff, a thorough summary of
Plaintiff's many complaints and the disposition of those
complaints is set out in the 2012 Order (Dkt. # 27), and
Defendant has submitted extensive documentary evidence of
Plaintiff's prior litigation and court filings. Dkt. #
Court also finds that Plaintiff's claims are frivolous
and without merit. Plaintiff has filed the same claims based
on the same allegations at least seven times. Six of those
cases were dismissed with prejudice. In addition to the 2012
vexatious litigant order, Plaintiff has been barred from
filing any additional pleadings against Alpha in both King
County Superior Court and Snohomish County Superior Court.
Dkt. # 15 Exs. 9, 16. All of these claims, including this
one, arise from the same general set of operative facts. In
fact, Plaintiff refers to her other cases in her Complaint as
a reference for details regarding her claim. While Plaintiff
brings this particular claim against Defendant and not Alpha,
she makes it clear in her Complaint that she only brought
this claim against Defendant because she was told that Alpha
was no longer in business. Plaintiff appears to consider
Alpha and Defendant as the same entity. Plaintiff also shows
absolute disregard for the ruling in the 2012 Order,
attempting to “start over” by filing another
claim against Alpha, by filing this claim against Defendant.
Dkt. # 1 at 3.
vexatious litigant order must be narrowly tailored to the
vexatious litigant's wrongful behavior. Molski,
500 F.3d at 1061. The Ninth Circuit has found that an order
that does not deny a plaintiff from filing any complaints,
but subjects a plaintiff's complaints to an initial
screening review by a district judge is appropriately narrow.
Id. Therefore, the Court GRANTS
Defendant's motion for entry of a vexatious litigant
order, but limits the order to any additional pleadings or
other filings by Plaintiff against Alpha, Defendant, or any
of Alpha or Defendant's corporate ...