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Holliday v. Lloyd's, Underwriters At, London

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

December 28, 2017




         This matter comes before the Court pursuant to Defendant Lloyd's, Underwriters at, London's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 25), filed on December 5, 2017. Plaintiff Clyde J. Holliday, III, responded on December 26, 2017. (Doc. # 34) . For the reasons that follow, the Motion is granted and the Second Amended Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend.

         I. Background

         On August 29, 2017, Holliday filed his Complaint against Defendant Lloyds Syndicate 3000 at Lloyds, London. (Doc. # 1) . The Complaint was "a filled-in form provided by the Clerk's Office with only a single sentence outlining the basis and nature of Holliday's claim." (Doc. # 3 at 4). The Court dismissed the Complaint as "a shotgun pleading to which Defendant cannot be expected to respond" because it was “unclear what causes of action [were] being asserted and the factual basis for those claims.” (Id. at 5). The Court advised that, “[i]f Holliday wishes to assert more than one cause of action, he must separate and clearly label those claims.” (Id. at 4).

         Holliday filed his Amended Complaint on October 2, 2017, naming “Lloyd's, Underwriters at, London” as the sole defendant. (Doc. # 9). Again, Holliday's statement of his claim was a single sentence: “This action is being brought to recover monies owing to Plaintiff resulting from the finalization of account under Lloyd's Line Slip #8565100 evidenced by the attached exhibit #1 ref: IBSL Settlement Box - Premiums Resulting in an Overall Return Premium which remains unpaid.” (Id. at 4). The Court dismissed the Amended Complaint with leave to amend on October 11, 2017, advising Holliday to “clearly identify the cause of action he is asserting” and to “include details about his relationship with Lloyd's Underwriters at London and the alleged misconduct.” (Doc. # 9).

         Holliday then filed the Second Amended Complaint against “Lloyd's, Underwriters at, London” on October 25, 2017. (Doc. # 12). The Second Amended Complaint asserts four counts, “Concealment of Records and Fraud, ” and “False Reporting and Slander.” (Id.). Holliday alleges he was a “surplus lines licensed [insurance] agent” through “BMS Special Risk Services, a London Broking Firm” until October of 2008. (Id. at 3). At that time, Lloyd's “cancell[ed] the surplus lines agent's authority to sell policies of insurance” without cause, causing Holliday to lose business. (Id.). Lloyd's also allegedly illegally removed and transferred Holliday's proprietary client files from his computer and continued to deny Holliday access to these “proprietary client files and accounting information.” (Id. at 3-4). Finally, Lloyd's allegedly slandered Holliday through its “false and malicious reporting of a felony . . . for which [Holliday] was arrested and indicted by the Polk County State Attorney” but which was dismissed two or three years later because Holliday was able to exonerate himself. (Id. at 4).

         On December 5, 2017, Lloyd's moved to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. # 25). Holliday has responded, (Doc. # 34), and the Motion is now ripe for review.

         II. Legal Standard

         The Court construes pro se pleadings liberally and holds them to a less stringent standard than those drafted by 2003). But, “a pro se litigant is still required to conform to procedural rules, and a district judge is not required to rewrite a deficient pleading.” McFarlin v. Douglas County, 587 F. App'x 593, 595 (11th Cir. 2014).

         On a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), this Court accepts as true all the allegations in the complaint and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Jackson v. Bellsouth Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1262 (11th Cir. 2004). Further, this Court favors the plaintiff with all reasonable inferences from the allegations in the complaint. Stephens v. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., 901 F.2d 1571, 1573 (11th Cir. 1990). But,

[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 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)(internal citations omitted). Courts are not “bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). “The scope of review must be limited to the four corners of the complaint” and attached exhibits. St. George v. Pinellas County, 285 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2002).

         Additionally, motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) may attack jurisdiction facially or factually. Morrison v. Amway Corp., 323 F.3d 920, 924 n.5 (11th Cir. 2003). In factual attacks, the Court delves into the arguments asserted by the parties and the credibility of the evidence presented. Garcia v. Copenhaver, Bell, & Assocs., 104 F.3d 1256, 1260-61 (11th Cir. 1997). “Factual attacks challenge subject matter jurisdiction in fact, irrespective of the pleadings. In resolving a factual attack, the district court may consider extrinsic evidence such as testimony and affidavits.” Morrison, 323 F.3d at 925.

         III. ...

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