Shazam Auto Glass, LLC, (Shazam) and its owner, Sean Martineau have filed a motion to dismiss its lawsuit against Geico Insurance Co.’s (Geico). Shazam and Martineau stated Geico’s complaint is “due to be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a cause of action.”
A Florida court judge granted an extension for the company and its owner to respond to Geico’s fraudulent scheme allegations against them. The insurance company is seeking to recover $340,000 in financial damages under the civil racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) statutes. However, both Shazam and Martineau responded to Geico’s complaint by filing a motion to dismiss Geico’s original complaint, which would dismiss the lawsuit. Shazam and Martineau stated the following reasons why the case should be dismissed:
1) It’s an impermissible “shotgun pleading”;
2) Article III standing is not adequately pled;
3) No adequate jurisdictional basis is pled for state law claims; and
4) The sole count of the complaint alleging federal question jurisdiction fails to state a cause of action.
The defendants (Shazam and Martineau) alleged Geico was at fault of shotgun pleading because it failed to meet specified requirements, as well as the complaint containing “irrelevant factual allegations.”
Some of the requirements include:
- Providing a short statement of the basis of the court’s jurisdiction, the plaintiff’s entitlement to and demand for relief; and
- Relevant facts should be segregated to each of their respective claims.
According to court documents, failing to comply with the previously mentioned rules may result in an impermissible “shotgun pleading,” wherein counts often contain irrelevant factual allegations.
“Shotgun pleadings invariably begin with a long list of general allegations, most of which are immaterial to most of the claims for relief,” a portion of the defendants’ response reads.
Article III Standing
The defendants are also claiming Geico’s complaint should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. They also claim the original complaint fails to sufficiently establish all elements for Article III standing for federal RICO, because it only alleges a collective, undifferentiated harm to all plaintiffs instead of a particularized and concrete harm to each.
“Geico’s complaint contains only one count invoking federal question jurisdiction: Count II. There are no allegations in the complaint relating to how each of the individual plaintiffs was harmed individually. Nor is there any indication on the spreadsheet attached to the complaint as to whether each individual plaintiff paid any amount to any defendant,” a portion of the defendants’ response reads.
No Adequate Jurisdictional Basis
“For its state law counts, Geico alleges both diversity jurisdiction and supplemental jurisdiction. Initially, if jurisdiction does not attach to the federal question count (which it does not for lack of standing and failure to state a claim), there remains no independent original federal jurisdiction to support the Court’s exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims against the defendants, except diversity,” a portion of the defendants’ response reads.
Failing to State a Cause for Action
When pleading a civil RICO lawsuit, the plaintiff (Geico) must prove a RICO violation; injury to its business or property; and a cause, according to court documents. Shazam and Martineau are alleging Geico has failed to prove a clear cause for action related to a RICO violation.
Currently Shazam and Martineau are awaiting the court’s decision on its filed motion to dismiss its lawsuit against Geico. The court has yet to release a date for further proceedings in the lawsuit.
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