Friday, July 22, 2011
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Tennessee refused to adopt Twombly and Iqbal for Tennessee state court pleading, and upheld an amended complaint for retaliatory discharge against a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Webb v. Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc., 2011 WL 2905584 (Tenn. No. M2009-01552, July 21, 2011).
After reviewing much of the law review literature on Twombly and Iqbal, the court concluded:
In summary, it must be remembered that we are addressing the standard in assessing the sufficiency of a single document filed at the very beginning of a case—the complaint. Our motion-to-dismiss jurisprudence reflects the principle that this stage of the proceedings is particularly ill-suited for an evaluation of the likelihood of success on the merits or of the weight of the facts pleaded, or as a docket-clearing mechanism. Rule 8.01 has not been amended and still only requires “(1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks.” We decline to reinterpret Rule 8 to require a pleader to demonstrate “plausibility” and continue to adhere to the well established standards set forth in section 1 of this opinion [which cited Tennessee’s policy of “liberal notice pleading” and its adherence to the “no set of facts” standard].