United States District Court, D. Maryland
CIRRUS DX, INC. Plaintiff,
CORRIDOR MEDICAL SERVICES, INC., d/b/a CORRIDOR MOBILE MEDICAL SERVICES Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
XINIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Cirrus DX, Inc.'s motion
for default judgment, ECF No. 8. Defendant Corridor Mobile
Medical Services has not responded and the time for doing so
has passed. See D. Md. Loc. R. 105.2. Pursuant to
Local Rule 105.6, a hearing is not necessary. For the
following reasons, Plaintiff's request for this Court to
enter default judgment is GRANTED, and the final damages
calculation is DEFERRED consistent with this opinion.
following facts are taken from the Complaint and accepted as
true. Cirrus DX, Inc. (“Cirrus”) is a medical
laboratory specializing in the development and manufacture of
diagnostic assays and molecular testing solutions used in
clinical pathology. ECF No. 1 ¶ 4. Corridor Mobile
Medical Services (“Corridor”) is a mobile imaging
and laboratory service provider that serves patients in
nursing homes, hospice centers, assisted living facilities,
and clinics. Id. ¶ 5.
entered into a Lab Services Agreement (the
“Agreement”) with Corridor effective February 15,
2018. ECF No. 1 ¶ 9; see also ECF No. 1-3.
Cirrus agreed to perform urinary tract infection tests on
samples provided by Corridor's patients and to report the
test results directly to Corridor. ECF No. 1 at ¶ 9;
see also ECF No. 1-3 at 2. According to the terms of
the Agreement, Corridor was responsible for properly
collecting, preparing and labeling the samples furnished to
Cirrus. Id. Corridor was also in charge of billing
Medicare for the services that Cirrus performed. ECF No. 1
¶ 9; see also ECF No. 1-3 at 3.
Agreement also specified that Corridor's failure to pay
amounts owed to Cirrus within 30 days of the payment due date
entitled Cirrus to terminate the Agreement and immediately
collect all accounts due, as well as to “avail itself
of any other remedy or remedies provided under law or in
equity.” ECF No. 1-3 ¶ 12. The Agreement also
provides for reimbursement of “any and all costs and
expenses reasonably incurred by [Cirrus] in exercising its
rights . . . including but not limited to reasonable
attorney's fees and legal expenses.” Id.
several months, Cirrus invoiced Corridor for services
rendered, but despite repeated demands, Corridor failed to
pay. ECF No. 1 ¶17. On August 16, 2018, Cirrus informed
Corridor in writing that Corridor was in default of its
obligations under the Agreement. Id. ¶ 18, ECF
No. 1-4. On August 31, 2018, Cirrus filed this breach of
contract action, seeking payment on six outstanding invoices
totaling $1, 828, 401.78, plus attorneys' fees and costs.
ECF No. 1 ¶ 26. On September 14, 2018, Cirrus served the
Complaint and Summons on Corridor. ECF No. 10. On October 18,
2018, Cirrus moved for default and default judgment. ECF Nos.
7, 8. The Clerk entered default on October 24, 2018. ECF No.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 55 governs defaults and default
judgments. Rule 55(a) provides that default must be entered
“[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative
relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and
that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). The court may then enter default judgment
at the plaintiff's request and with notice to the
defaulting party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2). Although courts
maintain “a strong policy that cases be decided on the
merits.” United States v. Schaffer Equip. Co.,
11 F.3d 450, 453 (4th Cir. 1993), the court may exercise its
discretion in granting default judgment when the
“adversary process has been halted because of an
essentially unresponsive party.” S.E.C. v.
Lawbaugh, 359 F.Supp.2d 418, 421 (D. Md. 2005).
considering the propriety of default judgment, the court
takes as true the well-pleaded factual allegations of the
complaint, other than those pertaining to damages. Ryan
v. Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780 (4th Cir.
2001); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(6) (“An
allegation - other than one relating to the amount of damages
- is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and the
allegation is not denied.”). The court applies the
pleading standards announced in Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), in the context of default
judgments. See, e.g., Balt. Line Handling Co. v.
Brophy, 771 F.Supp.2d 531, 544 (D. Md. 2011). A
complaint that avers bare legal conclusions or “naked
assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement, ”
is insufficient to award default judgment. Russell v.
Railey, No. DKC 08-2468, 2012 WL 1190972, at *3 (D. Md.
Apr. 9, 2012) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
See, e.g., Balt. Line Handling Co., 771 F.Supp.2d at
545 (“The record lacks any specific allegations of fact
that ‘show' why those conclusions are
complaint avers sufficient facts from which the court may
find liability, the court next turns to damages. See
Ryan, 253 F.3d at 780-81. Damages are circumscribed by
that which is requested in the complaint. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 54(c) (“A default judgment must not differ
in kind from, or exceed in amount, what is demanded in the
pleadings.”). The damages request must be supported by
evidence introduced either at a hearing or by affidavit or
other records. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(c);
Lawbaugh, 359 F.Supp.2d at 422. See, e.g.,
Monge v. Portofino Ristorante, 751 F.Supp.2d 789,
794-95 (D. Md. 2010).
the Complaint allegations as true, Cirrus has plausibly
averred that Corridor failed to pay on six months of invoices
for services rendered. A successful Maryland breach of
contract claim must establish that (1) the defendant owed the
plaintiff a contractual obligation; and (2) the defendant
materially breached that obligation. See RRC Ne., LLC v.
BAA Maryland, Inc., 413 Md. 638, 658 (2010). According
to the Complaint, Corridor voluntarily and competently
entered into a bilateral agreement with Cirrus. See
ECF No. 1-3 at 5. Cirrus ...