United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
.BYRON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Defendant Dollar Tree
Corporation's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint, or Alternatively, Motion to Strike (Doc.
37), filed March 14, 2018. Pro se Plaintiff Kirsha
Brown filed a memorandum in opposition (Doc. 39), to which
Defendant Dollar Tree Corporation replied (Doc. 44). With
briefing complete, this matter is ripe. Upon consideration,
Defendant Dollar Tree's Motion is due to be granted.
Kirsha Brown brings this action against Defendants, Family
Dollar Corporation (“Family
Dollar”) and Dollar Tree Corporation
(“Dollar Tree”), for injuries
arising out of a June 20, 2017, visit to the Family Dollar
store (the “Store”) at 918 West
Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. (Doc. 36, p. 2
(“Second Amended Complaint” or
“SAC”)). Plaintiff claims that
as she walked past the Store, Darlene Liksy, a Family Dollar
employee, began filming her with a cellphone. (Id.
at p. 4). When Plaintiff asked why she was being filmed,
Liksy shoved her. (Id.). Then, Lindsay Jackson,
another Family Dollar employee, threatened to shoot Plaintiff
if she did not leave. (Id.). To make matters worse,
Desiree Willis, yet another Family Dollar employee, retrieved
a wooden bat from the Store and approached Plaintiff.
(Id.). During the ensuing altercation, Liksy and
Jackson punched Plaintiff, and Willis clubbed Plaintiff in
the head with the bat. (Id.). The police were
eventually called and Plaintiff was able to escape.
was diagnosed with a “Soft Tissue Laceration”
from the attack. (Id.). On June 20, 2017, emergency
physicians recommended Plaintiff “undergo a stable
[sic] procedure for [her] head injury.” (Id.).
Plaintiff has also experienced hair loss, pain, irritation,
and scarring since the incident. (Id. at pp. 4-5).
Plaintiff's alleged attackers were Family Dollar
employees, Plaintiff names Dollar Tree as Defendant because
Dollar Tree owns and controls Family Dollar. (Id. at
p. 2). The Second Amended Complaint alleges five Counts
against Defendants Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, jointly.
(Id. at pp. 2-3). Counts I-III are styled
“Negligence Counts, ” but aver three criminal
offenses “committed against Plaintiff:”
aggravated battery, felony battery, and misdemeanor
assault. (Id.). Counts IV and V allege
claims for civil battery and civil assault. (Id. at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1). Thus, in order to
survive a motion to dismiss made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
the 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) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
plausible on its face when the plaintiff “pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations,
mere legal conclusions or recitation of the elements of a
claim are not enough. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Moreover, 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).
“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Courts
must also view the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff and must resolve any doubts as to the
sufficiency of the complaint in the plaintiff's favor.
Hunnings v. Texaco, Inc., 29 F.3d 1480, 1483 (11th
Cir. 1994) (per curiam). In sum, courts must (1) ignore
conclusory allegations, bald legal assertions, and formulaic
recitations of the elements of a claim; (2) accept well-pled
factual allegations as true; and (3) view well-pled
allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Plaintiff's Claims Against Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree moves to dismiss the claims asserted against it
in the SAC because Plaintiff has not pleaded a basis for
Dollar Tree's liability. (Doc. 44).
corporations are generally not liable for their
subsidiaries' acts. United States v. Bestfoods,
524 U.S. 51, 61 (1998). Corporations are separate,
free-standing legal entities, “thus, th[e] separate
corporate form cannot be disregarded.” Molenda v.
Hoechst Celanese Corp., 60 F.Supp.2d 1294, (S.D. Fla.
1999). However, the corporate form may be set aside-and the
veil pierced-in rare circumstances.
parent corporation may be held liable for the actions of its
subsidiary if the “subsidiary is deemed to be a
‘mere instrumentality' of the
parent.” Federated TitleInsurers, Inc. v.