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Anthony Stucchio and Victoria Stucchio v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company

April 4, 2012

ANTHONY STUCCHIO AND VICTORIA STUCCHIO
v.
ALLSTATE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norma L. Shapiro, J.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiffs Anthony Stucchio and Victoria Stucchio ("Stucchios") bring two actions against defendant Allstate Insurance Company ("Allstate") for breach of contract. In both actions, C.A. 11-7068 ("Stucchio I") and C.A. 12-20 ("Stucchio II"), the Stucchios allege Allstate failed to pay benefits under the Stucchio homeowners insurance policy.

The Stucchios originally brought both actions in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas; Stucchio I was filed on October 17, 2011, and Stucchio II was filed four days later. Allstate timely removed both actions to this court. The Stucchios move to remand Stucchio II to the Court of Common Pleas. See Stucchio II, paper no. 4. Allstate moves to consolidate Stucchio I & II. See Stucchio I, paper no. 6. The court will grant the motion to remand Stucchio II, deny the motion to consolidate Stucchio I & II, and stay proceedings in Stucchio I pending resolution of Stucchio II in the Court of Common Pleas.

I. Background

A. Stucchio I

The Stucchios reside at 24 Skyline Drive, Chalfont, Pennsylvania. Allstate, an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois, insured the Stucchio home.

On February 25, 2011, while the Stucchio insurance policy was in effect, a storm damaged the exterior of the Stucchio home and caused water to flow into the interior. The Stucchios estimated it would cost $81,950 to repair damage to the roof, chimney, exterior walls, porch, kitchen, living room, garage, and basement. The Stucchios demanded benefits under the insurance policy, and Allstate refused to pay.

The Stucchios sued Allstate in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas for "an amount in excess of $50,000.00" and attached the $81,950 estimate to their complaint. Allstate, citing diversity and an amount-in-controversy over $75,000, timely removed the action to federal court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332; Stucchio I, paper no. 1.

B. Stucchio II

On or about March 10, 2011, while the Stucchio insurance policy was in effect, a plumbing leak caused additional damage to the Stucchio kitchen. The Stucchios estimated it would cost $27,457 to repair this damage.

The Stucchios brought a second action against Allstate in the Court of Common Pleas, limited damages to less than $50,000,*fn1 and attached the $27,457 estimate to the complaint.

Allstate directed the following requests for admissions to the Stucchios:

1. The total actual damages, punitive damages, consequential damages, or any other damages set forth in Plaintiffs' Complaint, being sought in this suit do not exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000), exclusive of costs and interest.

2. The total actual damages, punitive damages, consequential damages, or any other damages set forth in Plaintiffs' Complaint, being sought in this suit do not exceed Seventy Five Thousand ...


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