United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
ORDER GRANTING SECOND MOTION TO DISMISS THE AMENDED
FEDERICO A. MORENO UNITED-STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiffs, prospective passengers, sued the cruise line
Defendant for its late decision to cancel a cruise due to a
hurricane. The Court, for the second time, finds that the
Plaintiffs fail to allege sufficient specific injuries and
causation for the negligence and negligent infliction of
emotional distress claims, which they allege were due to the
untimely cancellation of the cruise.
action involves claims brought by nineteen Plaintiffs against
Defendant Royal Caribbean Cruises. The Amended Complaint
alleges two causes of action: (I) negligence and (II)
negligent infliction of emotional distress. The claims relate
to the cancellation of a cruise aboard the Liberty of the
Seas cruise ship, which was scheduled to depart from the port
of Galveston, Texas on August 27, 2017. Plaintiffs, who had
all purchased tickets for the cruise, allege that Defendant
issued notices in the days leading up to the departure that
informed Plaintiffs that the cruise was still on schedule and
there would be no refund. The Plaintiffs contend that
Defendant's decision not to timely cancel the cruise
until the day it was set to sail, despite the impending
landfall of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas area,
along with the notices, forced the would- be passengers to
travel to Houston and therefore spend time in post-hurricane
conditions. Plaintiffs assert that as a result of
Defendant's negligence, they were trapped in Houston,
Texas in post-hurricane conditions and suffered physical and
emotional damage. As to the injuries, the Amended Complaint
contains a long list of grievous injuries ranging from bodily
harm to the loss of enjoyment of life.
Court granted the first Motion to Dismiss and dismissed the
Original Complaint because of the absence of allegations
identifying the particular injuries that each Plaintiff
supposedly suffered. The Court instructed the Plaintiffs to
specify each Plaintiffs injury, however, the Amended
Complaint still fails to do so.
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.
hearing on the Motion to Dismiss the Original Complaint, this
Court explained to the parties that grouping all of the
Plaintiffs and then using an extensive list of injuries,
without indicating which of the individuals suffered which
harms, was insufficient to state a claim for negligence. In
this Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint, Defendant
contends that the negligence claim is still insufficient,
because none of the Plaintiffs identify any of the specific
injuries that they supposedly suffered or how any of their
injuries were caused. In response, Plaintiffs assert that the
Amended Complaint properly alleges a negligence claim because
it separates and indicates each Plaintiffs injury and
provides Defendant with adequate notice of the claim. To
state a negligence claim, Plaintiffs must allege that
Defendant had a duty of care, Defendant breached that duty,
that such breach was the actual and proximate cause of
Plaintiffs' injuries, and that the Plaintiffs suffered
damages. See Chaparro v. Carnival Corp., 693 F.3d
1333, 1336 (11th Cir. 2012). The Court holds that the
Plaintiffs have failed to allege a negligence claim.
Amended Complaint is unclear as to what specific injury each
Plaintiff suffered as a result of Defendant's negligence.
The Amended Complaint's allegations are identical to the
allegations in the original complaint, except for the
paragraphs that give details as to each Plaintiff. These
paragraphs are Plaintiff-specific and identify when each
Plaintiff allegedly travelled to the Houston area, the number
of days they were subjected to post-hurricane conditions, the
out of, pocket expenses that they incurred, and how and when
they received information directly from Defendant indicating
that all passengers were required to travel to the port for
departure or their pre-paid cruise fare would be forfeited.
regard to their injuries, not one Plaintiff identifies any
specific personal injury that they suffered, nor what exactly
caused their injuries. Plaintiffs only allege that they
"suffered physical and emotional damage."
Furthermore, just like the Original Complaint, the Amended
Complaint contains the same extensive list of injuries the
Plaintiffs supposedly sustained; the list does not indicate
which Plaintiff supposedly suffered which injury and what
caused each injury. The list only indicates that the injuries
were caused "as a result of the negligence of RCCL
(Defendant)." The Amended Complaint is not sufficient to
provide notice to Defendant of Plaintiffs' claim for
negligence, and the factual basis upon which the claim is
The Allegations are Conclusory
Plaintiffs need not set forth detailed factual allegations,
they must allege sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.
Formulaic recitations of the elements of a claim and legal
conclusions without adequate factual support are entitled to
no assumption of truth. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Mamani v. Berzain, 654 F.3d 1148, 1153 (1 lth Cir.
2011). Plaintiffs assert little more than mere labels and
conclusions while reciting the elements of negligence. The
Complaint states that "as a result of the negligence of
RCCL, Plaintiffs were injured," and each Plaintiff
generically states that they "suffered physical and
emotional damage." The conclusory allegations in the
Amended Complaint are insufficient and do not explain how
Plaintiffs were damaged nor what caused the damage. The
allegations also make it impossible for the Defendant to
formulate an answer.
Plaintiffs Fail ...