United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Third-Party Defendant
Florida Marine Propulsion Corp.'s (“Florida
Marine”) Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Cause
of Action or alternatively, Motion for More Definite
Statement, ECF No.  (“Motion”). The Court has
carefully reviewed the Motion, all opposing and supporting
materials, the record in this case, the applicable law, and
is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons set forth below,
the Motion is granted.
AIG Property Casualty Company (“AIG”), filed this
action as subrogee of its insured Pissaro Properties, Ltd.
(“Pissaro”). See ECF No. . In the
Complaint, AIG alleged that Pissaro engaged
Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff, Bradford Marine, Inc.
(“Bradford Marine”) to repair the M/Y Francine,
entering into a Dockage and Repair Contract. Id. at
¶ 8. Thereafter, Bradford Marine sent the propeller to
be inspected by Florida Marine, which sent an email stating,
in part, that the propeller blades were badly bent and
“the propeller will never be right again.”
Id. at ¶ 9. Florida Marine stated it would scan
the propeller to determine whether a matching set can be
made. Id. According to the Complaint, Bradford
Marine thereafter presented Pissaro with a written proposal
to supply a new propeller with an approximate delivery six
weeks from the date of the order, which Pissaro accepted.
Id. at ¶ 10-11. The first propeller delivered
was allegedly different from the original one and could not
be used. Id. at ¶ 12. The second replacement
propeller was also allegedly of an incorrect size.
Id. at ¶ 13. Finally, a third propeller was
delivered and fitted onto the vessel in December of 2016.
Id. at ¶ 14. However, Bradford Marine was
allegedly required to supply the replacement vessel six
months earlier in July of 2016. Id. at ¶ 15.
AIG, as subrogee, seeks to recover the amount of the claim it
paid its insured due to the delayed propeller delivery.
Id. at ¶ 16.
response to the Complaint, Bradford Marine filed an Answer
and Affirmative Defenses along with a Third-Party Complaint
against Florida Marine. See ECF No. . The
Third-Party Complaint alleges that it is “an action for
indemnity in an amount not less than $248, 291.07 plus
prejudgment interest, costs, and such other relief as is
appropriate under the circumstances.” Id. at
¶ 3. Consistent with the allegations of the Complaint,
the Third-Party Complaint alleges that, on December 30, 2016,
Bradford Marine contracted with Pissaro to repair and replace
the vessel's port-side propeller and shaft, and once
these were removed from the vessel, they were sent to Florida
Marine. Id. at ¶ 5. Florida Marine thereafter
reported to Bradford Marine and Pissaro that neither the
propeller nor the shaft could be repaired, recommending they
order new ones. Id. Pissaro, in turn, agreed to have
a new propeller and shaft manufactured and Florida Marine was
notified of this decision. Id. at ¶ 6. The
order was placed and Pissaro was informed that it would take
six weeks to complete the fabrication. Id. At this
point, the Third-Party Complaint alleges that Florida Marine
prepared specifications for fabrication of the new propeller
and provided these to non-party CJR Propulsion
(“CJR”) in the United Kingdom. Id. Upon
the delivery of the propeller and shaft, it was discovered
that they could not be used because the “cord was off
and the pitch was higher than that of the damaged
propeller.” Id. at ¶ 7. According to the
Third-Party Complaint, Pissaro and Florida Marine thereafter
worked directly with each other to order a second propeller
based upon scans Florida Marine provided to CJR. Id.
at ¶ 8. The second propeller was not usable either, so
Pissaro, Florida Marine, and CJR agreed that CJR would
fabricate a third propeller. Id. at ¶ 9. The
third one, delivered in mid-to-late November of 2016, was
suitable for installation on the vessel. Id.
on these allegations, Bradford alleges that “if it is
held liable to AIG, it is entitled to indemnification and/or
contribution from Lauderdale Propeller [Florida Marine] for
its negligence in preparing and providing the necessary
specifications and other information to CJR resulting in the
fabrication of a total of three propellers and the delay
attendant to the required fabrication of them.”
Id. at ¶ 10. Bradford Marine further alleges
that its right to indemnity and/or contribution arises from
Florida Marine's (1) negligence in providing proper
information to CJR resulting in the fabrication of the first
propeller, (2) negligence in the preparation of scans and
specifications provided to CJR resulting in the fabrication
of the second propeller, and (3) negligence in the
supervision of CJR such that two incorrect propellers were
fabricated, causing a twelve-to-fourteen-week delay to the
vessel's repair. Id. at ¶ 11.
response to the Third-Party Complaint, Florida Marine seeks
dismissal of the indemnity and contribution claims or
alternatively requests a more definite statement.
See ECF No. . Bradford Marine's Memorandum
of Law in Opposition and Florida Marine's Reply timely
followed. See ECF Nos.  and . The Motion is
now ripe for adjudication.
Motion to Dismiss
pleading in a civil action must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although a
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” it must provide “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that Rule
8(a)(2)'s pleading standard “demands more than an
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (alteration in original)).
reviewing a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), a court, as a general
rule, must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true and
evaluate all plausible inferences derived from those facts in
favor of the plaintiff. See Miccosukee Tribe of Indians
of Fla. v. S. Everglades Restoration Alliance, 304 F.3d
1076, 1084 (11th Cir. 2002); AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co.
v. Infinity Fin. Grp., LLC, 608 F.Supp.2d 1349, 1353
(S.D. Fla. 2009). However, this tenet does not apply to legal
conclusions, and courts “are not bound to accept as
true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; see
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Thaeter v. Palm Beach Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 449 F.3d 1342, 1352 (11th Cir.
2006). Moreover, “courts may infer from the factual
allegations in the complaint ‘obvious alternative
explanations, ' which suggest lawful conduct rather than
the unlawful conduct the plaintiff would ask the court to
infer.” Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna
Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 682). A court considering a Rule
12(b) motion is generally limited to the facts contained in
the complaint and attached exhibits, including documents
referred to in the complaint that are central to the claim.
See Wilchombe v. TeeVee Toons, Inc., 555 F.3d 949,
959 (11th Cir. 2009); Maxcess, Inc. v. Lucent Techs.,
Inc., 433 F.3d 1337, 1340 (11th Cir. 2005) (“[A]
document outside the four corners of the complaint may still
be considered if it is central to the plaintiff's claims
and is undisputed in terms of authenticity.”) (citing
Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1135 (11th Cir.
Motion for a More Definite Statement
Rule 12(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a
party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to
which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague
or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). Since courts have
liberally construed the pleading standard under Rule 8(a),
“a short and plain statement” will be enough,
unless upon motion it is shown that the pleading “is so
ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably” respond.
Betancourt v. Marine Cargo Mgm't, Inc., 930
F.Supp. 606, 608 (S.D. Fla. 1996). “Most courts
disfavor the use of Rule 12(e), ” and “motions
for a more definite statement should not be used as a means
of discovery.” Royal Shell Vacations, Inc. v.
Scheyndel, 233 F.R.D 629, 630 (M.D. Fla. 2005).