Seventh Circuit Review


In EEOC v. Concentra Health Services and Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT & T Mobility, LLC, the Seventh Circuit set out to interpret the new federal pleading standard espoused by the Supreme Court in the recent landmark case of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. In so doing, the Seventh Circuit sought to determine what Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires a plaintiff to plead in order to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in the federal court system. Although it could have imparted some meaning into Bell Atlantic’s otherwise ambiguous requirement of “plausibility” in the complaint, the Seventh Circuit failed to thoroughly define the “plausibility standard.” Rather, the Court of Appeals largely left the daunting task of defining and refining “plausibility” to the district courts within the Seventh Circuit. This Note explores the Supreme Court’s Rule 12(b)(6) jurisprudence and the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation of Bell Atlantic. It also looks at the application of Concentra and Airborne by the district courts within the Seventh Circuit to Rule 12(b)(6) motions. Finally, this Note attempts to shed some light on what Seventh Circuit courts require a plaintiff to plead in the complaint.

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