L'TANYA GRAHAM, and MARLAINE S. WILSON, as next friend of GABRIEL NIEEM WILSON, Plaintiffs,
DELAWARE GOLF & TRAVEL, LLC, d/b/a a Limited Liability Company and GOLDCLUB PARTNERS, LTD., a Delaware Corporation, MICHAEL ROSE, PML CLUBS, INC. and MICRO MANAGEMENT GROUP, LLC, Defendants.
Submitted: August 23, 2016
Defendant Michael Rose's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to
Superior Court Civil Rule 12(b)(6).
Beverly L. Bove, Esquire, and Vincent J.C. Hendrick, II,
Esquire Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Plaintiffs
L'Tanya Graham and Marlaine S. Wilson.
Michael Rose, pro se Defendant.
L. Scott, Jr. Judge
Michael Rose, moves this Court to dismiss him as a Defendant
in the present action pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule
12(b)(6). For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss is GRANTED.
L'Tanya Graham is the mother of decedent William O. Brown
(hereinafter "Mr. Brown") and Plaintiff Marlaine S.
Wilson is the parent of Gabriel Nieem Wilson, Mr. Brown's
minor child respectively. On November 16, 2015, Mr. Brown was
an invitee at The Gold Club located at 1031 South Market
Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19802. Mr. Brown was shot in the
bathroom by an unknown patron. Plaintiffs filed a Complaint
with this Court on December 30, 2015. Plaintiffs plead
intentional, willful and wanton, reckless, and negligent
conduct against all Defendants, as well as a wrongful death
action against all Defendants, including Defendant, Michael
Rose (hereinafter "Mr. Rose"). Plaintiffs plead
that Kent Manor, Inc., a Delaware corporation owned the
property where the incident occurred, 1031 South Market
Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19802. Similarly, Defendant PML
Clubs, Inc. is the owner of Defendant Delaware Golf and
Travel, LLC, d/b/a The Gold Club. Consequently, Mr. Rose is
the owner and operator of Kent Manor, Inc. and Defendant, PML
Clubs Inc. In March 2016 this Court entered a Final Abatement
Order and The Gold Club was closed.
test for sufficiency of a complaint challenged by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is whether a plaintiff may recover
under any reasonably conceivable set of circumstances
susceptible of proof under the complaint. In making its
determination, the Court must accept all well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable
factual inferences in favor of the non-moving
party. The complaint must be without merit as a
matter of fact or law to be dismissed. Therefore, if the
plaintiff can recover under any conceivable set of
circumstances susceptible of proof under the complaint, the
motion to dismiss will not be granted.
Michael Rose contends that a Motion to Dismiss is proper
because Plaintiffs seek to pierce the corporate veil and hold
Mr. Rose individually liable for the wrongful death of Mr.
Brown. Mr. Rose argues that Plaintiffs have not plead facts
to demonstrate that he was present at the time of the
incident or participated in the events which caused Mr.
Brown's death. Plaintiffs seem to argue that Mr. Rose is
liable for the wrongful death of Mr. Brown under two
theories. First, Plaintiffs contend that Mr. Rose himself
acted willfully, recklessly, and intentionally because at the
time of Mr. Brown's death he operated illegal activities
through his business PML Clubs, Inc. Second, Plaintiffs argue
that Mr. Rose is liable under the theory that Mr. Rose
willfully, recklessly, and intentionally failed to train,
supervise and monitor The Gold Club staff and premises, fully
aware of the unremitting criminal activity and previous
injured patrons prior to Mr. Brown's death.
Rose's Motion to Dismiss is proper. Plaintiffs failed to
plead facts in either their original Complaint or Amended
Complaint demonstrating that Mr. Rose participated in, or was
involved with, the incidents surrounding Mr. Brown's
death. Mr. Brown was shot by an unknown invitee in the
bathroom of The Gold Club, and even accepting all
well-pleaded allegations in the Complaint as true and drawing
all reasonable factual inferences in favor of the Plaintiffs,
no evidence exists demonstrating that Mr. Rose was a party
involved in this shooting. To address Plaintiffs' second
argument, as a matter of law this Court does not have
jurisdiction to pierce the corporate veil of Defendant, PML
Clubs, Inc. to hold Mr. Rose personally liable for his
alleged tortious conduct. Under Delaware Law, "[t]he
personal participation doctrine stands for the idea that, in
certain situations, an officer in a corporation can be held
liable for his own wrongful acts." Thus, a court may
impose liability on "corporate officers for torts which
they 'commit, participate in, or inspire, even though the
acts are performed in the name of the
corporation.'" Furthermore, "individual liability
attaches only where an officer 'directed, ordered,
ratified, approved, or consented to' the tortious act in
question." However, "only the Chancery Court may