Citation. Unpublished Opinion. Docket No. 96-8856 (11th Cir. 1997)
Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff sued his employer, Defendant, for allegedly firing him in an attempt to deter his participation as a witness in a Federal trial. District court granted Defendant‘s motion to dismiss. Plaintiff appealed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Appeals from FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) motions are not reviewable where binding precedent renders the complaint without legal recourse.
Plaintiff was an at-will employee of Defendant Healthmaster Home Health Care, Inc. He sued Defendants, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated to discourage his participation as a witness in a criminal trial. He brought the suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2). Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The court held that 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) precluded relief for an at-will employee, and granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Plaintiff appealed.
Did the 11th Circuit’s decision in Morast v. Lane, 807 F.2d 926 (11th Cir. 1987), foreclose Plaintiff’s arguments on appeal?
Appeals from FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) motions are not reviewable where binding precedent renders the complaint without legal recourse. Here, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) afforded relief only to a party who has suffered actual injury. Morast v. Lance, 807 F.2d 926 (1987), was a binding precedent and the 11th Circuit in that case held that an at-will employee who had been terminated suffered no actual injury. Because Plaintiff himself admitted in his pleadings that he was an at-will employee, that the binding case law prevented the Court’s consideration of whether the 12(b) (6) standard had been properly applied. Therefore, the lower court’s decision is affirmed.