United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS,
DECLINING SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICITON, AND DISMISSING REMAINING
CLAIMS WITHOUT PREJUDICE
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant United States of
America's ("Government") motion to dismiss
(Dkt. 172). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in
support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder
of the file and hereby grants the motion for the reasons
November 1, 2016, the Estate of Jolene Lovelett ("the
Estate") filed a complaint against multiple defendants,
including individual Defendants Nancy Dufraine, Heather
Hoyle, Kelsie Moen, RN, and Trisha Shipp, LPN
("Defendants"). Dkt. 1. The Estate asserts claims
for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; violations of
Washington's Abuse of Vulnerable Adults Act
("VAS"), RCW Chapter 74.34; and the "common
law torts under Washington law, including assault, battery,
negligence, neglect, abandonment, outrage and infliction of
emotional distress." Dkt. 1.
March 3, 2017, the Government filed a notice of substitution
giving notice that the Government would be substituting as
defendants for all "common law tort[s]" asserted
against Defendants. Dkt. 39. On May 1, 2017, the Court
granted the Government's motion to dismiss. Dkt. 54.
March 15, 2018, Defendants filed a joint motion for summary
judgment. Dkt. 93. On March 22, 2018, the Estate filed a
motion for partial summary judgment. Dkt. 106.
14, 2018, the Court granted the parties' motion to
dismiss the Tribe. Dkt. 152.
11, 2018, the Court granted Defendants' motion for
summary judgment and dismissed the Estate's 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 claims. Dkt. 162. The Court also requested
responses on the issue of exercising supplemental
jurisdiction because it appeared that all the federal claims
had been dismissed. Id. at 10. The remaining parties
responded. Dkts. 166, 168.
19, 2018, the Court requested a response from the Government
explaining why the Government substituted itself for some
state law claims, but not all the state law claims. Dkt. 169.
On June 22, 2018, the Government responded. Dkt. 170. The
Government also filed a new notice of substitution and motion
to dismiss. Dkts. 171, 172. On June 29, 2018, the Estate
responded to the motion to dismiss. Dkt. 173. On July 20,
2018, the Government replied. Dkt. 174.
relevant facts are set forth in the Court's previous
order, Dkt. 162, and the Estate's motion for partial
summary judgment, Dkt. 106. The Court finds no need to repeat
those facts in this order.
Motion to Dismiss
United States of America is subject to suit only to the
extent that it has waived its sovereign immunity. United
States v. Orleans,425 U.S. 807, 813-814 (1976). Because
"[s]overeign immunity is jurisdictional in nature ...
the terms of the United States' consent to be sued in any
court define that court's jurisdiction to entertain the
suit." FDIC v. Meyer,510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994)
(internal citations omitted). The Federal Tort Claims Act
("FTCA") waives sovereign immunity for certain tort
suits against the United States for injuries caused by
federal employees under circumstances where a private person
would be held liable, "in accordance with the law of the
place where the act or omission occurred." 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2674, 2679(b)(1) and 1346(b). The ...