United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr. United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss or, in
the alternative, for a More Definite Statement, of Storm Team
Construction Inc., Jesse Wright, and Chad Simkins,
(“Defendants”). (ECF No. 5.) In his Complaint,
Adam Philip Hall (“Plaintiff”) has alleged eight
causes of action against Defendants: (1) failure to pay wages
under the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act; (2) violation
of the Fair Labor Standards Act; (3) breach of contract; (4)
breach of contract accompanied by fraud; (5) conspiracy; (6)
conversion; (7) quantum meruit; and (8) an accounting. (ECF
No. 1.) Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's Second,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth causes of action
against Defendant Storm Team in its corporate form.
Defendants also move to dismiss all claims against the
defendants Simkins and Wright in their individual capacity
or, in the alternative, Defendants move for a more definite
statement as to the factual basis of Plaintiff's claims
against Defendants Simkins and Wright. For the following
reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and denies Defendants'
Motion for a More Definite Statement as to the factual basis
of Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Simkins and
to the Complaint, Plaintiff Adam Phillip Hall
(“Plaintiff”) is a citizen and resident of the
County of Greenville, State of South Carolina. (ECF No. 1
¶ 1.) Defendant Storm Team Construction Inc.
(“Storm Team” or “Defendants”) is
incorporated in the State of Georgia. Id. at ¶
2. Defendant Chad Simkins (“Simkins”), a resident
of Florida, is the Owner/President and CEO of Storm Team and
Defendant Jesse Wright (“Wright”), a resident of
Florida, is a National Sales Manager for Storm Team.
Id. at ¶¶ 9, 10.
alleged that on or about February 18, 2015, he was hired as
project manager by Storm Team to canvass areas that have
suffered storm damage and obtain contracts for repairs from
homeowners. Id. at ¶ 15. Although Plaintiff was
paid solely on a commission basis and signed a contract with
Storm Team stating that he was an independent contractor,
Plaintiff alleges that he was required to follow
Defendants' instructions as to when, where and how to
perform his work while holding himself out to the public as a
project manager for Storm Team. Id. at ¶ 14.
Plaintiff's employment was terminated, he filed a
complaint on March 19, 2018, in the Court of Common Pleas,
County of Greenville, South Carolina. On the same day,
Defendants removed case to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446 based on diversity jurisdiction. Defendants filed
the Motion described above on March 20, 2018. This Court held
a hearing on Defendants' Motion on May 3, 2018.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim
plaintiff's complaint should set forth “a short and
plain statement. . . showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556)). In considering a motion
to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a
court “accepts all well-pled facts as true and
construes these facts in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff . . . .” Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v.
Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 255 (4th Cir.
2009). However, a court “‘need not accept the
[plaintiff's] legal conclusions drawn from the facts,
' nor need it ‘accept as true unwarranted
inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or
arguments.'” Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem'l
Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Kloth v. Microsoft Corp., 444 F.3d 312, 319 (4th
Cir. 2006)) (modification in original). A court should grant
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion if, “after accepting all
well-pleaded allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as
true and drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those
facts in the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that
the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.” Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir. 1999).
for a More Definite Statement
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule12(e), “[a] party
may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which
a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or
ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). “Rule 12(e) must
be read in conjunction with Rule 8.” Hodgson v.
Virginia Baptist Hospital, Inc., 482 F.2d 821, 822 (4th
Cir. 1973). Rule 8(a) only requires “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). As the Fourth Circuit
has noted, “Rule 12(e) allows a defendant to move for a
more definite statement if the complaint ‘is so vague
or ambiguous that [he] cannot reasonably be required to frame
a responsive pleading.'” Id. at 823.
Piercing the Corporate Veil Allegations as to Individual
first move to dismiss each of Plaintiff's eight causes of
action as to individual Defendants Simkins and Wright arguing
that Plaintiff's Complaint fails to sufficiently allege
facts to pierce the corporate veil. (ECF No. 5 at 3.) As an
initial matter, piercing the corporate veil is not itself a
cause of action, but instead is a means of imposing liability
on an underlying claim. Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc. v.
Venners, 165 F.3d 912 (4th Cir. 1998) (per curiam);
see also Thomas v. Peacock, 39 F.3d 493, 499 (4th
Cir. 1994) (overruled on other grounds by Peacock v.
Thomas, 516 U.S. 349\(1996)). A court may impose
personal liability on an individual for the acts of a
corporation as an equitable remedy. See Sturkie v.
Sifly, 280 S.C. 453, 313 S.E.2d 316 (S.C. Ct. App.
1984). In Sturkie, the Court of Appeals of South
Carolina set out a two-pronged test for courts to use in
determining whether corporate entities should be disregarded.
Id. at 318-19. The first part of the test, an
eight-factor analysis, looks to observance of ...