Davis v. Boston Scientific Corporation
ORDER granting 7 Defendant Boston Scientific's Motion to Dismiss. The Complaint 2 is DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff Felicia Davis may file, on or before January 23, 2018, an amended complaint that remedies the deficiency identified in this Order. Failure to file a timely amended pleading will result in the closing of this case without further notice. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 1/9/2018. (LMF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
Case No: 2:17-cv-682-FtM-38CM
OPINION AND ORDER1
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Boston Scientific Corporation’s
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 7) and Plaintiff Felicia Davis’ opposition thereto (Doc. 17). As
explained below, the Court will dismiss without prejudice the Complaint as a shotgun
This is a product liability suit. Eight years ago, Boston Scientific’s Greenfield Vena
Cava Filter was implanted in Davis to treat her pulmonary embolism. About six years
later, she began to complain about pain and discomfort in her chest. This led to two
hospitalizations in less than two years. It is Davis’ position that the implant has caused
her substantial injuries and health complications. She thus filed this suit in Florida state
court, alleging strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, consumer fraud, fraudulent
misrepresentation and concealment, and negligent misrepresentation. (Doc. 2). Boston
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Scientific timely removed the case to this Court (Doc. 1) and moved to dismiss the
Complaint for, among other things, being a shotgun pleading (Doc. 7).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 10 provide the minimum requirements for
pleadings. Rule 8(a)(2) requires a complaint to contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Rule 10(b)
further provides that “[a] party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs,
each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b).
A problem arises when a plaintiff fails to follow the rules. One such problem is a “shotgun
pleading.” A common type of shotgun complaint is a pleading “containing multiple counts
where each count adopts the allegations of all preceding counts, causing each successive
count to carry all that came before and the last count to be a combination of the entire
complaint.” Weiland v. Palm Beach Cnty. Sherriff’s Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1322 (11th
“Courts in the Eleventh Circuit have little tolerance for shotgun pleadings. See
Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, No. 16-15276, 2018 WL 268849, at *2 (11th Cir. Jan. 3,
2018) (citations omitted). This is because, among other things, “[t]hey waste scarce
judicial resources, ‘inexorably broaden the scope of discovery,’ ‘wreak havoc on
appellate court dockets,’ and ‘undermine the public’s respect for the courts.’” Id. (citation
omitted); see also Weiland, 792 F.3d at 1323 (stating [s]hotgun pleadings “in one way or
another, [fail] to give the defendants adequate notice of the claims against them and the
grounds upon which each claim rests” (footnoted omitted)). Consequently, when faced
with a shotgun pleading, a district court should require the plaintiff to file an amended
complaint rather than allow the case to proceed to trial. See Paylor v. Hartford Fire Ins.
Co., 748 F.3d 1117, 1127-28 (11th Cir. 2014) (criticizing the district court for not policing
Here, the Complaint is a typical shotgun pleading. Paragraphs 19 through 40 set
out general factual allegations, while paragraphs 41 through 58 are “Plaintiff Specific
Factual Allegations.” (Doc. 2 at ¶¶ 19-58). Paragraphs 71 through 223 are divided into
twelve counts, eleven of which Davis “repeats, reiterates, and re-alleges each and every
allegation contained” in the Complaint. (Doc. 2 at ¶¶ 71, 82, 97, 103, 130, 147, 158, 166,
184, 204, 220). This is impermissible under the pleading requirements. See Kendall v.
Boston Scientific Corp., No. 6:17-cv-1888-Orl-37GJK, 2017 WL 6042020, at *2 (M.D. Fla.
Dec. 6, 2017). Davis thus must file an amended complaint.
Accordingly, it is now ORDERED:
(1) Defendant Boston Scientific’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 7) is GRANTED.
(2) The Complaint (Doc. 2) is DISMISSED without prejudice.
(3) Plaintiff Felicia Davis may file, on or before January 23, 2018, an amended
complaint that remedies the deficiency identified in this Order. Failure to file
a timely amended pleading will result in the closing of this case without
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 9th day of January 2018.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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