Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

The Maritime Executive, LLC v. Larson Electronics, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

June 11, 2018

THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LARSON ELECTRONICS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DARRIN P. GAYLES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE comes before the Court on Defendant Larson Electronics, LLC's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction [ECF No. 8] and Defendant Robert Bresnahan's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 7] (collectively the “Motions). The Court has reviewed the Motions and the record and is otherwise fully advised.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Maritime Executive, LLC (“Maritime” or “Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendants Larson Electronics, LLC (“Larson”), and Robert Bresnahan (“Bresnahan”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for defamation and defamation per se [ECF No. 1-2]. Maritime is a Florida limited liability company. Larson is a Texas limited liability company and Bresnahan is domiciled in and a citizen of Texas. Bresnahan is sole shareholder of Controlling Factor, Inc., which is the sole member of Larson.

         According to the Complaint, in or around January of 2016, Maritime entered into a written agreement with Larson where Maritime would publish advertisements for Larson's products in Maritime's email marketing lists and newsletter. Maritime alleges it published the agreed upon advertisements but Larson failed to pay for its services. Maritime alleges that after it attempted to collect on the debts owed by Larson, Defendants began publishing defamatory statements about Maritime on Larson's website. See [ECF No. 1-2, ¶ 11]. Maritime also alleges that Defendants purchased Google AdWords advertisements that referred to Maritime as a “scam, ” and appeared as the first link on Google when users entered certain search terms associated with Maritime. See [Id. ¶ 12].

         Following removal from the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida, Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that this Court does not have personal jurisdiction over them. Bresnahan also moved to dismiss arguing that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against him for defamation and defamation per se. Maritime filed a Response in Opposition [ECF No. 16] addressing Defendants' personal jurisdiction arguments, but did not respond to Bresnahan's arguments concerning a failure to state a claim against him for defamation and defamation per se.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         “To survive a motion to dismiss, a 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)). Although this pleading standard “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, ' . . . it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         Pleadings must contain “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted). Indeed, “only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Iq-bal, 556 U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). To meet this “plausibility standard, ” a plaintiff must “plead[ ] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678 (alteration added) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). When reviewing a motion to dismiss, a court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and take the factual allegations therein as true. See Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla. Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1369 (11th Cir. 1997).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Personal Jurisdiction

         “A plaintiff seeking to establish personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant ‘bears the initial burden of alleging in the complaint sufficient facts to make out a prima facie case of jurisdiction.'” Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Mosseri, 736 F.3d 1339, 1350 (11th Cir. 2013) (quoting United Techs. Corp. v. Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260, 1274 (11th Cir. 2009)). When a defendant submits evidence in support of its challenge to personal jurisdiction, “the burden traditionally shifts back to the plaintiff to produce evidence supporting jurisdiction.” Id. (quoting Madara v. Hall, 916 F.2d 1510, 1514 (11th Cir. 1990)). “Where the plaintiff's complaint and supporting evidence conflict with the defendant's affidavits, the court must construe all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff, ” Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc. v. Food Movers Int'l, Inc., 593 F.3d 1249, 1257 (11th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted), and still must “accept the facts alleged in the complaint as true, to the extent they are uncontroverted by the defendant's affidavits.” Madara, 916 F.2d at 1514.

         A federal court sitting in diversity undertakes a two-step inquiry in determining whether personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant exists. First, the court must determine whether the exercise of jurisdiction is appropriate under Florida Statute § 48.193, Florida's long-arm statute. Second, the court must determine whether personal jurisdiction over the defendant violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Mutual Serv. Ins. Co. v. Frit Indus., Inc., 358 F.3d 1312, 1319 (11th Cir. 2004).

         1. Florida's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.