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City of Syracuse v. Loomis Armored Us

January 11, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mae A. D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge:



On June 8, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court, Onondaga County, alleging causes of action for breach of contract and negligence. On July 1, 2011, Defendant removed the action to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446, asserting that the Court possesses jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) by virtue of the fact that complete diversity exists between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

On July 8, 2011, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that the complaint is time barred and that it fails to state any prima facie claims for relief. Thereafter, on July 21, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the action back to state court. See Dkt. No. 5. In a December 15, 2011 Memorandum-Decision and Order, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion to remand. See Dkt. No. 16. In a letter dated January 4, 2011, Plaintiff informed the Court that it does not intend to oppose Defendant's motion to dismiss. See Dkt. No. 17.

Currently before the Court is Defendant's unopposed motion to dismiss.


Plaintiff is a municipal corporation duly organized under the laws of the State of New York, with its principal place of business located at City Hall, 233 East Washington Street, Syracuse, New York 13202. See Dkt. No. 1-3 at ¶ 1. Defendant is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Texas, with its principal place of business located at 2500 City West Boulevard, Suite 900, Houston, Texas 77042. See id. at ¶ 2.

In or about February of 1995, Plaintiff contracted with Armored Motor Service of America, Inc. ("AMSA") for the collection of money from Plaintiff's single space parking meters located throughout the City of Syracuse.*fn1 See id. at ¶ 6. Plaintiff contracted with AMSA again in 2000 for the same services. See id. at ¶ 7. "Sometime in 2003, AMSA merged with and/or was bought by [Defendant] and [Defendant] took over responsibility for collecting [Plaintiff's] parking meter money." See id. at ¶ 8. According to the complaint, when Defendant and AMSA merged, Defendant "assumed all of AMSA's liabilities under the aforementioned meter collection contracts with [Plaintiff]." See id. at ¶ 9. Plaintiff claims that Defendant retained the majority of AMSA's employees after this agreement. See id. at ¶ 10.

Eventually, Defendant submitted additional bids to handle Plaintiff's parking meter collection work in 2004, 2006 and 2010, and was awarded contracts with Plaintiff for each of those bids. See id. at ¶ 12.

From 1998 through 2010, Plaintiff claims that Sean McGuigan, first AMSA's and then Defendant's employee, stole coins from Plaintiff's parking meters with the assistance of a third party, Ronald Mancuso. See id. at ¶ 15. Plaintiff claims that Mr. McGuigan was Defendant's only or primary coin collector assigned to collect from its meters during the relevant time period. See id. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff alleges that it lost approximately $2,900,000 in revenue as a result of Mr. McGuigan's theft. See id. at ¶¶ 33, 44. Beginning in 2005, Plaintiff began phasing out the individual parking meters and replaced them with computerized parking stations, which allowed Plaintiff to track the exact amount of money deposited by a customer in the parking station at any given time. See id. at ¶¶ 34, 36. Plaintiff noticed that, as a result of phasing out the individual meters, revenues from its parking meters began to increase in 2006. See id. at ¶ 37. Thereafter, in February of 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation informed Plaintiff that Mr. McGuigan and Mr. Mancuso had stolen money from its parking meters. See id. at ¶ 38.

Plaintiff commenced this action on June 8, 2011 in New York State Supreme Court, Onondaga County. In its complaint, Plaintiff asserts seven causes of action against Defendant. These causes of action include (1) breach of contract (pertaining to Defendant's purported contractual liability for the loss or theft of the coins); (2) breach of contract (pertaining to Defendant's contractual liability for "failing to safeguard the key used to open the coin collection cart as required by the contract"); (3) negligence (pertaining to Defendant's failure to "implement and/or impose reasonable safeguards to protect the money"); (4) negligence (pertaining to Defendant's failure to "use reasonable care in collecting, safekeeping, and/or delivering plaintiff's money"); (5) negligence (pertaining to Defendant's failure "to properly supervise McGuigan"); (6) negligence (pertaining to Defendant's "negligent retention of McGuigan"); and (7) negligence (pertaining to Defendant's "negligent entrustment" of the collection cart key to Mr. McGuigan). See id. at ¶¶ 39-78.


A. Standard of review

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the party's claim for relief. See Patane v. Clark, 508 F.3d 106, 111-12 (2d Cir. 2007). In considering the legal sufficiency, a court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the pleading and draw all reasonable inferences in the pleader's favor. See ATSI Commc'ns, Inc. v. Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). This presumption of truth, however, does not extend to legal conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009) (citation omitted). Although a court's review of a motion to dismiss is generally limited to the facts presented in the pleading, the court may consider documents that are "integral" to that pleading, even if they are neither physically attached to, nor incorporated by reference into, the pleading. See Mangiafico v. Blumenthal, 471 F.3d 391, 398 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 152-53 (2d Cir. 2002)).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a party need only plead "a short and plain statement of the claim," see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), with sufficient factual "heft to 'sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to relief[,]'" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007) (quotation omitted). Under this standard, the pleading's "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative level," see id. at 555 (citation omitted), and present claims that are "plausible on [their] face," id. at 570. "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of "entitlement to relief."'" Id. (quoting [Twombly, 550 U.S.] at 557, 127 S. Ct. 1955). Ultimately, "when the allegations ...

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