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Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Toto USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 23, 2018

FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE, as subrogee of Doug Ansell, Plaintiff,
v.
TOTO USA, INC. a Georgia corporation; CHRISTOPHER HOMES, LLC, a Nevada company; DOES I - X, inclusive, and ROE CORPORATIONS I - X, inclusive Defendants.

          SNELL & WILMER Daniel S. Rodman, Esq., Alexandria Layton, Esq. Attorneys for Defendant TOTO USA, Inc.

          BAUMAN LOEWE WITT & MAXWELL Kenneth W. Maxwell, Paul T. Landis Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          STIPULATED MOTION AND ORDER FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

         Pursuant to Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as the Court's Discovery Plan and Scheduling Order, Plaintiff, FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE (“Plaintiff” or “Farmers”), and Defendant, TOTO USA, INC. (“Defendant”) (collectively, the “Parties”), by and through their undersigned counsel, respectfully submit this Stipulated Motion and Order for Leave to File Amended Complaint.

         In support of the instant Motion, the Parties state as follows:

1. Good cause exists to grant this Motion. Among other things, Plaintiff has advanced this case by naming an additional defendant in its Amended Complaint, which is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
2. This Motion is timely pursuant to the Court's Discovery Plan and Scheduling Order, dated January 10, 2018. Per said Order, the “Parties shall have until March 22, 2018 to file any motions to amend the pleadings to add parties.” (Dkt. 10).
3. The Parties have conferred regarding this Motion, and Defendant consents to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A. As such, the Parties stipulate to the entry of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.

         WHEREFORE, the Parties jointly request that the Court grant this Motion for leave to file Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, and order that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint be entered on the docket of Case No. 2:17-cv-02906-APG-PAL effective as of the date of the Court's order.

         IT IS ORDERED: The Motion is granted. Plaintiff is likewise granted leave to file its Amended Complaint.

         EXHIBIT “A”

         AMENDED COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff for its Amended Complaint against Defendants alleges as follows:

         I. JURISDICTIONAL ALLEGATIONS

         1. During the period of time relevant to the matters stated herein, FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE (hereinafter, "Plaintiff") was a foreign insurance company duly authorized to conduct business as an insurance company in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         2. During the period of time relevant to the matters stated herein, Plaintiff's insured, Doug Ansell (hereinafter, "Ansell") was and is an individual who owned a single-family residence (hereinafter, the "Residence") located at 3059 Red Arrow Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135, in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         3. Defendant TOTO USA, INC. (hereinafter "TOTO") is, and at all times relevant to the matters pleaded herein was, a Georgia corporation duly authorized to transact business in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         4. TOTO caused and/or contributed to a water loss, as described herein, thai occurred within the County of Clark, State of Nevada, out of which this action arises.

         5. Defendant CHRISTOPHER HOMES, LLC (hereinafter "CHRISTOPHER HOMES") is, and at all times relevant to the matters pleaded herein was, a Nevada corporation and a Nevada contractor duly authorized to transact business in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         6. CHRISTOPHER HOMES caused and/or contributed to a water loss, as described herein, that occurred within the County of Clark, State of Nevada, out oi which this action arises.

         7. Venue is property in the County of Clark, State of Nevada because this matter flows directly from a water loss at the Residence, as described herein, which is located in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         8. The damages sustained by Plaintiff, as described herein, are $94, 842.94.

         II. GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

         9. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges each and every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1 through 8 above as though fully set forth herein.

         10. During the period of time relevant to the matters stated herein, Plaintiff's insured, Doug Ansell (hereinafter, "Ansell") was and is an individual who owned a single-family residence (hereinafter, the "Residence") located at 3059 Red Arrow Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89135, in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         11. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Plaintiff provided insurance covering losses to its insured Ansell, under a homeowner's policy (the "Policy").

         12. Ansell purchased a faucet (the "Product") manufactured by TOTO.

         13. CHRISTOPHER HOMES and/or its agents, subcontractors, representatives and/or employees installed the Product and/or performed other work related to and/or affecting the Product.

         14. On or about November 8, 2015, the Product failed and caused extensive water damage at the Residence (the "Water Loss").

         15. Ansell submitted a claim to Plaintiff for damages arising from the water damage that took place in the Residence on or about November 8, 2015 ("Loss").

         16. By reason of the foregoing Water Loss, Plaintiff became obligated to pay certain sums pursuant to the Policy in the amount of $94, 842.94 for the damage to the Residence and personal property of Ansell.

         17. Pursuant to the Policy, equity, and law, Plaintiff is subrogated to the rights of Ansell in the amount of all payments made in response to AnselFs claims for coverage under the Policy for the Loss.

         18. On or around March 22, 2017, Plaintiff demanded payment from TOTO for the damage its defective Product caused to Ansell's personal property and Residence.

         19. TOTO refused to pay Plaintiff's demand, which resulted in this litigation.

         20. Plaintiff has been required to retain the services of an attorney to prosecute this action and the Court should order Defendant to pay a reasonable amount of attorney's fees together with the costs of suit incurred herein.

         21. Pursuant to NRS 17.130, Plaintiff is entitled to pre-judgment interest from the date of filing suit.

         III.

         FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

         (Negligence Products Liability against TOTO)

         22. Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 21 above as though fully set forth herein.

         23. TOTO owed a duty to Ansell and all foreseeable users of the Product, to exercise reasonable care in its design, manufacture, instructions and warnings of the Product such that the materials in the Product would not deteriorate when exposed to municipal water resulting in a water loss and/or would not deteriorate as a result of foreseeable installation methods and/or plumbing work.

         24. TOTO breached its duty of care to Ansell when it negligently and carelessly warned, designed, instructed and manufactured the Product with material which deteriorated when exposed to municipal water and/or foreseeable ...


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