final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; David A. Haimes, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Vignaraj Munsami Pillay, N. Fort Myers, pro se.
J. Mishcon and Kevin M. Vannatta of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard
& Smith LLP, Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.
caveat emptor case, Appellant Vignaraj Pillay
appeals from the final order of dismissal with prejudice.
Pillay's third amended complaint alleged two counts of
gross negligence and three counts of breach of contract. We
affirm the dismissal, addressing Pillay's "gross
negligence" claims in this opinion.
2000, Pillay entered into a written storage unit rental
agreement with Appellee Public Storage. The rental agreement
required monthly payments. Soon after entering into the
rental agreement, Pillay moved to Maryland and remained there
until November 2015. During this time, Pillay alleges that he
used two rented units to store personal property valued in
excess of $100, 000. Pillay further alleges that he received
three separate phone calls from Public Storage between 2005
and 2012 informing him that his storage units had been
burglarized, with several items left outside of the unit.
returned to his units on December 7, 2015. He claims they
were in a state of disrepair, with pieces of the ceiling
having dropped onto his furniture and paintings. He also
noticed several "high value" items were either
missing or damaged. Pillay met with a new facility manager to
gather information on what caused the damage to his property.
The manager purportedly refused to cooperate with Pillay.
Nonetheless, Pillay entered into a new lease with Public
Storage and moved his items into a smaller unit just a few
February 23, 2018, Pillay filed suit against Public Storage.
The trial court dismissed the original complaint without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. The first and second
amended complaints met similar fates. Pillay then filed a
third amended complaint, which alleged two claims of gross
negligence, three claims of breach of contract, and one claim
of breach of the implied covenant of good
faith. Public Storage responded with a motion to
dismiss, which the trial court granted with prejudice. This
granting motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim are
reviewed de novo. Regis Ins. Co. v. Miami Mgmt.,
Inc., 902 So.2d 966, 968 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005).
claims for gross negligence boil down to an alleged failure
by Public Storage to safeguard his storage unit, as well as
an alleged failure to monitor the condition of the unit and
to make repairs when the unit became damaged.
Public Storage's Failure to Safeguard ...