Adinolfe, et al. v. United Technologies Corp., No. 12-16396 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Hundreds of property owners filed toxic tort suits against P&W, an aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer, for damages resulting from purported groundwater contamination. The district court granted P&W's motions for Lone Pine case management orders. The district court subsequently dismissed plaintiffs' second amended complaints with prejudice and plaintiffs appealed. The court concluded, as a general matter, that it is not legally appropriate for a district court to issue a Lone Pine order requiring factual support for the plaintiffs' claims before it has determined that those claims survive a motion to dismiss under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. Whatever the general propriety and/or utility of Lone Pine orders, they should not be used as (or become) the platforms for pseudo-summary judgment motions at a time when the case is not at issue and the parties have not engaged in reciprocal discovery. On the merits, the court held that the grounds for dismissal urged by P&W and relied upon the district court did not warrant dismissal of the second amended complaints. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.