Longhini v. Pine Haven Plaza Condominium Association, Inc. et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying 16 motion to dismiss. Signed by Judge John E. Steele on 10/10/2017. (RKR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
PINE HAVEN PLAZA CONDOMINIUM
ASSOCIATION, INC. and 10915
PINE HAVEN LLC,
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Pine Haven
Plaza Condominium Association, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #16)
filed on July 28, 2017 for failure to state a claim and lack of
Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition (Doc. #26) on
August 22, 2017.
For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is
On June 6, 2017, plaintiff Douglas Longhini (plaintiff or
Longhini) filed a Complaint against Pine Haven Plaza Condominium
Association, Inc. and 10915 Pine Haven, LLC 1 (Defendants), alleging
violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Defendant 10915 Pine Haven, LLC has not yet been served nor
appeared in this action.
disabled as defined by the ADA and confined to a wheelchair for
mobility purposes due to Cerebral Palsy.
(Id. at ¶ 4).
owns, operates, or leases property open to the public in Lee
(Id. at ¶ 5).
On March 4, 2017, Longhini visited the Pine Haven Shopping
Plaza to conduct business at a massage parlor and a barber shop.
(Id. ¶ 14).
He encountered architectural barriers that rendered
him unable to access common areas and certain tenant spaces at the
Specifically, Longhini alleges that he was
unable to access disabled parking spaces, paths of travel due to
excessive slopes and curb ramps, self-service areas which were
beyond his reach, and public restrooms.
(Id. at ¶¶ 24-25).
Longhini asserts that defendant has denied him full and equal
enjoyment of the goods and services offered by the businesses at
Pine Haven Plaza because of his disabilities and will be denied
and/or limited in the future unless the barriers to access found
at the premises are removed.
(Id. at ¶ 26).
Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1)
because plaintiff lacks standing, and failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
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The Court first addresses defendant’s argument that Longhini
lacks standing to bring this suit because he fails to allege where
he lives or that he is a frequent visitor to the area.
It is a
fundamental principal that federal-court jurisdiction is limited
to actual cases or controversies.
The “irreducible constitutional
minimum” of standing consists of three elements: plaintiff must
have (1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable
to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and
(3) that is likely
to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.
v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016).
“[A] plaintiff must
demonstrate standing separately for each form of relief sought.”
DaimlerChrystler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 352 (2006).
continuing threat of injury:
To seek injunctive relief, a plaintiff must show that he
is under threat of suffering “injury in fact” that is
concreate and particularized; the threat must be actual
and imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical; it must
be fairly traceable to the challenged action of the
defendant; and it must be likely that a favorable
judicial decision will prevent or redress the injury.
Friends of Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services
(TOC), Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 180-181, 120 S. Ct. 693, 145
L.Ed.2d 610 (2000).
In order to obtain injunctive
relief, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he suffers the
threat of an “‘injury in fact’” that is concrete and
particularized; the threat must be actual and imminent,
not conjectural or hypothetical; it must be fairly
traceable to the challenged action of the defendant; and
it must be likely that a favorable judicial decision
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will prevent or redress the injury.” Summers v. Earth
Island Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 493 (2000).
Summers v. Earth Island Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 493 (2009).
Houston v. Marod Supermarkets, Inc., 733 F.3d 1323, 1335-36 (11th
Cir. 2013); Shotz v. Cates, 256 F.3d 1077, 1081 (11th Cir. 2001);
Wooden v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. of Ga., 247 F.3d 1262,
1283 (11th Cir. 2001).
The party invoking federal jurisdiction
bears the burden of establishing these elements.
Ct. at 1547.
Spokeo, 136 S.
Where a case is at the pleading stage, the plaintiff
must “clearly . . . allege facts demonstrating” each element.
After considering all the material submitted by the parties
as to the factual challenge to Longhini’s standing, the Court
concludes that Longhini has sufficiently alleged that he suffered
an injury in fact, that there is a causal connection between the
injury and the alleged architectural barriers, and that it is
likely that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.
Plaintiff alleges that he encountered architectural barriers and
therefore was effectively denied access to defendant’s goods and
services and he intends to return to the shopping plaza in the
near future once the architectural barriers are removed.
standing as a “tester” to bring this suit.
v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 363 (1982).
Havens Realty Corp.
Court files establish that
Longhini has filed at least 60 federal lawsuits in the Middle
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District of Florida alleging discrimination under the ADA, at least
11 in the Fort Myers Division alone.
See Houston, 733 F.3d at
Therefore, there is little doubt that Longhini will make
his way into the Middle District of Florida on future occasions.
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for lack of standing is denied. 2
B. Failure to State a Claim
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), a Complaint must
contained a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
This obligation “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of elements of a cause of action will not
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
To survive a motion to dismiss, the factual
allegations must be “plausible” and “must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Edwards v. Prime, Inc., 602 F.3d 1276, 1291 (11th Cir. 2010).
This requires “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfullyharmed-me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667
plausibility when “the plaintiff pleads content that allows the
Defendant also argues that Longhini is not a “qualified
individual” under the ADA because he has not sufficiently alleged
that he is disabled.
This is without merit.
that he is wheelchair bound and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. (Id.
at ¶ 4).
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court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.”
In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all the plaintiff’s
factual allegations as true and take them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89
Similar to defendant’s argument regarding standing, defendant
argues that Longhini fails to state a claim because he has provided
no details as to his disability and he does not allege concrete
plans to return in the future.
As discussed above, the Court
wheelchair because he suffers from Cerebral Palsy and plans to
return to the shopping plaza in the future after the barriers have
(Id. at ¶ 4).
Thus, Longhini has stated a
plausible claim for relief under the ADA.
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #16) is DENIED.
DONE and ORDERED at Fort Myers, Florida, this
of October, 2017.
Counsel of Record
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