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Reynolds Ventures, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.

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

July 17, 2018

REYNOLDS VENTURES, INC. D/B/A WRIGHT WAY EMERGENCY SERVICES a/a/o Marram Corp., Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          John E. Steele, Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on review of defendant's Motion to Dismiss plaintiff's Amended Complaint and Motion to Strike Demand for Attorney's Fees (Doc. #17) filed on May 29, 2018. Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. #20) on June 12, 2018.

         I.

         Plaintiff initially filed this matter in the name of “The Wright Way Emergency Water Removal, LLC/Reynolds Ventures, Inc. a/a/o Marram Corp.” in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for Charlotte County, Florida. (Doc. #2.) On May 3, 2018, defendant Scottsdale Insurance Company removed the matter to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. #1.) On May 15, 2018, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint revising its name in the caption. (Doc. #10.) The plaintiff's name in the caption now reads “Reynolds Ventures, Inc. d/b/a Wright Way Emergency Services a/a/o Marram Corp.” (Id.)

         The Amended Complaint asserts that Marram Corp. purchased a homeowner's insurance policy (the “Policy”) from defendant to cover the property located at 630 Woodbury Drive, Port Charlotte, FL 33954 (the “Property”). (Id. ¶ 6.) The Policy provided insurance coverage which included coverage for water damage. (Id.) On August 1, 2017, the Policy was in full force and effect. (Id. ¶ 7.)

         On August 1, 2017, the Property suffered damage by a water event. (Id. ¶ 8.) After the water event, Marram Corp. contracted with plaintiff to provide services to repair the damage to the Property from the water event. (Id. ¶ 9.) In connection with these services, Marram Corp. agreed to allow the direct billing of the services rendered by plaintiff to defendant and executed an assignment of rights under the Policy to plaintiff. (Id.) Defendant assigned claim number 01779012 to the loss. (Id.) Plaintiff submitted bills and/or estimates for the services provided at the Property to defendant. (Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff has not been paid or has been underpaid by defendant for these services. (Id.)

         Plaintiff filed a two-count complaint against defendant for breach of contract and breach of contract with implied equitable assignment of benefits arising out of the non-payment and/or underpayment of the bills submitted to defendant relating to the water event. (Doc. #2.) On May 15, 2018, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, solely changing the name of the plaintiff from “The Wright Way Emergency Water Removal LLC/Reynolds Ventures, Inc., a/a/o Marram Corp.” to “Reynolds Ventures, Inc. d/b/a Wright Way Emergency Services a/a/o Marram Corp.” (Doc. #10.)

         II.

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a 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)(2). This obligation “requires 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) (citation omitted). To survive dismissal, the factual allegations must be “plausible” and “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. at 555. See also Edwards v. Prime Inc., 602 F.3d 1276, 1291 (11th Cir. 2010). This requires “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted).

         In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable to plaintiff, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007), but “[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). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Factual allegations that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability fall short of being facially plausible.” Chaparro v. Carnival Corp., 693 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2012) (citations 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.

         III.

         Defendant seeks to dismiss plaintiff's Amended Complaint because (1) the assignment of benefits is vague and instead of identifying a specific assignee of benefits, it names two alternative companies, (2) plaintiff fails to allege ultimate facts to support its causes of action, and (3) plaintiff's request for attorney's fees should be stricken. (Doc. #17.)

         A. The Assignment of Benefits

         The Assignment of Benefits relevant to this matter contains the following language: “I, hereby, assign any and all insurance rights, benefits, proceeds and any causes of action under any applicable insurance policies to WrightWay Emergency Services and/or Reynolds Ventures Inc. (hereinafter referred ...


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