United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
case arises out of a car accident involving Wendy Riedi and
her son Cody Chidsey. Ms. Riedi and Mr. Chidsey, the
plaintiffs, filed a complaint against GEICO Casualty Company
after GEICO refused to pay them uninsured motorist
(“UIM”) benefits. GEICO filed a motion to dismiss
parts of the complaint. I will grant the motion to dismiss.
28, 2016, Cody Chidsey purchased a 2010 Dodge Challenger from
a car dealership in Walnutport, Pennsylvania. Before picking
up the car, Cody and his mother, Wendy Riedi, contacted GEICO
Casualty Company in an attempt to insure the Dodge
Challenger. A GEICO representative told Cody and his mother
that their insurance quote would be stored electronically.
The GEICO representative also told them to contact GEICO once
they obtained the VIN number for the new Dodge Challenger.
purchasing the Dodge Challenger, Cody and his mother (with
Cody driving) were travelling along Airport Road in East
Allen Township, Pennsylvania. When they came to the
intersection of Airport Road and West Main Boulevard, their
car was struck by another car. The car that struck them was
and his mother allege the accident was caused solely by the
negligence of the other driver who hit them. Both Cody and
his mother suffered injuries as a result of the accident. The
Dodge Challenger suffered property damage.
the accident, Cody and his mother notified GEICO of their
intention to pursue UIM benefits. They claim they fully
complied with all the terms and conditions required by the
GEICO insurance policy. Cody and his mother seek UIM benefits
and property damage benefits in the amount of the policy
limits. GEICO has refused to pay Cody or his mother UIM
benefits or property damage benefits.
and his mother initiated this action by filing a complaint
against GEICO in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia
County. Thereafter, GEICO removed the case to this Court
based upon diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. The
complaint sets forth several claims against GEICO: (i) breach
of contract for bodily injury and property damage; (ii) bad
faith pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. § 8371; (iii) breach of
contract for failure to procure insurance; and (iv)
negligence for failure to procure insurance.
Rule 12(b)(6), a defendant bears the burden of demonstrating
that the plaintiff has not stated a claim upon which relief
can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); see also Hedges v.
United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005). In
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544 (2007), the United States Supreme Court recognized that
“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.” Id. at 555. Subsequently, in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme
Court defined a two-pronged approach to a court's review
of a motion to dismiss. “First, the tenet that a court
must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a
complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Id. at 678. Thus, while “Rule 8 marks a
notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical,
code-pleading regime of a prior era . . . it does not unlock
the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing
more than conclusions.” Id. at 678-79.
the Supreme Court emphasized that “only a complaint
that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to
dismiss.” Id. at 679. “Determining
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will,
as the Court of Appeals observed, be a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. A complaint
does not show an entitlement to relief when the well-pleaded
facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct. Id.; see also
Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232-34 (3d
Cir. 2008) (holding that: (1) factual allegations of
complaint must provide notice to defendant; (2) complaint
must allege facts suggestive of the proscribed conduct; and
(3) the complaint's “‘factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.'” (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555)).
basic tenets of the Rule 12(b)(6) standard of review have
remained static. Spence v. Brownsville Area Sch.
Dist., No. Civ.A.08-626, 2008 WL 2779079, at *2 (W.D.
Pa. July 15, 2008). The general rules of pleading still
require only a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief and need not contain
detailed factual allegations. Phillips, 515 F.3d at
233. Further, the court must “accept all factual
allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Buck v.
Hampton Twp. Sch. Dist., 452 F.3d 256, 260 (3d Cir.
2006). Finally, the court must “determine whether,
under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff
may be entitled to relief.” Pinkerton v. Roche
Holdings Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002).