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
the plaintiffs' amended complaint. I will deny the motion
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 and requested to add the Dodge Challenger to
their pre-existing automobile insurance policy. A GEICO
representative told Cody and his mother that their insurance
quote would be stored electronically and to contact GEICO
once they obtained the VIN number.
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.
previously granted GEICO's motion to dismiss the
complaint in part. On May 1, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint. GEICO moves to dismiss the plaintiffs'
amended bad faith, breach of contract, and procurement
claims. In support of their amended complaint, plaintiffs
have attached a copy of an Automobile Insurance Policy issued
to the plaintiffs by GEICO. (Doc. No. 11, Ex. A). This GEICO
Policy states, among other things, that GEICO agrees to
insure any automobile owned by plaintiff(s) “on the
date of acquisition” and which plaintiff(s)
“request [GEICO] to add . . . to the policy within 30
days afterward.” (Id. at 10 ¶ 5(b)(ii)).
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 ...