United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
BARCLAY SURRICK, J.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Allegations of Bad Faith from Plaintiff's
Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 5.) For the
following reasons, Defendant's Motion will be granted.
action arises from an underinsured motorist claim filed by
Plaintiff Kathleen Myers with her insurer, Defendant State
Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Plaintiff asserts
one count against Defendant alleging breach of contract for
the denial of Plaintiff's claim and one count alleging
that Defendant acted in bad faith as defined under 42 Pa.
Cons. Stat. § 8371.
Complaint alleges that on September 2, 2015, Plaintiff
suffered serious injuries as a result of a car accident with
an underinsured motorist. (Compl. ¶ 8, Notice of Removal
Ex. A, ECF No. 1.) The underinsured motorist was determined
to be at fault in causing the accident, and the underinsured
motorist's insurance company provided Plaintiff with the
maximum liability coverage available of $15, 000.
(Id. ¶¶ 6, 9-10.) Plaintiff alleges that
she suffered harm in excess of $15, 000. She therefore filed
a claim for underinsured motorist benefits with Defendant.
(Id. ¶ 11.) Defendant denied Plaintiff's
claim. (Id. ¶ 12.)
One of Plaintiff's Complaint alleges breach of contract
asserting that Plaintiff is entitled to recover underinsured
motorist benefits from Defendant. (Id. ¶ 13.)
Count Two of Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that in
handling Plaintiff's underinsured motorist claim,
Defendant acted in bad faith as provided in 42 Pa. Cons.
Stat. § 8371. (Id. ¶ 15-21.) With respect
to Count Two, Plaintiff specifically alleges that Defendant
failed to act with “reasonable promptness in evaluating
and responding to Plaintiff's claim, ” failed to
act with “reasonable fairness in the offers [Defendant]
made to Plaintiff, ” “fail[ed] to negotiate
Plaintiff's underinsurance claim, ” “fail[ed]
to properly investigate and evaluate Plaintiff's
underinsurance claim, ” and “failed to promptly
request that Plaintiff submit to a defense medical
examination.” (Id. ¶ 17-18.) Defendant
seeks dismissal of the bad faith claim.
14, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in the Court of Common
Pleas of Philadelphia County. On August 4, 2017, Defendant
removed the case to this Court. (Notice of Removal, ECF No.
1.) On August 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Answer to the
Notice of Removal and a Motion to Remand. (ECF No. 4.) On
August 10, 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to
Dismiss. (MTD, ECF No. 5.) On August 11, 2017, Defendant
filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand. (Def. Resp. ECF No. 7.) On August 18, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss. (Pl.'s Resp., ECF No. 8.) On August 21, 2017, a
Memorandum and Order were filed denying Plaintiff's
Motion to Remand. (ECF No. 9, 10.) On August 22, 2017,
Defendant filed a Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss.
(Def. Rep. Br., ECF No. 11.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), “[a] pleading
that states a claim for relief must contain a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Rule 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of
a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. A motion under Rule
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the
pleading requirements of Rule 8(a). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
is plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Id. A complaint that merely alleges entitlement to
relief, without alleging facts that show entitlement, must be
dismissed. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d
203, 211 (3d Cir. 2009). Courts need not accept
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements . . .
.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “While legal
conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they
must be supported by factual allegations.” Id.
at 679. This ‘“does not impose a probability
requirement at the pleading stage, ' but instead
‘simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of' the
necessary element.” Phillips v. Cty. of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
determining whether dismissal of the complaint is
appropriate, courts use a two-part analysis. Fowler,
578 F.3d at 210. First, courts separate the factual and legal
elements of the claim and accept all of the complaint's
well-pleaded facts as true. Id. at 210-11. Next,
courts determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint
are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a
“‘plausible claim for relief.'”
Id. at 211 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679). Given the nature of the two-part analysis,
“‘[d]etermining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific
task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense.'”
McTernan v. City of York, 577 F.3d 521, 530 (3d Cir.
2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).