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Case 0:14-cv-61466-KMW

Document 93

Entered on FLSD Docket 09/22/2016

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT CO URT

SO UTHERN DISTRICT O F FLORIDA

Case No.:14-61466-CIV-W ILLIAM S

JANE DO E 1 and JANE DO E 2,

Plaintiffs,

VS.

THOMAS M ERENDA,and

FRANKLIN HARTLEY,

Defendants.

/

FINAQ DEFAULT JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF JANE DOE 2 8N; AQAINSTDEFENDANTS THOMAS MERENDA AND FRANKLYN HARTLEY

THIS M ATTER is before the Courtfollowing an evidentiary hearing on dam ages

held on February 3,2016. (DE 90). The Coud previously entered judgmentin favorof

Plaintiffs Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 on Iiability and against Defendants Thom as

Merenda and Franklin Hadley. (DE 82). On February 3,2016,the Courtheld a sealed

evidentiary hearing on damages where Plaintiffs each presented testimony. (DE 90).

Atthe hearing,the Courtrequired each Plaintiffto subm it a dam ages calculation and

evidence suppoding it. Following the hearing, the Coud also required Plaintiffs to

subm itIegalauthority supporting theirclaim s forcom pensatory and punitive dam ages.

(DE 91).Plaintiffs complied.(DE 92).

Forthe reasons setforthe below ,following a thorough review ofthe testim ony

and evidence presented at the sealed hearing and the supplem ental m aterials, the

Coud awards dam ages to PlaintiffJane Doe 2,and againstDefendants Franklin Hartley

and Thom as M erenda,as follows:

OnApril17,2015,Plaintiffsfiled theiramended complaint. (DE 54).

Case 0:14-cv-61466-KMW

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2. O n August 7, 2015, Defendant Thom as M erenda was served with a

summonsoftheamendedcomplaint.(DE 71).

3. O n August 12, 2015, Defendant Franklin Hadley was served with a

summonsoftheamendedcomplaint.(DE72).

4. O n Septem ber 29, 2015, the Clerk

of the Court for the United States

District Coud for the Southern District of Florida entered a default pursuant to Rule

55(a)ofthe FederalRules ofCivilProcedure againstDefendantsThomas Merenda and

Franklin Hadleyforfailure to appearorotherwise defend. (DE 76).

5. On October 6, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their motion for default judgment

againstDefendants Franklin Hartley and Thomas Merenda. (DE 79),

6,

By the defaults entered by the Defendants Franklin Hadley and Thom as

Merenda for failure to appear orotherwise defend,these Defendants adm itthe well-

plead allegations offactand Iiability alleged in the am ended com plaint. See Buchanan

v.Buchanan,820 F.2d 359,361 (11th Cir.1988)(holding that''the effectofa default

judgmentisthatthe defendant'

is concluded on those facts by the judgment,and is barred from contesting on appeal

admits

the plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations offact,

the factsthus established.'''(citing Nishimatsu Constr.Co.,Ltd.7.Houston Nat'lBank, 515 F.2d 1200,1206 (5thCir.1975))). On November3,2015,the Courtgranted defaultjudgmentas to Iiability forbattery(Count3),intentionalinfliction ofem otionaldistress (Count7),and 42 U.S.C.

j 1983 violations (Count 16) in favorof PlaintiffJane Doe 2 and against Defendant

Thomas Merenda. (DE 82). The Courtalso granted defaultjudgmentasto Iiability for battery (Count4),intentionalinfliction ofemotionaldistress (Count8),and 42 U.S.C.j

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1983 violations (Count 14)in favor of PlaintiffJane Doe 2 and against Defendant

Franklin Hartley.

8. On February 3,2016,pursuantto Rule 55(b)ofthe FederalRules ofCivil

Procedure,and in accordance with Eleventh Circuit precedent in S.E.C.e.Smyth,420

F.3d 1225,1231-32 (11th Cir.2005),the Courtheld a sealed evidentiary hearing where

Plaintiff Jane Doe 2 testified credibly about her traum a and its continuing effects.

PlaintiffJane Doe 2's testim ony was fudhersuppoded by hersubm ission ofadditional

evidence and briefing.

