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Thomas Folgia, et al v. Red Roof Inns

January 17, 2013

THOMAS FOLGIA, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RED ROOF INNS, INC., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Slomsky, J.

OPINION

I.INTRODUCTION

The Pennsylvania Uniform Statute of Limitations on Foreign Claims Act, commonly referred to as the "borrowing statute," provides as follows: "The period of limitation applicable to a claim accruing outside this Commonwealth shall be either that provided or prescribed by the law of the place where the claim accrued or by the law of this Commonwealth, whichever first bars the claim." 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5521(b).

The borrowing statute applies to the case before this Court in which a party was injured in an accident that occurred outside of Pennsylvania. On June 1, 2008, Plaintiff Thomas Folgia ("Plaintiff") was injured in a hotel room located in Miami, Florida. It was owned and operated by Defendant Red Roof Inns, Inc. ("Red Roof Inns").*fn1 On May 24, 2012, Plaintiff and his wife, Bonnie Folgia (collectively "Plaintiffs"), who are residents of Pennsylvania, chose to sue Red Roof Inns by filing a Complaint in this Court, rather than filing one in a Florida court. The statute of limitations in Florida for negligence is four years.*fn2 The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for negligence is two years.*fn3 The borrowing statute, which applies to Plaintiffs' out-of-state claim, requires that the shorter Pennsylvania statute of limitations applies here. Because the Complaint was filed nearly four years after the accident, the instant lawsuit would be barred.

Facing this seemingly insurmountable obstacle on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiffs request the Court transfer this case to the Southern District of Florida, another venue in which this case could have been filed initially. The Court, however, will not grant Plaintiffs' request because the Southern District of Florida would also be bound by the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. Therefore, for reasons that follow, the Court will grant Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and deny Plaintiffs' Motion for Change of Venue.

II.BACKGROUND

On June 1, 2008, Plaintiff Thomas Folgia was taking a shower in his hotel room at a Red Roof Inn in Miami, Florida. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) A defective condition in the shower caused him to "suddenly and unexpectedly" slip and fall, causing serious injuries. (Id.)

On May 24, 2012, three years, eleven months, and twenty-three days after his injury, Thomas Folgia and his wife, Bonnie Folgia, commenced an action in this Court by filing the Complaint against Red Roof Inns. (Doc. No. 1.) The Complaint alleges two claims: one for negligence brought by Thomas Folgia, and one for loss of consortium brought by Bonnie Folgia. (Id. at 3--6.)

On September 13, 2012, Red Roof Inns filed the Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 4.) On October 11, 2012, Plaintiffs filed the Motion for Change of Venue to the Southern District of Florida (Doc. No. 9) and a Response in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 10). On October 18, 2012, Red Roof Inns filed a Reply in Further Support of the Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 12.) On October 25, 2012, Red Roof Inns filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion for Change of Venue. (Doc. No. 14.) On November 13, 2012, the Court held a hearing on both Motions, and granted leave to both parties to file supplemental briefs. On November 27, 2012, Red Roof Inns filed a Supplemental Brief in Support of the Motion to Dismiss and in Opposition to the Motion for Change of Venue. (Doc. No. 17.) On December 3, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Supplemental Brief in Support of the Motion for Change of Venue and in Opposition of the Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 22.) The matter is now ripe for disposition.

III.STANDARD OF REVIEW

A.The Motion To Dismiss

The motion to dismiss standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). After Iqbal it is clear that "threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice" to defeat a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Id. at 1949; see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Applying the principles of Iqbal and Twombly, the Third Circuit in Santiago v. Warminster Township set forth a three-part analysis that a district court in this Circuit must conduct in evaluating whether allegations in a complaint survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010).

First, the court must "tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim." Second, the court should identify allegations that, "because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Finally, "where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief."

Santiago, 629 F.3d at 130 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679). "This means that our inquiry is normally broken into three parts: (1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the ...


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