United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.
Plaintiff bring this lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12103,
12181-12205a (“ADA”). This matter is before the
Court on Defendants Samare, Inc. (“Samare”), WBH
Corp. (“WBH”), and Hong Hong Inc.'s
(“Hong Hong's”) motions to dismiss (ECF Nos.
32, 45). For the reasons set forth in this Order, the Court
grants the motions to dismiss (ECF
Nos. 32, 45).
Douglas Longhini is a disabled individual who requires the
use of a wheelchair to ambulate. (Compl. ¶ 23, ECF No.
1.) The Complaint alleges that Defendants 141st Street
Center, LLC (“141st Street Center”), Samaniky,
LLC, (“Samaniky”), International Agencies, Inc.
(“International Agencies”), Samare, and WBH own
and operate commercial properties. (Id. ¶¶
5-18.) Defendant Mattress Firm, Inc. (“Mattress
Firm”) owns and operates a mattress business, and
Defendant Hong Hong owns and operates an ice cream business.
(Id. ¶¶ 8, 18.) The Complaint alleges that
141st Street Center, Samaniky, International Agencies,
Samare, and WBH “operate and/or oversee individual
commercial properties which, combined, make up the commercial
property known to the public as ‘Mitchell Center' .
. . .” (Id. ¶¶ 25-26.) The
relationship between Mattress Firm and Hong Hong with these
Defendants is not specified, although it appears that Hong
Hong and WBH have the same address, and Mattress Firm and
141st Street Center have the same address. (See Id.
¶¶ 6, 8, 16, 18.)
alleges that he visited the businesses in the Mitchell Center
and encountered architectural barriers in violation of the
ADA. (Id. ¶ 28.) Longhini seeks injunctive
relief and attorneys' fees and costs. (Id. at
13-14.) The Plaintiff has settled the claims against 141st
Street Center (ECF No. 59), the claims against International
Agencies have been dismissed pursuant to a joint stipulation
of dismissal (ECF No. 49), Samaniky and Mattress Firm have
answered the Complaint (ECF Nos. 16, 30), and Samare, WBH,
and Hong Hong have filed motions to dismiss.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claims” that “will give
the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim
is and the ground upon which it rests.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). The Supreme Court has held that “[w]hile a
complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does
not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's
obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his
‘entitlement to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations and
citations omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Thus,
“only a complaint that states a plausible claim for
relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. at
679. When considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all of the plaintiff's allegations as true in
determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim for which
relief could be granted. Hishon v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).
order to establish a claim for discrimination under the ADA,
a plaintiff must establish that: (1) he is disabled; (2) the
subject facility is a public accommodation; and (3) he was
denied full and equal enjoyment of the public accommodation
as a result of his disability. See Ass'n for Disabled
Americans, Inc. v. Concorde Gaming Corp., 158 F.Supp.2d
1353, 1359-60 (S.D. Fla. 2001) (Highsmith, J.). Samare, WBH,
and Hong Hong argue that the Complaint does not sufficiently
identify the architectural barriers that Longhini encountered
in each of the Defendants' businesses. Thus, they argue
that the Plaintiff has failed to establish the third element.
a complaint against multiple defendants is usually read as
making the same allegation against each defendant
individually, ” a plaintiff must still provide a
factual basis to distinguish each defendant's conduct.
Petrovic v. Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd., 2012 WL
3026368, at *3 (S.D. Fla. July 20, 2012) (Altonaga, J.)
(internal quotations and citations omitted). Here, the
Complaint fails to provide a factual basis to distinguish
each defendant's conduct. According to the Complaint,
each of the Defendants owns and operates a commercial
property or business at a discrete address. (Compl.
¶¶ 5-18.) Although the Complaint alleges that 141st
Street Center, Samaniky, International Agencies, Samare, and
WBH's properties “make up” the Mitchell
Center, it is unclear from the Complaint whether there is any
relationship between the Defendants. The Complaint identifies
architectural barriers in the following categories:
“Parking, ” “Entrance Access and Path of
Travel, ” “Access to Goods and Services, ”
and “Public Restrooms.” (Compl. ¶ 36.) In
light of the allegations that each Defendant owns and
operates a commercial property with a discrete address, it is
unclear whether the parking lot, entrance access, path of
travel, and public restrooms in which the architectural
barriers are located are common to all of the properties.
Moreover, the Complaint does not actually allege that any of
the Defendants owns, operates, or leases these common areas.
respect to the architectural barriers that were presumably
encountered in specific properties, the Complaint does not
specify the properties in which the barriers are located. For
example, the Plaintiff alleges that he “could not
utilize the tables for their intended use, ” but fails
to identify the business(es) in which he encountered this
barrier. (Id. ¶ 36C1.) A second example is the
Plaintiff's allegation that “[t]he doors at several
of the building entrances are fitted with inaccessible
hardware . . . .” (Id. ¶ 36B3.) While it
is clear that this allegation does not apply to all of the
Defendants, it is unclear to which Defendants it does apply.
put, the Complaint fails to provide a factual basis to
distinguish each Defendant's conduct. It is unclear which
allegations pertain to which Defendants; whether the parking
lot, entrance path, and public restrooms are common to all of
the Defendants' properties; and whether the Plaintiff
even encountered architectural barriers in areas owned,
operated, or leased by each Defendant. Therefore, the
Complaint fails to state a claim for relief that is plausible
on its face because the Plaintiff has not sufficiently
alleged facts to support his assertion that each of the
Defendants discriminated against the Plaintiff on the basis
of his disability. See, e.g., Longhini v.
Hayday, Inc. et. al., No. 17-20330, 2017 WL 2703557, at
*3 (S.D. Fla. June 22, 2017) (Scola, J.) (dismissing claims
against tenant defendants because the complaint did not
establish that those defendants exercised control over the
public restrooms in which the plaintiff encountered
architectural barriers); Ramnarine v. Epic Realty of Ohio
II, LLC, No. 10-81162, 2011 WL 52410, at *3 (S.D. Fla.
Jan. 6, 2011) (Cohn, J.) (dismissing complaint in part
because it did not distinguish “which alleged barriers
pertain to the outparcel restaurant as compared with barriers
that pertain to the separate strip shopping center.”).