United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
LAWRENCE KING UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUIDGE
MATTER comes before the Court upon Harborside at Atlantis
Development Limited, Harborside at Atlantis Management
Limited, Harborside Resort Vacation Ownership Association
Limited, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.,
Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc., and Vistana Vacation
Ownership, Inc.'s (collectively, "H, S & T
Defendants") Motion to Dismiss (D.E. 16) and Kerzner
International Hotels Limited, Kerzner International Bahamas
Limited, Kerzner International Resorts, Inc., Brookfield
Asset Management, Inc., and Brookfield Hospitality
Properties, LLC's (collectively, "K & B
Defendants") Motion to Dismiss (D.E. 23). Plaintiff
filed her Response in Opposition to both Motions to Dismiss
(D.E. 35). The H, S & T Defendants filed their Reply
(D.E. 36). The K & B Defendants also filed their Reply
(D.E. 37). Plaintiff obtained leave from the Court
and filed her Surreply to the K & B Defendants' Reply
filed her Amended Complaint on April 3, 2017, purporting to
allege a cause of action for negligence. Therein, Plaintiff
alleges that she was staying at The Harborside at Atlantis
Resort on Paradise Island, Nassau, The Bahamas on May 21,
2013. At approximately 11:35 p.m., Plaintiff slipped and fell
on the bathroom floor of her guestroom.
Motions to Dismiss make three identical arguments: (1)
forum non conveniens; (2) failure to file within the
statute of limitation; and (3) failure to comply with Rule 8
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The H, S & T
Defendants also argue failure to properly plead punitive
deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept a
complaint's well-pled allegations as true. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Such allegations must
be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283,
1288 (11th Cir. 2010). "In analyzing the sufficiency of
the complaint, [the Court] limit[s] [its] consideration to
the well-pleaded factual allegations, documents central to or
referenced in the complaint, and matters judicially
noticed." La Grasta v. First Union Sec, Inc.,
358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir. 2004). The Court may also
consult documents that are attached to the motion to dismiss
under the "incorporation by reference" doctrine.
The Eleventh Circuit has defined the incorporation by
reference doctrine to mean:
[A] document attached to a motion to dismiss may be
considered by the court without converting the motion into
one for summary judgment only if the attached document is:
(1) central to the plaintiffs claim; and (2) undisputed. ...
"Undisputed" in this context means that the
authenticity of the document is not challenged.
Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1134 (11th Cir.
2002) (internal citations omitted); see also Day
v. Taylor, 400 F.3d 1272, 1276 (11th Cir. 2005).
that Bahamian law applies, Defendants contend that Plaintiffs
claim is time-barred.
Choice of Law
federal district court sitting in diversity must apply the
choice of law rules of the forum state. Trumpet Vine
Investments, N.V. v. Union Capital Partners I, Inc., 92
F.3d 1110, 1115 (11th Cir. 1996). As a preliminary matter,
the Court determines whether the issue sounds in tort,
contracts, property law, etc. Grupo Televisa, S.A. v.
Telemundo Communs. Grp., Inc., 485 F.3d 1233, 1240 (11th
Cir. 2007). "In the context of tort actions, Florida
resolves conflict-of-laws questions according to the
'most significant relationship' test."
Id. The test involves consideration of four relevant
factors: (1) the place where the injury occurred; (2) the
place where the conduct causing the injury occurred; (3) the
domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and
place of business of the parties; and (4) the place where the
relationship, if any, between the parties is centered.
Michel v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 816 F.3d 686, 694
(11th Cir. 2016).
in tort cases, the location where the injury occurred is the
decisive consideration in determining the applicable choice
of law. See Bishop v. Fla. Specialty Paint Co., 389
So.2d 999, 1001 (Fla. 1980). "[T]he place of injury is
of particular importance in the case of personal injuries and
of injuries to tangible things." Restatement (Second) of
Conflict of Laws § 145 cmnt. f. In this case, as
Plaintiff slipped and fell in The ...