9. Based on the testim ony received atthe February 3,2016 hearing,Plaintiff

Jane Doe 2's estim ation offuture expenses for medical,psychological,and psychiatric

care,the Courtfinds adequate suppod for a dam age award in favor of PlaintiffJane

Doe 2.

10. Based on the well-pled allegations of the Am ended Com plaint and the

evidence presented atthe hearing,the Coud m akes the follow ing additionalfindings of

fact:

a. Franklin Hartley and Thom as M erenda com m itted wrongful and

intentionalacts on May 24,2012 when they acted in concertto abductand batter

PlaintiffJane Doe 2',

b. The acts by Defendants Franklin Hartley and Thom as M erenda

necessarily and proximatelycaused injuryto PlaintiffJane Doe 2',

c. Defendants Franklin Hadley and Thom as Merenda acted w ith

specific intentto cause injuryto PlaintiffJane Doe 2',

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d. The acts of Defendants Franklin Hadley and Thom as Merenda

were withoutjustcause orexcuse',and

e. The acts of Defendants Franklin Hadley and Thom as M erenda

were done with reckless orcallous indifference to the federally protected rights of

PlaintiffJane Doe 2.

Kawaauhau 7.Ge/ger,523 U.S.57 (1998),.Smith 7,Gade,461 U.S.30,56 (1983),.ln re

Kane,755 F.3d 1285,1293 (11th Cir.2014).

As to Counts 3,4,7,8,14,and 16,the Courtawards dam ages in favorof

Plaintiff,Jane Doe 2,and against Defendants,Thom as M erenda and Franklin Hartley,

jointlyandseverally,asfollows:

a. Future medicaland professionalcare:

$46,700,1

.

b. Com pensatory dam ages forpast

intangible,emotionalharms:

$750,000.,

c. Com pensatory dam ages forfuture

intangible,emotionalharms:

d. Totaling

$250,000*,

$1.046.700.00,

foraI1ofwhich sum Ietexecution issue forthw ith.

12. As to Count14,the Courtrenders a verdict in favorof Plaintiff,Jane Doe

2,in the amount of $303,076.15 as punitive damages against Defendant Franklin

Hartley individually.

1 Florida Iaw does not require thatfuture m edicaland professionaldam ages be

discounted to presentvalue',therefore,the Courtdeclines to discountthis figure here.

Brook v.United States,No.08-60314-CIV,2009 W L 1298303,at*4 (S.D.Fla.May 8, 2009)(finding that$'a presentvalue reduction is notrequired underFlorida Iaw and that (the court)did noterrin choosing to notapply such a reduction''in personalinjury case).

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13. As to Count 16,the Coud renders a verdictin favorofPlaintiff,Jane Doe

2, in the amount of $398,459.55 as punitive damages against Defendant Thomas

Merenda individually.

14. For the avoidance of doubt, the total am ount of dam ages awarded to

Plaintiff Jane Doe 2, including com pensatory dam ages, past and future m edical

expenses,and punitive dam ages,by this O rderis:

a. Future medicaland professionalcare

jointlyand severally againstDefendants

Hadley and Merenda:

$46,700.,

b. Com pensatory damages forpast intangible,emotionalharm s,

jointlyandseverallyagainst

Defendants Hadley and Merenda:

$750,000.,

c. Com pensatory dam ages forfuture

intangible,emotionalharms,jointly and

severally againstDefendants Hadley

and Merenda:

$250,000*,

d. Punitive dam ages againstDefendant

 

Hartley:

$303,076.15*,

e.

Punitive dam ages againstDefendant

Merenda:

$398.459.55*,

Totaling

$1.748.235.70,

foraIIofwhich sum Ietexecution issue forthw ith.

15. The Clerk of the Coud is directed to prom ptly prepare,sign,and enter

judgmentconsistentwith the foregoing. See Fed.R.Civ.P.58.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers in Miami-Dade County,Florida,thisix'f;/er

day ofSeptem ber,2016.

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Case 0:14-cv-61466-KMW

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Entered on FLSD Docket 09/22/2016

Copies furnished to:

Franklin Hadley 5645 CoralRidge Drive,#357 CoralSprings,FL 33076

Thom as Merenda 11731 NW 31stStreet Sunrise,FL 33323

KATHL

EN M .W ILLIAM S

UNITE STATES DISTRICT JUDG E

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