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Chang v. CSAA General Insurance Co.

United States District Court, District of Nevada

March 30, 2015

Robin Chang, Plaintiff,
v.
CSAA General Insurance Company, Defendant.

ORDER

Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court

Pending before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 6), filed by Defendant CSAA General Insurance Company. Plaintiff Robin Chang filed a Response, (ECF No. 10), to which Defendant replied, (ECF No. 12).

I. BACKGROUND

This case arises out of Defendant’s alleged refusal to pay benefits under an uninsured motorist policy (“UIM” Policy) held by Plaintiff.

Specifically, the First Amended Complaint states that Plaintiff suffered extensive injuries when he was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle on February 27, 2012. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7-11, ECF No. 1-2). On May 29, 2012, Geico Claims Insurance Company, which insured the alleged tortfeasor, tendered its policy limits of $15, 000 to Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶ 12). On January 11, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a demand letter to Defendant, requesting payment of the full $250, 000 UIM policy limit. (Id. at ¶ 15).

On February 13, 2013, Defendant declined to pay the full UIM policy limit, and instead allegedly offered to pay $88, 000 in “new money” to settle Plaintiff’s claim. (Id. at ¶ 16). After Plaintiff rejected this offer, Defendant requested that Plaintiff undergo a medical examination by a doctor of Defendant’s choosing in order to assess the value of Plaintiff’s claim. (Id. at ¶ 18). After the examination took place, Defendant allegedly offered to settle Plaintiff’s claim for “$35, 000.00 new money.” (Id. at ¶ 19).

On February 25, 2013, Plaintiff alleges that he supplemented his demand with a “medical recommendation for surgery and a future cost estimate of $131, 400.00.” (Id. at ¶ 20). Nevertheless, Defendant refused to exceed its prior “$35, 000.00 new money offer.” (Id. at ¶ 21).

In response to Defendant’s refusal to pay the requested sum, Plaintiff filed the instant action in Nevada state court. See (Am. Compl., ECF No. 1-2). The Amended Complaint sets forth three causes of action: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (3) violations of the Nevada Unfair Claims Practices Act. (Id. at ¶¶ 22-37). Based on these claims, Plaintiff seeks general damages in excess of $10, 000, punitive damages in excess of $10, 000, an unspecified amount in special damages, and attorneys’ fees. (Id. at 9:1-13).

On August 29, 2014, Defendant removed the action to this Court. (Pet. For Removal, ECF No. 1). Thereafter, Defendant filed the instant Motion, seeking the dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims for violations of the Nevada Unfair Claims Practices Act and his request for punitive damages pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 6).

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Dismissal is appropriate under Rule 12(b)(6) where a pleader fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A pleading must give fair notice of a legally cognizable claim and the grounds on which it rests, and although a court must take all factual allegations as true, legal conclusions couched as a factual allegation are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Accordingly, Rule 12(b)(6) requires “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. “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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “A claim has facial plausibility 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. This standard “asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.

If the court grants a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, leave to amend should be granted unless it is clear that the deficiencies of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992). Pursuant to Rule 15(a), the court should “freely” give leave to amend “when justice so requires, ” and in the absence of a reason such as “undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of the amendment, etc.” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

III. DISCUSSION

In the instant Motion, Defendant argues that the Court should dismiss: (1) Plaintiff’s claims arising under Nevada’s Unfair Claims Practices Act and (2) Plaintiff’s request for punitive damages. ...


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