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Brady v. Brady

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

August 21, 2019

MICHELLE A. BRADY, Plaintiff,
v.
SHAUN J. BRADY, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER

          SUSAN C. BUCKLEW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court on Defendant Shaun Brady's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 14). Plaintiff opposes the motion. (Doc. No. 19). As explained below, the motion is granted.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Michelle A. Brady alleges the following in her amended complaint (Doc. No. 1-1): Plaintiff and Defendant Shaun J. Brady (“Mr. Brady”) were married in November of 2009 in Massachusetts. Thereafter, Plaintiff was covered under Mr. Brady's health insurance (“BCBS”) that was provided through his employment with the federal government.[1]

         Plaintiff and Mr. Brady divorced in early 2011 while still living in Massachusetts. Their divorce agreement states that Mr. Brady was required to continue to provide and maintain health insurance for Plaintiff as long as his employer provided such coverage and neither Mr. Brady nor Plaintiff had remarried. Later in 2011, Plaintiff moved to Florida. Mr. Brady currently resides in Texas. After the divorce and for the next seven years, BCBS remitted payments to Plaintiff's medical service providers.

         In May of 2018, Mr. Brady remarried, and he attempted to add his new wife to his health insurance plan. At that time, Mr. Brady disclosed to his employer that he had divorced Plaintiff in 2011-a fact that he had previously withheld from his employer and BCBS. Because Mr. Brady's employer and BCBS believed that Mr. Brady was married to Plaintiff from 2011 through 2018, they had provided health insurance coverage for Plaintiff. However, the health insurance plan specifically prohibited a divorced spouse from remaining on an employee's health insurance plan under the same terms as when they were married.[2]

         As a result, Plaintiff's health insurance coverage was terminated retroactively to the purported date of the Bradys' divorce.[3] BCBS then reversed payments previously made to Plaintiff's medical service providers, and Plaintiff began receiving invoices from her medical service providers seeking payment. To date, Plaintiff's medical service providers have sought nearly $900, 000 from her for their prior services.

         In April of 2019, Plaintiff filed suit against Mr. Brady in state court, and the case was later removed to this Court. In her amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts two claims against Mr. Brady-fraud and breach of contract.

         Plaintiff alleges the following in support of her fraud claim: Under the terms of the divorce agreement, Mr. Brady agreed to continue to provide Plaintiff with health insurance under his health plan. However, Mr. Brady knew that once he divorced Plaintiff, he could no longer provide her with health insurance under his health plan. Mr. Brady failed to disclose this knowledge and continued to make Plaintiff believe that he was providing her with health insurance until it was retroactively terminated by BCBS. Mr. Brady made these statements for the purpose of misleading and inducing Plaintiff to enter into the divorce agreement. Plaintiff relied on Mr. Brady's representations that she continued to have health insurance to her detriment, as her past medical service providers are seeking reimbursement for their treatment.

         Plaintiff's breach of contract claim is based on Mr. Brady's failure to provide her with health insurance and to provide her with at least 30 days' notice prior to the termination of her health insurance, as required by their divorce agreement. In response, Mr. Brady filed the instant motion to dismiss her claims.

         II. Motion to Dismiss

         Mr. Brady makes two arguments in support of dismissal: (1) Plaintiff fails to state a fraud or contract claim; and (2) this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him. As explained below, the Court agrees that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Brady.

         This Court is mindful of the following when evaluating personal jurisdiction:

A plaintiff seeking the exercise of 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. . . . [Courts] consider two questions in resolving personal jurisdiction: (1) whether personal jurisdiction exists over the nonresident defendant[s] under Florida's long-arm statute, and (2) if so, whether the exercise of ...

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