United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE
FEDERICO A. MORENO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE came before the Court upon Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (D.E. 5).
COURT has considered the motion, the pertinent portions of
the record, and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.
Plaintiffs complaint appears to be an impermissible shotgun
pleading because she states a claim against multiple
defendants without specifying which of the defendants are
responsible for which acts or omissions. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b). Therefore, Plaintiffs complaint is
DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff may
file an amended complaint, which comports with this order no
later than July 19, 2019 at 12:00
pleading that states a claim for relief 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).
When ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
accept the plaintiffs well-pleaded facts as true. See St.
Joseph's Hosp., Inc. v. Hosp. Corp. of Am., 795 F.2d
948, 954 (11th Cir. 1986). 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)). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but a pleading must offer more
than "labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic
recitation of the elements of the cause of action."
Twomblv, 550 U.S. at 555; Jackson v. BellSouth
Telecomm., 372 F.3d 1250, 1263 (11th Cir. 2004)
("To survive a motion to dismiss, plaintiffs must do
more than merely state legal conclusions; they are required
to allege some specific factual bases for those conclusions
or face dismissal of their claims."). In short, the
complaint must not merely allege misconduct, but must
demonstrate that the pleader is "entitled to
relief." Iqbal 556 U.S. at 677-78.
a former cruise passenger on the Norwegian Sun, alleges she
was injured onboard the vessel while using a wheelchair owned
and provided to Defendant, NCL (Bahamas) LTD., by Defendant,
Special Needs Group. Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants
claiming that their negligence (Count I) led to her injuries.
Defendant NCL (Bahamas) LTD filed a motion to dismiss which
asserts that Plaintiffs Complaint constitutes a "shotgun
pleading" because Plaintiffs allegations group both
Defendants together and do not delineate which acts or
omissions each of them committed. The Court agrees and holds
that the Complaint fails to comply with the basic pleading
requirements of Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and should be dismissed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(b).
Eleventh Circuit has identified four categories of shotgun
The most common type [of shotgun pleadings]-by a long shot-is
a complaint containing multiple counts where each count
adopts the allegations of all preceding counts, causing each
successive count to carry all that came before and the last
count to be a combination of the entire complaint. The next
most common type, at least as far as our published opinions
on the subject reflect, is a complaint that does not commit
the mortal sin of re-alleging all preceding counts but is
guilty of the venial sin of being replete with conclusory,
vague, and immaterial facts not obviously connected to any
particular cause of action. The third type of shotgun
pleading is one that commits the sin of not separating into a
different count each cause of action or claim for relief.
Fourth, and finally, there is the relatively rare sin of
asserting multiple claims against multiple defendants without
specifying which of the defendants are responsible for which
acts or omissions, or which of the defendants the claim is
brought against. The unifying characteristic of all types of
shotgun pleadings is that they fail to one degree or another,
and in one way or another, to give the defendants adequate
notice of the claims against them and the grounds upon which
each claim rests.
Weiland v. Palm Beach Ctv. Sheriffs Office, 792 F.3d
1313, 1321 (11th Cir. 2015). The unifying characteristic of
all types of shotgun pleadings is that they fail to give the
defendants adequate notice of the claims against them and the
grounds upon which each claim rests. Weiland, 792
F.3d at 1323. Shotgun pleadings are often confusing,
incoherent, and clogged with seemingly irrelevant allegations
and thus are appropriate for dismissal. Lampkin-Asam v.
Volusia Cty. Sch. Bd., 261 Fed.Appx. 274, 277 (11th Cir.
2008). Furthermore, they water down the rights of the parties
to have valid claims litigated efficiently and wreak havoc on
the judicial system. Byrne v. Nezhat, 261 F.3d 1075,
1130-31 (11th Cir. 2001), abrogated on other grounds by
Douglas Asphalt Co. v. PORE, Inc., 657 F.3d 1146,
1151-52 (11th Cir. 2011). Given that cases framed by shotgun
pleadings exhaust a disproportionate amount of time for
courts to resolve, they cause delayed justice and risk the
public's confidence in the system. See id For these
reasons, the Eleventh Circuit condemns shotgun pleadings.
Complaint, which brings a negligence claim against multiple
Defendants, is an example of the quintessential "shotgun
pleading," because paragraphs 12-14 group together the
Defendants and do not specify which of the Defendants is
responsible for which acts or omissions. See
Weiland, 792 F.3d at 1323. For example, Paragraph 14
states that "Defendants were negligent in the
development and/or application of its policies and procedures
for providing passengers with wheelchairs and/or warning of
dangerous conditions it knew or should have known
existed." Such allegations do not give fair notice of
what one defendant allegedly failed to do as opposed to the
other. The purpose and effect of this order is limited. It is
intended to require that the complaint be brought into
compliance with Rule 10(b), but not to close the case.
of the rule that a well-pleaded complaint specifies which
defendant is responsible for which acts or omissions, it is
ORDERED and ADJUDGED:
complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff may file
an amended complaint in compliance with this order no ...