United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
J. PAPPERT, J.
severely damaged Dr. Todd Aaron's home. After a
disagreement between Aaron and his insurer, State Farm, over
the cost to repair the home, he filed suit in the Montgomery
County Court of Common Pleas on April 13, 2017. Aaron
asserted claims for breach of contract, breach of the
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary
duty and statutory bad faith. State Farm removed the case to
federal court and filed a Motion to Dismiss and Strike
portions of Aaron's Complaint.
following reasons, the Court grants the motion in part and
denies it in part.
23, 2016, a severe rain and wind storm damaged multiple trees
on Aaron's property. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-10, ECF No.
6-4.) A tree in the front yard fell through the roof of
Aaron's home, exposing the master bedroom. Aaron's
in-ground pool and equipment, air conditioning system and car
were also damaged in the storm. (Id. ¶ 11.) The
damage forced Aaron to live in a hotel for two months and
then later in temporary rental housing. (Id.
¶¶ 12 & 14.)
August 5, 2016, State Farm sent its agent, Gary Popolizio, to
inspect the home. (Id. ¶ 16.) He estimated the
cost of repairs at $119, 11.16 actual cash value and $131,
185.96 replacement cost value. (Id.) Popolizio's
estimate did not consider potential structural damage to the
home. (Id. ¶ 19.) State Farm paid Aaron $119,
111. 16 which Aaron deposited into an escrow account on
October 12, 2016. (Id. ¶ 16.) Aaron obtained
three different estimates of repair, but no contractor would
agree to repair the home for $119, 11.16. (Id.
¶¶ 20-21.) One estimator said the necessary
repairs would cost $288, 614.29. (Id. ¶ 22.)
After Aaron complained to State Farm, Popolizio performed two
additional inspections, eventually increasing his estimate to
$128, 778.67 actual cash value and $141, 166.41 replacement
cost value. (Id. ¶¶ 31 & 35.)
December 12, 2016, State Farm told Aaron it would cease
paying relocation expenses in March of 2017 because it had
determined that the home repairs should be complete within
four months of State Farm paying Aaron actual cash value.
(Id. ¶ 49.) State Farm wrote Aaron again on
March 14, 2017, explaining that the payments would end on
April 12, 2017. (Id. ¶ 52.)
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must provide “more than labels and conclusions”
or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). “Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact).” Id. (citation omitted). While a
complaint need not include detailed facts, it must provide
“more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
and Iqbal require the Court to take three steps to
determine whether the second amended complaint will survive
Defendants' motion to dismiss. See Connelly v. Lane
Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016). First,
it must “take note of the elements the plaintiff must
plead to state a claim.” Id. (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675). Next, it must identify the
allegations that are no more than legal conclusions and thus
“not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
Finally, where the complaint includes well-pleaded factual
allegations, the Court “should assume their veracity
and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an
entitlement to relief.” Id. (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
“presumption of truth attaches only to those
allegations for which there is sufficient factual matter to
render them plausible on their face.” Schuchardt v.
President of the United States, 839 F.3d 336, 347 (3d
Cir. 2016) (internal quotation and citation omitted).
“Conclusory assertions of fact and legal conclusions
are not entitled to the same presumption.” Id.
This plausibility determination is a “context-specific
task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense.” Id.
(quoting Connelly, 809 F.3d at 786-87).
plausibility standard, however, “does not impose a
heightened pleading requirement” and does not require a
plaintiff to plead specific facts. Id. In other
words, “courts cannot inject evidentiary issues into
the plausibility determination.” Id. The Third
Circuit has also made it clear that “at least for
purposes of pleading sufficiency, a complaint need not
establish a prima facie case in order to survive a
motion to dismiss” because a “prima facie case is
an evidentiary standard, not a pleading requirement and hence
is not proper measure of whether a complaint fails to state a
claim.” Connelly, 809 F.3d at 789 (internal
quotations and citations omitted). Instead, a plaintiff
should plead ...