United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
G. BYRON UNITED STATE DISTRICT JUDGE
cause comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint and Incorporated Memorandum
of Law (Doc. 5), filed February 15, 2017. On March 6, 2017,
Plaintiff responded in opposition. (Doc. 12). Upon
consideration, the Court will grant in part and deny in part
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
February 2004, Plaintiff, Eliseo Badillo
(“Badillo”), began working for Defendant, Liberty
Mutual Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”), as a
Sales Representative. (Compl. ¶ 12). In this position,
Badillo sold Liberty Mutual's insurance policies over the
telephone to the general public. (Id. ¶ 13).
Defendant, Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois
(“Safeco”), became Badillo's employer in
2012, although Liberty Mutual continued to provide human
resources services. (Id. ¶¶ 5, 22).
2005, Badillo was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
(“MS”). (Id. ¶ 16). “MS is a
chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous
system” that produces “various neurologic
symptoms” throughout the body, requiring continued
medical treatment. (Id. ¶ 17). “MS is
often characterized by a pattern of exacerbation and
remission-in other words, the symptoms come and go, also
characterized as ‘flare-ups.'”
(Id.). During a flare-up, Badillo experiences
fatigue, muscle weakness, impaired memory, and impaired
movement. (Id. ¶ 18).
informed Liberty Mutual about his disease shortly after his
diagnosis, and Badillo sought and took medical leave under
the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) a few
days each month during flare-ups. (Id. ¶ 20).
As his symptoms worsened over time, Badillo took more leave
under the FMLA. (Id. ¶ 21). Liberty Mutual
ultimately demoted Badillo and reduced his salary in 2010,
(id.), and Badillo claims that Defendants failed to
provide reasonable accommodations as requested, (id.
¶ 43). Badillo believes that Defendants took these
actions because of his disease and exercise of FMLA leave.
(Id. ¶ 21).
initiated this lawsuit in state court on January 8, 2017, and
Defendants subsequently removed. Badillo asserts three counts
in his Complaint. In Count I, Badillo alleges that Defendants
violated the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) by
discriminating against him due to his disease. In Count II,
Badillo alleges that Defendants violated the FCRA by failing
to provide a reasonable accommodation. In Count III, Badillo
alleges that Defendants violated the FCRA by retaliating
against him for engaging in statutorily protected activity.
Defendants now move to dismiss Badillo's claims pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the
plaintiff's complaint. In order to survive the motion,
the complaint must “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is plausible
on its face when the plaintiff alleges enough facts to
“allow the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). The mere recitation of the elements of a claim is not
enough, and the district court need not give any credence to
legal conclusions that are unsupported by sufficient factual
material. Id. District courts must accept all
well-pleaded allegations within the complaint and any
documents attached thereto as true and must read the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Hunnings v. Texaco, Inc., 29 F.3d 1480, 1484 (11th
Cir. 1994) (per curiam).
raise five issues in their Motion to Dismiss, which the Court
addresses in turn.
Whether Badillo's Complaint is a “Shotgun”
Defendants challenge the Complaint as an impermissible
“shotgun” pleading. In Weiland v. Palm Beach
County Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313 (11th Cir.
2015), the Eleventh Circuit outlined four types of
“shotgun” complaints which require dismissal:
The most common type-by a long shot-is a complaint containing
multiple counts where each count adopts the allegations of
all preceding counts, causing each successive count to carry
all that came before and the last count to be a combination
of the entire complaint. The next most common type . . . is a
complaint . . . replete with conclusory, vague, and
immaterial facts not obviously connected to any particular
cause of action. The third type of shotgun pleading is one
that commits the sin of not separating into a different count
each cause of action or claim for relief. Fourth, and
finally, there is the relatively rare sin of asserting
multiple claims against ...