Piper Jacob, Inc. v. Ohio Security Insurance Company
ORDER denying 6 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for More Definite Statement; directing Defendant to answer 3 the complaint no later than 12/16/2022; directing the parties to jointly file a case management report no later than 12/16/2022. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Corrigan on 11/18/2022. (RMV)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
PIPER JACOB, INC.,
Case No. 3:22-cv-583-TJC-PDB
OHIO SECURITY INSURANCE
This case is before the Court on Defendant Ohio Security Insurance
Company’s Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, Motion for More Definite
Statement (Doc. 6). Plaintiff Piper Jacob, Inc. has responded. (Doc. 14).
Piper Jacob alleges that it had an insurance contract with Ohio Security,
purchased before November 2018. (Doc. 3 ¶ 4). This policy covered Piper Jacob’s
commercial property against property damage. Id. In November 2018, Piper
Jacob’s property was damaged. Id. ¶ 5. Ohio Security refused to pay. Id.
¶¶ 12–13. Piper Jacob now sues for breach of contract. Id. ¶ 13.
Piper Jacob attaches two documents to its complaint: a claim denial letter
and the insurance contract. (Docs. 3-1–3-3). The denial letter says more about
the commercial property (signs manufactured for Piper Jacob’s client), the
circumstances of the property damage (ink separating from the signs), and the
nature of the loss (the client demanding replacement of the signs). (Doc. 3-1
at 2). The contract further indicates that Ohio Security covered Piper Jacob’s
“sign painting and lettering and installation” business and indicates applicable
exclusions and extensions. See (Doc. 3-2 at 19–36, 71–72).
Ohio Security moves to dismiss the complaint, or, alternatively for a more
definite statement. (Doc. 6). It argues that the complaint is threadbare, mostly
conclusory, and fails to identify the specific facts establishing the elements of
breach of contract. Id. at 4–8. Further, Ohio Security argues that the complaint
should specify the portions of the contract which are at issue, especially because
the complaint’s allegations might implicate multiple theories of coverage. Id. at
Dismissal for failure to state a claim is inappropriate if the allegations,
viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, “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)). A facially plausible claim need
only provide enough facts to “allow the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citation omitted).
Likewise, a motion for a more definite statement is appropriate only when a
pleading “is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” FED. R. CIV. P. 12(e). The Court finds that dismissal or repleading
are not necessary here.
Though the complaint is spartan, its attachments provide enough detail
to determine the nature of alleged insurance coverage, the property damage
involved, and provisions of the insurance contract which allegedly apply. See,
e.g., (Doc. 3-1 at 2–5); (Doc. 3-2 at 71–72); (Doc. 3-3 at 40). Taking the
attachments together with the complaint, Piper Jacob pleads facts sufficient to
allege the existence of a contract, a material breach of the contract, and
resulting damages. See Urogynecology Specialist of Fla. LLC v. Sentinel Ins.
Co, 489 F. Supp. 3d 1297, 1301 (M.D. Fla. 2020); Beck v. Lazard Freres & Co.,
175 F.3d 913, 914 (11th Cir. 1999); F.T.C. v. AbbVie Products LLC, 713 F.3d 54,
63 (11th Cir. 2013) (facts from exhibits attached to the complaint are treated as
part of the complaint and can override general and conclusory allegations in the
complaint). Thus, the Court does not find that the complaint is so vague as to
require dismissal or a more definite statement.
Accordingly, it is hereby
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, Motion for
More Definite Statement (Doc. 6) is DENIED.
Defendant shall answer the Complaint (Doc. 3) no later than
December 16, 2022.
The parties shall jointly file a Case Management Report consistent
with Local Rule 3.02 no later than December 16, 2022.
DONE AND ORDERED in Jacksonville, Florida the 18th day of
Counsel of record
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