United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant American
Airlines' (“American Airlines” or
“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss, (the
“Motion”), ECF No. . The Court has reviewed
the Motion, the opposing and supporting submissions, the
record and applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised.
For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion is
about April 9, 2019, Plaintiff alleges she purchased a
business-class ticket from Miami, Florida to Los Angeles,
California. ECF No. , at ¶ 1. Plaintiff is a pregnant
woman who allegedly “suffers from severe
anxiety.” Id. That same month, Plaintiff
claims that a “medically necessary comfort animal,
” a dog-named “Simba” was added to
reservation. Id. Plaintiff alleges she called
American Airlines on two separate occasions to confirm that
Simba could fly in business class because he was allegedly an
“emotional support animal.” Id. at
day of her flight, Plaintiff alleges that she was flying with
her husband, Menachem Mendel Gross and her
grandfather. Id. at ¶ 2. At some point
during the flight, a flight attendant for American Airlines
named “Regina, ” (herein referred to as the
“Flight Attendant” or “Regina”)
noticed Simba and allegedly “[screamed] loudly that the
dog [was] not allowed in the cabin, ” because it was an
“FAA violation.” Id. at ¶ 4. The
Flight Attendant then informed Plaintiff that she would be
filing an FAA Complaint. Id. at ¶ 5. Plaintiff
claims that the Flight Attendant yelled at Plaintiff and her
husband the “whole trip.” Id. at ¶
the flight, the Flight Attendant took a picture of the kennel
and Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 6. At some point during
the flight, Plaintiff was allegedly “downgraded,
” and moved to a different seat. Id. at ¶
6. Plaintiff alleges she notified the Flight Attendant that
she had “severe anxiety, ” however, the Flight
Attendant stated that she “[did] not care.”
Id. at ¶ 7. The Flight Attendant also indicated
that everything she was doing was ordered by the captain.
the duration of the flight, Plaintiff alleges that other
American Airlines flight attendants “kept walking over to
Plaintiff and apologizing” to her. Id. at
¶ 9. Plaintiff claims that the other flight attendants
also called Regina a “sour apple” and that
animals being in the aircraft cabin was a “known issue
for her.” Id.
allegedly informing the Plaintiff that having an emotional
support animal was against FAA regulations, she told
Plaintiff she would be “cuffed” upon the
plane's landing. Id. at ¶ 18. The Flight
Attendant also told Plaintiff that Simba would need to be
placed in an aircraft bathroom for the last hour of the
flight. Id. While the dog was in its kennel,
Plaintiff claims the Flight Attendant took the kennel and
attempted to put it into an aircraft bathroom. Id.
at ¶ 10. Plaintiff alleges that while doing so, the
Flight Attendant started “slamming” the kennel
with the bathroom door. Id. Plaintiff claims she
then yelled, “[w]hat are you doing to my dog?”
the plane landed, Plaintiff was allegedly escorted off the
plane by police. Id. at ¶ 11. As
Plaintiff's husband was exiting the airplane, Plaintiff
alleges that the captain rushed out and yelled
“Don't bring that thing sic [onto] my
plane! You see the belly of the plane, that's where he
belongs. You see his belly, he belongs in the belly of the
plane. Dogs should not be allowed on the plane.”
Id. at ¶ 24.
next claims her husband met with a representative from
American Airlines who informed him that the airline had made
a “mistake by letting a kennel that big on the
plane.” Id. at ¶ 12. The American
Airlines representative also allegedly stated that Plaintiff
“should not have been treated that way.”
Id. Plaintiff claims that the police ultimately
concluded that the matter was a “private” issue
and that no criminal violation had occurred. Id. at
claims she is a “nervous wreck, ” is severely
distraught, and that her anxiety has increased following the
incident. Id. at ¶ 26. Plaintiff claims she
still has not recovered from her mental pain and anguish.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that as a direct and proximate
result of American Airlines' failure to accommodate
Plaintiff, Plaintiff sustained serious injuries and damages
including, but not limited to, loss of ability to enjoy life,
mental disability, past and future medical expenses, and
other mental pain and damages. Id. at ¶ 27.
Plaintiff asserts two causes of action against American
Airlines, a claim for negligence and a claim for breach of
relates to Plaintiff's negligence claim, she claims that
as a common carrier, American Airlines owed a duty to its
passengers and “in particular to Plaintiff, to provide
carriage with a degree of care necessary to accommodate
Plaintiff if she makes a reasonable request.”
Id. at ¶ 30. Plaintiff further alleges that
American Airlines is duty bound to “exercise the
requisite degree of care to prevent injury of any kind, and
to maintain its aircraft in a safe condition.”
Id. at ¶ 31. Plaintiff claims that American
Airlines not only failed to take all necessary measures to
avoid the subject accident, but actually
“exacerbated” the situation. Id. at
¶ 31. Thus, Plaintiff alleges that American Airlines
failed to take all necessary measures to avoid the incident
alleged and breached its duty of care. Id. at ¶
33. Plaintiff claims that she has “endured, and will
continue to endure, great pain, suffering, inconvenience,
embarrassment, mental anguish and emotional and psychological
trauma” as a result of the incident. Id. at
¶ 34. Plaintiff also claims that she “has  and
will be required to expend large sums of money for medical
treatment and care, rehabilitation and therapeutic treatment,
and other services.” Id. at ¶ 35.
Plaintiff alleges as a direct and proximate result of
American Airlines' failure to accommodate Plaintiff, she
has sustained injuries and damages including, but not limited
to, a “loss of mobility, loss of ability to enjoy life,
disability, past and future medical expenses, and other
injuries and damages.” Id. at ¶ 36.
her breach of contract claim, Plaintiff claims that American
Airlines has a Carrier Agreement, which can be found at the
(the “Carrier Agreement”). Id. at
¶¶ 37-38. Plaintiff claims that the Carrier
Agreement concerns the requirements for flying with service
and emotional support animals. Id. at ¶ 39.
Plaintiff claims that her dog met all of the requirements
outlined in the Carrier Agreement. Id. at ¶ 41.
Plaintiff claims American Airlines breached the Carrier
Agreement by removing the dog from her possession and placing
the dog in the aircraft bathroom. Id. at ¶ 44.
In addition to the emotional distress allegedly experienced
by Plaintiff due to Defendant's alleged breach of the
Carrier Agreement, she claims that her kennel was damaged,
and her dog Simba was “traumatized” by the event.
Id. at ¶ 46.
has now moved to dismiss both counts, arguing that each fails
to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). ECF No. .
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a motion to
dismiss is proper when there is a “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A pleading in a civil action 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).
To satisfy the Rule 8 pleading requirements, a complaint must
provide the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.
Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512
(2002). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain factual allegations which are “enough to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While it “does
not need detailed factual allegations, ” a complaint
requires “more than labels and conclusions” and
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Id.; see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that the
Rule 8(a)(2) pleading standard “demands more than an
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on “naked
assertion[s] devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. ...