Court Discusses Federal Pleading Standards in a Truck Accident Case in Florida

Collisions involving tractor-trailers typically cause significant injuries, and people hurt in such accidents will often pursue damages from both the truck driver and the company that employed the driver in a civil lawsuit. Even if it appears that a trucking company’s or driver’s liability is clear, though, it is essential that any claims against them are properly pled; otherwise, a plaintiff’s claims may be rejected. This was established in a recent Florida ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to the vague and cursory manner in which they were pled. If you sustained losses in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is advisable to speak to a seasoned Florida truck accident attorney about your options.

The Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a collision with a commercial truck owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff sustained significant injuries and therefore filed a lawsuit against the defendants in state court. The defendant company moved the matter to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff had not pled facts sufficient to allow him to recover on his claims against the company. The plaintiff amended his complaint multiple times, and each time the defendant company filed a motion to dismiss asserting the same argument. The court then ruled on the matter, agreeing with the defendant and dismissing the plaintiff’s claims without leave to amend.

Federal Pleading Standards

Under the federal standards, a court faced with a motion to dismiss must assume that the factual assertions set forth in a complaint are true. Further, the court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. A plaintiff must still meet certain pleading requirements, however. Specifically, while the exact facts out of which the plaintiff’s alleged harm arose are not necessary, a complaint should nonetheless provide a defendant with adequate notice of the plaintiff’s claim and the circumstances out of which it arose.

Further, a complaint must set forth sufficient facts to establish a claim to relief that, on its face, is reasonable. A pleading will be deemed to set forth a facially conceivable claim for relief if it includes facts that will permit the court to draw a rational inference that the defendant is at fault for the misconduct alleged.

In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff failed to set forth the bare minimum facts needed to establish a claim for relief. Specifically, he did not assert facts that showed the defendant company owed the plaintiff a duty or breached any duty owed. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet with a Trusted Florida Attorney

When a commercial truck driver causes an accident, often both the driver and the driver’s employer will be liable for any harm sustained. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The trusted Florida attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. are proficient at recovering damages for harm caused by negligent drivers, and if you hire us, we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us through the form online or at 800-283-7442 to set up a conference.

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