MENDEZ-ARRIOLA v. WHITE-WILSON MEDICAL CENTER, P. A. et al
ORDER granting 25 Motion for More Definite Statement. Signed by District Judge M CASEY RODGERS on 1/21/10. (lcu)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA PENSACOLA DIVISION
DANAE MENDEZ-ARRIOLA, M.D. Plaintiff, v. W HITE WILSON MEDICAL CENTER PA, et al. Defendants _______________________________/ ORDER Plaintiff, Danae Mendez-Arriola, M.D., has sued White Wilson Medical Center, P.A.; W hite Wilson Properties Partnership; WW Real Estate, LLC; Douglas W. Rigby, M.D.; and Alan L. Gieseman for disability discrimination, sex discrimination and retaliation under federal and state law; and breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty under state law in connection with her removal as a Shareholder/Employee of White Wilson Medical Center, P.A. and as a Partner/Investor in White Wilson Properties Partnership.1 Presently before the court is the Defendants' motion for a more definite statement (doc. 25). Defendants' motion will be granted. Discussion A pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). If the claim "is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading," a party may move for a more definite statement. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). For the reasons given below, the Case No. 3:09cv495/MCR/EMT
1 According to the com p la in t, W h ite W ils o n Properties Partnership owned the real property on which the m e d ic a l center operated its business; W W Real Estate, LLC purchased the property from W h ite W ils o n P r o p e r tie s in 1997; at all tim e s pertinent to the com p la in t, Dr. Rigby was the President of the m e d ic a l center, a partner in W h ite W ils o n Properties, and a "Manager/Mem b e r " of W W Real Estate; Giesem a n was the Chief E x e c u tiv e Officer of the m e d ic a l center.
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According to the Defendants, Dr. Mendez's complaint is a "shotgun" pleading to which it cannot properly respond. A "shotgun" pleading is one in which "it is virtually impossible to know which allegations of fact are intended to support which claim(s) for relief." Anderson v. Dist. Bd. of Tr., 77 F.3d 364, 366-67 (11th Cir. 1996). The Eleventh Circuit has criticized "shotgun" pleadings on numerous occasions. See, e.g., Strategic Income Fund, L.L.C. v. Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Corp, 305 F.3d 1293, 1296 n.9 (11th Cir. 2002); Magluta v. Samples, 256 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2001); Anderson, 77 F.3d at 366. In Magluta, the court rejected the complaint as a "shotgun" pleading where each count incorporated by reference numerous paragraphs of general factual allegations, as well as the allegations of preceding counts. See Magluta, 256 F.3d at 1284. As the court explained, "the result is that each count is replete with factual allegations that could not possibly be material to that specific count, and  any allegations that are material are buried beneath innumerable pages of rambling irrelevancies." Id. In this case, similar to the complaint in Magluta, each of the eighteen counts of Dr. Mendez's complaint incorporates one hundred and six paragraphs of general allegations, many of which are plainly immaterial to that specific count.2 The Defendants' position is well taken. The court finds that a more definite statement will enable the Defendants to respond to Dr. Mendez's claims. Accordingly, the Defendants' Motion for a More Definite Statement (doc. 25) is GRANTED. DONE and ORDERED this 21st day of January, 2010.
M. Casey Rodgers
M. CASEY RODGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
T h e court notes that, unlike in Magluta, the counts in Dr. Mendez's com p la in t do not incorporate the allegations of all preceding counts. Nonetheless, the court finds that, even if the drafting and language of M e n d e z 's com p la in t is less egregious than that in som e other "shotgun" com p la in ts , it is enough to warrant a m o r e definite statem e n t. C a s e No: 3:09cv345/MCR/EMT
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