United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
J. PAPPERT, J.
Jean Elican and Tony McCloud sued Allstate Insurance Company
in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas asserting in
Count I of their Complaint that Allstate breached the terms
of an Allstate insurance policy (“the Policy”) by
failing to pay certain benefits. (Notice of Removal, Ex. A,
¶¶ 9-13, ECF No. 1) [hereinafter Compl.] In Count
II, Elican and McCloud allege violations of
Pennsylvania's bad faith statute, 42 Pa. C.S.A. §
8371, (Compl. ¶¶ 14-17), while in Count III they
contend that Allstate was negligent in not listing McCloud as
an insured under the Policy (Compl. ¶¶ 18-27).
Allstate removed the case to federal court (ECF No. 1) and
filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No.
Plaintiffs responded (ECF No. 9) and Allstate replied (ECF
No. 12). An arbitration hearing is scheduled for January 17,
2018. (ECF No. 17.) For the reasons that follow, the Court
denies Allstate's Motion, with leave to allow McCloud to
amend Count I and Elican and McCloud to amend Counts II and
and McCloud, her “long-time, committed partner, ”
live at 6931 Grosbeak Place in Philadelphia, which was
damaged by fire on October 15, 2016. (Compl. ¶¶ 1,
4, 5; Answer, Ex. C.) After the fire, Plaintiffs sought
benefits under the Policy to repair the home and replace
Elican and McCloud's personal property. (Compl.
¶¶ 7, 11.) Allstate inspected the home on October
19, 2016 and prepared an estimate of the cost to repair the
home and replace insured personal property. (Answer ¶ 7,
Ex. E.) Allstate subsequently paid Elican $115, 125.40 to
repair the home, $160, 982.21 for damages to her personal
property and $37.784.81 for additional living expenses.
(Id.) Allstate did not pay McCloud for any damage to
his personal property, asserting that McCloud is not an
insured person under the Policy. (Answer, Ex. F.) Elican at
some point obtained four estimates, ranging from $310, 000 to
$341, 000, to repair the home. (Compl. Ex. D.) Allstate did
not pay Elican anything further to bridge the gap between its
own estimate and those received by Elican.
written application for the Policy, Elican indicated several
times that she was the only person living in the
house. (Answer, Ex. B.) She signed the
application, affirming that the statements therein were true
and in doing so asked Allstate to rely on her representations
when issuing the Policy. (Id.) The Policy took
effect on June 21, 2012. (Answer, Ex. G.) Allstate
subsequently sent Elican the Policy Declarations which,
consistent with the application, list only her as the
insured. (Id.) In 2012, the Policy was updated to
reflect new mortgage information (Answer, Ex. H) and
increased coverage limits (Answer, Ex. I); Elican remained
the only named insured (Answer, ¶¶ 45-54). In 2013,
the home's mortgage information was amended again, with
Elican again remaining the sole name insured. (Id.
at ¶¶ 55-58, Ex. J.) Elican renewed the Policy in
2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. (Answer, ¶¶ 59-70, Exs.
K-N.) With each renewal, she received from Allstate the
Renewal Declarations listing her as the only named insured.
(Id.) The Policy in effect on the day of the fire,
October 15, 2016, does not indicate that anyone other than
Elican was covered. (Answer, Ex. A.)
the fire, Allstate wrote Elican a letter telling her that
McCloud's personal property was not insured because he
was not an “insured person” as that term is
defined in the Policy. (Answer, Ex. F.) Elican then immediately
added McCloud to the Policy and Allstate confirmed the change
in an October 20, 2016 Notice (Compl., Ex. A); the Notice
contained a Policy Endorsements page listing McCloud as an
additional insured, effective as of October 21, 2016.
may grant a motion for judgment on the pleadings if the
movant establishes that there are no material issues of fact
and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Sikirica v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 214, 220
(3d Cir. 2005). When a non-moving party's answer denies a
material allegation, that denial creates a question of fact
that prevents the Court from granting a motion for judgment
on the pleadings. See Citizens Ins. Co. of Am. v.
Selective Way Ins. Co., 98 F.Supp.3d 782, 788 (E.D. Pa.
2015) (citing Inst. for Scientific Info., Inc. v. Gordon
& Breach, Science Publishers, Inc., 931 F.2d 1002,
1008 (3d Cir. 1991)). A party may move for judgment on the
pleadings “[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but early
enough not to delay trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). In
deciding a Rule 12(c) motion, the court may consider the
pleadings, any attached exhibits, matters of public record
and any undisputedly authentic documents attached to the
motion if the plaintiff's claims are based on the
documents. Atiyeh v. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co. of
Hartford, 742 F.Supp.2d 591, 595 (E.D. Pa. 2010)
(citation omitted). The court must view the facts and any
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Sikirica, 416 F.3d at 220.
the defendant's motion contends that the plaintiff failed
to state a claim on which relief can be granted, courts
assess the claims under a Rule 12(b)(6) standard. See
Atiyeh, 742 F.Supp.2d at 595; Turbe v. Gov't of
Virgin Is., 938 F.2d 427, 428 (3d Cir. 1991). Under that
standard, a plaintiff must articulate enough facts “to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). It is not enough for a plaintiff to allege mere
“labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. The plaintiff must plead “factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). The
court “may disregard any legal conclusions.”
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d
Cir. 2009); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
Count I, Plaintiffs allege that Allstate failed to pay
benefits to which they are entitled under the Policy. (Compl.
¶¶ 9-13.) Allstate argues that McCloud does not
have standing to allege a breach of the insurance contract
because he was not a named insured and thus has no
contractual relationship with Allstate. (Mot. ¶ 69.)
To state a claim for breach of contract, a plaintiff must
plead and prove:
(1) the existence of a contract to which the plaintiff and