United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. STEELE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on defendant Brunswick
Corporation's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #17) filed on March
30, 2018. Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. #
21) on April 23, 2018. For the reasons stated below,
defendant Brunswick Corporation's Motion is granted in
part and denied in part, and plaintiff is granted leave to
file an amended complaint.
to the Complaint (Doc. #1): On unspecified dates defendant
Brunswick Corporation, d/b/a Sea Ray Boats (Brunswick),
manufactured a 2013 45-foot Sea Ray vessel (the Vessel) which
it then sold to Joseph Campbell (Campbell). (Doc. #1,
¶¶ 1, 2.) Campbell obtained an insurance policy on
the Vessel from Atlantic Speciality Insurance Co. (Atlantic
Specialty) for the relevant time period. (Id. ¶
28, 2016, Campbell ran the Vessel aground while operating it
in navigable waters off the coast of Naples, Florida.
(Id. ¶¶ 3, 10, 11.) Campbell attempted to
move the Vessel immediately following running aground, but
was unable to do so because the Vessel's Zeus Pods (the
Product) failed to sheer, causing the Vessel to sink.
(Id. ¶¶ 4, 5.)
Mercier Marine Enterprise, LLC, d/b/a Sea Tow Naples (Sea
Tow), responded to the sunken Vessel to conduct a salvage
operation. (Id. ¶ 5.) Sea Tow used a
gas-operated pump in order to keep the Vessel from taking on
water. (Id. ¶ 7.) The pump leaked gas on or
near the Vessel's exhaust, which caused the Vessel to
catch fire. (Id. ¶ 8.) As the result of the
damage caused by the fire, Atlantic Speciality paid Campbell
$936, 622.00 as the agreed upon value for the Vessel.
(Id. ¶ 9.)
Specialty filed a five-count Complaint in which it seeks, as
the subrogee of Campbell, recovery of its damages. Atlantic
Speciality asserts one claim against Sea Tow for gross
negligence (Count I). Atlantic Specialty asserts four claims
against Brunswick: Negligence (Count II), breach of express
warranty (Count III), breach of implied warranty of
merchantability (Count IV), and breach of implied warranty of
fitness for a particular purpose (Count V).
filed an Answer (Doc. #15) and is not involved in the current
motion. Brunswick moves to dismiss all counts against it,
asserting that (1) Plaintiff's negligence claim is barred
by the economic loss rule; and (2) Plaintiff failed to state
causes of action for breach of express and implied warranties
because Plaintiff has not adequately pled privity. (Doc.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires a complaint to contain
a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). In evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion seeking to
dismiss a complaint for failing to comply with Rule 8(a), the
Court must accept as true all factual allegations in the
complaint and “construe them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” Baloco ex rel. Tapia
v. Drummond Co., 640 F.3d 1338, 1345 (11th Cir. 2011).
However, mere “[l]egal conclusions without adequate
factual support are entitled to no assumption of
truth.” Mamani v. Berzain, 654 F.3d 1148, 1153
(11th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted).
avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must
contain sufficient factual allegations to “raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). To do
so requires “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
This plausibility pleading obligation demands “more
than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. at 555 (citation omitted); see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.”); Chaparro v. Carnival Corp., 693
F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2012) (“Factual allegations
that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability
fall short of being facially plausible.” (citation
omitted)). Thus, the Court engages in a two-step approach:
“When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
only basis for federal subject matter jurisdiction set forth
in the Complaint is admiralty jurisdiction. The caption of
the Complaint states that it is “IN ADMIRALTY, ”
and the body of the Complaint states that it includes a
maritime tort “that occurred on navigable water during
a traditional maritime activity or activities that could or
did impact maritime commerce.” (Doc. #1, ¶ 10.)
“With admiralty jurisdiction comes the application of
substantive admiralty law.” E. River S.S. Corp. v.
Transamerica Delaval, Inc., 476 U.S. 858, 864 (1986).
The Court, however, has “an independent duty to ensure
admiralty jurisdiction exists before applying admiralty
law.” Doe v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 394 F.3d
891, 900 (11th Cir. 2004).
Admiralty Jurisdiction Over ...