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Farmers Insurance Exchange v. LG Electronics USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 8, 2017

FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE for Itself and as subrogee of its insured DOREEN FILOMENA, Plaintiffs,
v.
LG ELECTRONICS USA, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is third-party defendant LG Electronics USA, Inc.'s ("LG") motion to dismiss third-party plaintiff Best Buy Stores, L.P.'s ("Best Buy") third-party complaint. (ECF No. 49). Best Buy filed a response (ECF No. 52), to which LG replied (ECF No. 65).

         I. Facts

         The instant dispute arises from a home fire allegedly caused by a dryer manufactured by LG and sold by Best Buy. Plaintiff Farmers Insurance Exchange ("Farmers") insured the property at issue, which is owned by Doreen Filomena. (ECF No. 1-2). Farmers filed suit for itself and as subrogee of its insured, Ms. Filomena. (ECF No. 1-2).

         Ms. Filomena purchased the LG dryer from Best Buy, as well as a four-year warranty for the dryer. (ECF No. 1-2). Penn-Ridge Transportation, Inc. ("Penn-Ridge"), Best Buy's subcontractor, delivered and allegedly installed the dryer. (ECF No. 1-2). Subsequently, the dryer and/or its attached power cord failed and cause a fire at the property. (ECF No. 1-2).

         Ms. Filomena submitted an insurance claim to Farmers, incurring a deductible in the amount of $1, 000.00, which Farmers seeks to recover on Ms. Filomena's behalf. (ECF No. 1-2). Farmers paid approximately $214, 145.48 on Ms. Filomena's claim. (ECF No. 1-2).

         Farmers filed the original complaint in state court on June 22, 2015, which defendants removed on July 21, 2015. (ECF No. 1). In its complaint, Farmers alleges five causes of action: (1) breach of contract against Best Buy; (2) negligent hiring against Best Buy; (3) negligence against Best Buy; (4) strict products liability against LG; and (5) negligent products liability against LG. (ECF No. 1-2).

         On April 13, 2016, the court entered an order granting LG's emergency motion for determination of good faith settlement between Farmers and LG, wherein LG agreed to pay $9, 000.00 to Farmers in exchange for Farmers dismissing its claims against LG with prejudice. (ECF No. 39).

         On June 16, 2016, Best Buy filed a third-party complaint alleging five causes of action: (1) equitable and implied indemnity against Penn-Ridge; (2) contractual, express indemnity against Penn-Ridge; (3) contribution against Penn-Ridge; (4) apportionment against Penn-Ridge; and (5) contractual, express indemnity against LG. (ECF No. 44).

         On December 12, 2016, the court granted a stipulation of dismissal of Farmers's claims against LG with prejudice pursuant to their settlement agreement. (ECF Nos. 39, 74).

         In the instant motion, LG moves to dismiss Best Buy's third-party complaint, which seeks indemnity against it, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 49).

         II. Legal Standard

         A court may dismiss a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands "more than labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).

         "Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (citation omitted).

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 678-79. Mere recitals of the ...


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