United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
SAMUEL BELTRAN and CHRISTOPHER LUGO, on their own behalf and on behalf of those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
SEABREEZE ELECTRIC, INC., and THOMAS LONG, Defendants.
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon consideration of Defendant
Thomas Long's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint, or
in the Alternative, Motion for More Definite Statement (Doc.
# 55), filed on July 23, 2019. Plaintiffs Samuel Beltran and
Christopher Lugo responded on August 15, 2019. (Doc. # 64).
For the reasons that follow, the Motion is denied.
initiated this collective action under the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) against their former employer, Defendant
Seabreeze Electric, Inc., on January 18, 2019. (Doc. # 1).
Subsequently, on June 10, 2019, they filed their Amended
Complaint, adding Long as another Defendant. (Doc. # 38).
to the Amended Complaint, Long is an employer under the FLSA
because he “owned and/or operated Seabreeze.”
(Id. at 3). The Amended Complaint alleges Long
“regularly exercised the authority to: (a) hire and
fire employees of Seabreeze; (b) determine the work and pay
schedules for the employees of Seabreeze; (c) control the
finances and operations of Seabreeze; and (d) was responsible
for the overall business operations of Seabreeze.”
(Id.). Plaintiffs allege that Long and Seabreeze
failed to pay them, and other electricians employed by Long
and Seabreeze, overtime wages. (Id. at 5).
Long seeks dismissal of the Amended Complaint or,
alternatively, a more definite statement of the claims
against him. (Doc. # 55). Plaintiffs have responded (Doc. #
64), and the Motion is ripe for review.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), this Court
accepts as true all the allegations in the complaint and
construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Jackson v. Bellsouth Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1262
(11th Cir. 2004). Further, this Court favors the plaintiff
with all reasonable inferences from the allegations in the
complaint. Stephens v. Dep't of Health & Human
Servs., 901 F.2d 1571, 1573 (11th Cir. 1990). But,
[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his
entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)(internal citations omitted). Courts are not
“bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as
a factual allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478
U.S. 265, 286 (1986). “The scope of review must be
limited to the four corners of the complaint” and
attached exhibits. St. George v. Pinellas County,
285 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2002).
Rule 12(e) allows a party to “move for a more definite
statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is
allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party
cannot reasonably prepare a response.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(e). “A Rule 12(e) motion is appropriate if the
pleading is so vague or ambiguous that the opposing party
cannot respond, even with a simple denial, in good faith,
without prejudice to itself.” Ramirez v. FBI,
No. 8:10-cv-1819-T- 23TBM, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132271, at
*4 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 14, 2010) (citation omitted). “In
considering such a motion, the Court should be mindful of the
liberal pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, pursuant to which a short and plain statement of
the claim will suffice.” Betancourt v. Marine Cargo
Mgmt., 930 F.Supp. 606, 608 (S.D. Fla. 1996). Such a
motion is “intended to provide a remedy for an
unintelligible pleading, rather than a vehicle for obtaining
greater detail.” Aventura Cable Corp. v.
Rifkin/Narragansett S. Fla. CATV Ltd. P'ship, 941
F.Supp. 1189, 1195 (S.D. Fla. 1996).
an FLSA case, a plaintiff may seek to sue an individual
employer or multiple employers.” Arean v. Cent.
Fla. Investments, Inc., No. 8:10-CV-2244-T-33MAP, 2011
WL 6026703, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 5, 2011)(citing
Kendrick v. Eagle Int'l Group, LLC, No.
08-80909-CIV, 2009 WL 3855227, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 17,
2009)). “The FLSA contemplates that there may be
several simultaneous employers who are responsible for
compliance with the FLSA.” Id. (citation
omitted). Under the FLSA, an “employer” is
defined as “any person acting directly or indirectly in
the interest of an employer in relation to an
employee.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(d). The Eleventh
Circuit has “made clear that in order to qualify as an
employer for this purpose, [a corporate] officer ‘must
either be involved in the day-to-day operation or have some
direct responsibility for the supervision of the
employee.'” Alvarez Perez v. Sanford-Orlando
Kennel Club, Inc., 515 F.3d 1150, 1160 (11th Cir.
2008)(quoting Patel v. Wargo, 803 F.2d 632, 638
(11th Cir. 1986)).
argues that the allegations concerning his status as an
employer are insufficient. (Doc. # 55 at 2). He insists the
allegations about his involvement in the day-to-day
operations of Seabreeze or supervisory responsibilities ...