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Target Corp. v. Prestige Facilities Services Group, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

February 6, 2018

TARGET CORPORATION, Third-Party Plaintiff,



         This matter comes before the Court on third-party plaintiff Target Corporation's Motion for Default Judgment Against Prestige Facilities Services Group, Inc. (Doc. #31) filed on December 18, 2017. No response has been filed by either third-party defendant, and the time to respond has expired.


         On June 2, 2017, defendant Target Corporation (Target) removed a suit filed by Capital Solutions Bancorp LLC (Capital) from Lee County Circuit Court to federal court. Target filed an Answer (Doc. #9), and on June 23, 2017, Target filed a Third-Party Complaint (Doc. #15) against Prestige Facilities Services Group, Inc. (Prestige) and Giuseppe Tromba (or Joe Tromba). Capital and Target reached a settlement, and the original Complaint was dismissed with prejudice. Only the third party complaint remains before the Court.

         On October 13, 2017, the Court ordered the Answer (Doc. #22) filed by Tromba on behalf of himself and Prestige stricken, and directed Tromba to file an amended answer on only his own behalf, and for Prestige to file an amended answer only through counsel. (Doc. #25.) Defendant Giuseppe Tromba filed an Amended Answer (Doc. #27) on his own behalf, however Prestige did not file an appearance or amended answer through counsel. Consequently, Target moved for and was granted a default against Prestige. (Docs. ## 28-29.) On December 6, 2017, a Clerk's Entry of Default (Doc. #30) was issued, and Target now seeks a default judgment against Prestige under Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a).

         A. Third Party Complaint

         Prestige is deemed to have admitted only the well-pled factual allegations in the Third-party Complaint, which are as follows: Target contracted with Prestige Facilities Services Group, Inc. (Prestige) to construct gender-neutral bathrooms in its Minnesota stores pursuant to a Program Agreement for Goods and Services (Program Agreement). Pursuant to the Program Agreement, among other things Prestige was required to pay all subcontractors hired, to take no action to cause a lien to be filed against Target or any Target asset, to ensure that no liens were filed against any Target property for services performed or materials provided, and to take prompt action to release any lien filed against Target.

         Target alleges that Prestige hired a number of subcontractors. Target paid Prestige all amounts due under the Program Agreement, however Prestige failed to pay the subcontractors. Pursuant to a Minnesota Statute, liens attached to Target's real property when the subcontractors were not paid. Target alleges that Prestige breached its obligations under the Program Agreement by failing to pay the subcontractors, and causing the liens on Target's property to exist.

         Without Target's knowledge, Prestige entered into an Accounts Receivable Purchase Agreement with Capital Solutions Bancorp, LLC (Capital), and assigned its accounts receivable from Target to Capital. Target inquired as to whether Capital was indeed entitled to the payments, to which Prestige replied in the negative, stating that Capital did not represent the company in any capacity and payments should still be made to Prestige. Joe Tromba responded that Capital was making false representations regarding the relationship which did not exist. As a result, Target made payments totaling $577, 732 to Prestige, for which they were sued by Capital for failure to pay under the assignment.

         Target asserts a breach of the Program Agreement (Doc. #15-1, Exh. A), which is attached to the Third-Party Complaint, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation against Prestige. The Declaration of Joel Peters (Doc. #31-1, Exh. 1), an employee of Target, provides a break down of the amounts paid to Capital and each of the alleged subcontractors. Attached to the Declaration are the invoices for the payments. Target seeks a total of $577, 000 in damages based on the payments it made.

         B. Applicable Law

         When a defendant defaults, it is “deemed to admit the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of facts, ” but not conclusions of law or facts not well-pleaded. Surtain v. Hamlin Terrace Foundation, 789 F.3d 1239, 1245 (11th Cir. 2015). To warrant a default judgment, the facts alleged in the pleadings must provide a sufficient basis for judgment. Id. (quoting Nishimatsu Const. Co., Ltd. V. Houston Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975)). The sufficiency standard is that “necessary to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.” Id.


         A. Count I, ...

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