United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the court for disposition is Defendant Progressive
Insurance's motion to dismiss Plaintiff Irma
Castillo's complaint. The parties have briefed their
respective positions, and the matter is ripe for disposition.
2015, plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Brooke
Cover and owned by Christina Nicole Lindbuchler. (Doc. 2-4,
Complaint ¶ 3). The vehicle was involved in an accident
with another automobile. Russell Patrick, Jr., who evidently
drove the other vehicle, caused the accident, however, he was
uninsured. (Id.) The accident caused the following
injuries to plaintiff: bulging discs at every level of her
cervical spine, uneven shoulders with a right-leaning heard,
ongoing severe and debilitating daily headaches, and memory
loss, which is worsening with time. (Id. ¶ 11).
Plaintiff was unable to keep her job as an Operating Room
Technician due to her injuries, and she has not been able to
return to gainful employment since. (Id.) Plaintiff
was approximately thirty-one (31) years of age at the time of
the accident. (Id. ¶ 12).
time of the accident, plaintiff had two automobile insurance
policies. The first was through Defendant Progressive
Insurance company with limits of $15, 000 in uninsured
motorist (“UM”) coverage. (Id. ¶
2). The policy included stacking for four vehicles for a
total UM coverage of $60, 000. (Id.) The second
policy was through Allstate Insurance Company and had a $15,
000 UM coverage limit with stacking for two vehicles, for a
total of $30, 000 in UM coverage. (Id. ¶ 1).
the person who caused the accident did not have insurance,
this became a case of UM coverage. Three automobile insurance
policies were at issue. The first the policy was for the
vehicle plaintiff was riding in, which was a GEICO policy in
the name of Christina Nicole Lindbuchler. The second level of
UM coverage came from the plaintiff's Allstate policy and
the third level of coverage comes from the policy that
plaintiff had with Defendant Progressive Insurance.
(Id. ¶ 4).
made a demand for benefits under the Progressive policy.
Defendant offered $1, 000.00 to settle the case.
(Id. ¶ 13). Subsequently, plaintiff filed the
instant two-count complaint. The first count asserts a claim
for breach of contract and the second count asserts a claim
for insurance bad faith. Plaintiff filed the case in Luzerne
County Court of Common Pleas. The defendant filed a notice of
removal to this court on September 19, 2019. (Doc. 1). Then,
defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss the bad faith
claim for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. 4). This motion is
now ripe for disposition.
court has jurisdiction pursuant to the diversity statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff is a citizen of Pennsylvania.
(Doc. 1, Notice of Removal ¶ 8). Defendant is a citizen
of Ohio. (Id. ¶ 12). Defendant Progressive
Insurance is incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio
with its principal place of business in Mayfield Village,
Ohio. (Id.) Additionally, the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000. Because complete diversity of citizenship
exists among the parties and the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000, the court has jurisdiction over this case.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (Adistrict courts shall
have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the
matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs, and is between . . .
citizens of different states[.]”); 28 U.S.C. §
1441 (A defendant can generally move a state court civil
action to federal court if the federal court would have had
original jurisdiction to address the matter pursuant to the
diversity jurisdiction statute). As a federal court sitting
in diversity, the substantive law of Pennsylvania shall apply
to the instant case. Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210
F.3d 154, 158 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing Erie R.R. v.
Tomkins, 304 U.S. 64, 78 (1938)).
filed its motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court tests the
sufficiency of the complaint's allegations when
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. All well-pleaded
allegations of the complaint must be viewed as true and in
the light most favorable to the non-movant to determine
whether, “‘under any reasonable reading of the
pleadings, the plaintiff may be entitled to
relief.'” Colburn v. Upper Darby Twp., 838
F.2d 663, 665-66 (3d Cir. 1988) (quoting Estate of Bailey
by Oare v. Cnty. of York, 768 F.2d 503, 506 (3d Cir.
1985)). The plaintiff must describe “‘enough
facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will
reveal evidence of' [each] necessary element” of
the claims alleged in the complaint. Phillips v. Cnty. of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
(2007)). Moreover, the plaintiff must allege facts that
“justify moving the case beyond the pleadings to the
next stage of litigation.” Id. at 234-35. In
evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint the court may also
consider “matters of public record, orders, exhibits
attached to the complaint and items appearing in the record
of the case.” Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran
& Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 n.2 (3d Cir. 1994)
(citations omitted). The court does not have to accept legal
conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. See
Curay-Cramer v. Ursuline Acad. of Wilmington, Del.,
Inc., 450 F.3d 130, 133 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Morse
v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir.
federal rules require only that plaintiff provide “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ” a standard which
“does not require detailed factual allegations, ”
but a plaintiff must make “a showing, rather than a
blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief that rises above
the speculative level.” McTernan v. N.Y.C.,
564 F.3d 636, 646 (3d Cir. 2009) (citations and internal
quotations and quotation marks omitted). The “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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Such
“facial plausibility” exists “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. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[T]he factual
detail in a complaint [cannot be] so undeveloped that it does
not provide a defendant the type of notice of claim which is
contemplated by Rule 8.” Phillips, 515 F.3d at
232 (citation omitted). “Though a complaint ‘does
not need detailed factual allegations, . . . a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” DelRio-Mocci v. Connolly Props.,
Inc., 672 F.3d 241, 245 (3d Cir. 2012) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
moves to dismiss Count II of plaintiff's complaint which
asserts a cause of action for bad faith. Defendant also moves
to strike the request for attorney fees found in Count I ...