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Lakin v. Bloomin' Brands, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

March 19, 2018

Lakin et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Bloomin' Brands, Inc., et al., Defendants.

          AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING INPART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO STRIKE AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES OF GALLAGHER BASSET SERVICES [#47]

          Hon. Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge.

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses of Gallagher Basset Services. Dkt. No. 47. Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendants on September 20, 2017. Dkt. No. 1. On February 1, 2018, Defendant Gallagher Basset Services, Inc., filed an answer to the complaint asserting affirmative defenses. Dkt. No. 42. On February 14, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Strike Affirmative Defenses. Dkt. No. 47. Defendant responded to the Motion on February 28, 2018. Dkt. No. 48. Plaintiffs filed their reply on March 14, 2018. Dkt. No. 51.

         III. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) governs motions to strike. Under the rule, courts may strike “an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). The Sixth Circuit holds that striking a pleading is a “drastic remedy” that should only occur “when the pleading to be stricken has no possible relation to the controversy.” Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. U.S., 201 F.2d 819, 822 (6th Cir. 1953); see also Anderson v. U.S., 39 Fed.App'x 132, 135 (6th Cir. 2002); Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. v. Deutsche Solar GmbH, 116 F.Supp.3d 818, 823 (E.D. Mich. 2015).

         IV. Discussion

         Plaintiffs move to strike all of Defendant's affirmative defenses. This Court will strike affirmative defenses 1, 3, 12, and 13. These defenses are:

1. Plaintiffs' Complaint fails to state a claim against GBS upon which relief can be granted.
3. Discovery may disclose that Plaintiffs failed to join necessary one or more necessary parties responsible in whole or in part for Plaintiffs' alleged damages.
12. There is no privity of contract between Plaintiffs and GBS, and thus there can be no claim against GBS for breach of contract.
13. There was no enforceable contract between Plaintiffs and GBS. There was no bargained for exchange, no consideration, and no offer and acceptance.

Dkt. No. 42, pg. 6-8 (Pg. ID 559-61).

         On January 19, 2018, this Court ruled that Plaintiff's complaint against Gallagher was sufficient to survive Defendant's motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 31. Therefore, Plaintiff's complaint does state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendant also agreed and withdrew affirmative defense 1. Dkt. No. 48, pg. 15 (Pg. ID 635). Defendant also withdrew its affirmative defense 3. Id. The Court will also strike affirmative defenses 12 and 13. The complaint in this case does not involve a contract; it is a slip and fall case. Plaintiffs do not allege that there was a valid contract between themselves and Defendant. Therefore, affirmative defenses 12 and 13 are immaterial.

         In conclusion, the Court holds that affirmative defenses 1, 12, and 13 are immaterial to this case, and defendant voluntarily withdrew affirmative defense 3. ...


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