Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

LLC v. Emerging Science & Technologies Group, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

September 18, 2017

OCEANIC RESEARCH & SALVAGE COMPANY 1, LLC and BOBBY BOSTICK, individually, Plaintiffs,
v.
EMERGING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, INC. and JOSEPH W. FOLEY, individually, and WES ESTES, individually, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Kenneth A. Marra, United States District Judge

         This cause is before the Court upon Defendants Joseph W. Foley and Wes Estes' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction [DE 8], and Defendants' Motion to Strike and for Sanctions [DE 29]. Both motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for the Court's consideration. The Court has reviewed all papers submitted in connection therewith, the entire file, and is otherwise duly advised in the premises.

         Background Facts

         The Complaint generally alleges that the Parties entered into an agreement under which Defendants would use their unique experience, specialized proprietary equipment and software to locate precious metals and artifact sites at various locations off the coast of Florida from Sebastian to Jupiter. [DE 1-3 at ¶ 9]. Plaintiffs allege they performed all conditions precedent to the Agreement and made all payments thereunder. [Id. at ¶ 10]. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants breached the Agreement by failing to complete all of the work and by presenting an inaccurate report. [Id. at ¶ 11]. Plaintiffs seek damages arising from this alleged breach. [Id. at 3]. Plaintiffs also seek specific performance and injunctive relief, the latter relating to the potential dissemination of information in the survey and report. [Id. at 3-4].

         Plaintiffs further allege fraud in the inducement; civil theft; breach of loyalty to partner; seek an accounting; seek establishment of a constructive trust; allege interference with prospective business relationships; breach of joint venture agreement; conversion; and seek declaratory relief [Id. at 4-11], all relating to their claim that Defendant Estes represented to Plaintiffs that if Plaintiff Bostick provided Defendants Estes and ESTG with one million dollars in cash, with another $500, 000 to be paid later, they would use the money to develop new equipment, technology and software to make locating natural resources, precious metals and artifacts easier and would share the ownership rights equally with Plaintiffs. [Id. at ¶ 27]. Plaintiffs claim that they made that payment, but were never provided with any further information on these advancements or the profits derived therefrom.

         I. Motion to Strike and for Sanctions.

         Defendants have moved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 11 and Fla. Stat. Ann. §57.105, seeking to have the Court strike the Complaint as wholly without factual support. Defendants also seek sanctions. [DE 29]. Defendants assert that Plaintiffs' claims are completely baseless. Id. They argue that the contract claims are baseless, because the contract was completed. As to the claims relating to the alleged transfer of $1, 000, 000 in cash in exchange for an interest in a joint venture, Defendants argue that this simply never occurred. Id.

         In response thereto, Plaintiffs argue that there is a factual dispute relative to whether Defendants breached the contract. Furthermore, Plaintiffs have submitted three sworn affidavits attesting to the transfer of the $1, 000, 000 in cash. [DE 45-1, 45-2, and 45-3]. Having provided some evidentiary support for their Complaint, Defendants' Motion must be denied. See, e.g., Davis v. Carl, 906 F.2d 533, 536 (11th Cir. 1990).

         II. Defendants Joseph W. Foley and Wes Estes' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

         The Parties' Positions

         The individually named Defendants[1] have brought a motion pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) and (6), seeking a dismissal of the Complaint as against them for lack of personal jurisdiction and for failure to plead fraud with particularity. [DE 8]. They argue that Florida's corporate shield doctrine protects them, in their individual capacities, for actions taken as corporate officers. [DE 8 at 7-10]. As to the fraud claim, Defendants note the absence of the kinds of details required in a complaint. [Id. at 12-13].

         Plaintiffs respond that they adequately pled personal jurisdiction, which shifted the burden to Defendants. Defendants, having submitted evidence in support of their motion, the burden shifted back to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs submit the affidavit of Plaintiff Bostick, which they note is contrary to Defendants' submission. In his affidavit, Mr. Bostick states that after the survey was done,

Mr. Estes in his individual capacity told me that he and Mr. Foley could develop additional technology which would assist in more precise location of precious metals, gas, oil and ore. Further he suggested that if I could come up with the needed development funds the three of us (Mr. Estes, Mr. Foley, and myself) would enter into joint ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.