United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
the Court for disposition is Defendant State Farm Insurance
Company's (“State Farm” or
“Defendant”), motion to dismiss Count II of
Plaintiff Robert Hughes's (“Hughes” or
“Plaintiff”) complaint, which alleges insurance
bad faith. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for
disposition. For the reasons that follow, we will deny the
alleges serious and permanent physical and mental injuries as
a result of an unknown and unidentified tortfeasor, crossing
into Plaintiff's lane of travel, causing Plaintiff to
swerve out of the way, leaving the roadway, and striking a
telephone pole. (Doc. 1, Not. of Removal, Ex. A, Compl.
(hereinafter “Compl.”) ¶ 5). At the time of
the accident, Plaintiff alleges that he was insured under a
policy with the Defendant, providing uninsured motorist
coverage in the aggregate amount of $200, 000.00. (Compl.
¶ 14, 15). Plaintiff alleges that he presented a claim
for uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage, as well
as all pertinent medical records and documents in support of
his UM claim to Defendant. (Id. ¶ 17). When
Defendant allegedly failed to provide Plaintiff with a
reasonable settlement offer, Plaintiff initiated this suit in
the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County on October 4,
2016. (Id. ¶ 19; Doc. 1, Not. of Removal). On
November 4, 2016, Defendant removed the action to this Court
on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1, Not. of
Removal). On November 11, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to
dismiss Count II of Plaintiff's two Count complaint.
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to the diversity jurisdiction
statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The Plaintiff is domiciled in
and resides in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶1).
Defendant is an Illinois corporation with a principal place
of business in Bloomington, Illinois. (Doc. 1, Not. of
Removal ¶12-14). The amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000. (Id. ¶ 15). Because we are sitting in
diversity, the substantive law of Pennsylvania applies to the
instant case. Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d 154,
158 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing Erie R.R. v. Tompkins,
304 U.S. 64, 78 (1938)).
Standard of Review
files the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
In considering a motion to dismiss Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must accept all allegations in the complaint as true, and
view all factual disputes in favor of the plaintiff.
Pinker v. Roche Holdings, Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 368
(3d Cir. 2002). A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) allows the
defendant to raise the defense that the plaintiff fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
provides that a pleading must set forth a claim for relief,
which contains a short and plain statement of the claim,
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. The complaint
must provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim.
See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). The issue in a motion to dismiss is whether the
plaintiff should be entitled to offer evidence to support the
claim, not whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail.
See Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224,
232 (3d Cir. 2008) (the Rule 8 pleading standard
“simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the
necessary element”); Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d
63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996).
onus is on the plaintiff to provide a well-drafted complaint
that alleges factual support for its claims. “While a
complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does
not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's
obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his
‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 (alteration in original and internal
citations omitted). The court need not accept unsupported
inferences, Cal. Pub. Employees Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb
Corp., 394 F.3d 126, 143 (3d Cir. 2004), nor legal
conclusions cast as factual allegations, Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556. Legal conclusions without factual support
are not entitled to the assumption of truth. See Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-679 (2009)
(“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not” satisfy the requirements of Rule 8).
the court winnows the conclusory allegations from those
allegations supported by fact, which it accepts as true, the
court must engage in a common sense review of the claim to
determine whether it is plausible. This is a context-specific
task, for which the court should be guided by its judicial
experience. The court must dismiss the complaint if it fails
to allege enough facts “to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
677 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A
“claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677.
moves to dismiss the bad faith count of Plaintiff's
complaint on the basis that it merely makes
“conclusory” allegations that provide
insufficient factual averments to support a bad faith claim.
Count II of Plaintiff's complaint asserts a statutory bad
faith claim against Defendant, alleging, among other things,
that: (1) Defendant provided an unreasonable settlement
offer; (2) Defendant failed to pay benefits to Plaintiff when
it should have paid; (3) Defendant ignored correspondence and
settlement demands/offers; and (4) Defendant refused to
provide justification of how it calculated its settlement
offer to Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶¶ 18-20). In Paragraph
43(a) - (zz), Plaintiff further asserts Defendant's
alleged bad faith conduct and actions. (Id. ¶
bad faith statute provides:
In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court
finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the
insured, the court ...