United States District Court, D. Nevada
TANYA TEODORO, individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
ALLSTATE FIRE AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
March 2016, plaintiff Tanya Teodoro was involved in an
automobile accident. As a result, she incurred medical and
hospital charges of approximately $85, 000. She provided her
automobile insurer, defendant Allstate Fire and Casualty
Insurance Company (Allstate), with her bills. Her Allstate
policy included medical payments coverage of $100, 000.
Allstate paid approximately $45, 000 of the
Teodoro sues Allstate, in her individual capacity and on
behalf of a proposed class. She claims that the terms of her
insurance policy require Allstate to pay the entirety of her
medical expenses. She brings claims for breach of contract,
breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing, violation of Nevada's Deceptive Trade Practices
Act, violation of Nevada's Unfair Claims Practices Act,
and unjust enrichment. Allstate moves to dismiss both the
individual and class claims, arguing that Teodoro does not
have standing because she has not alleged an actual injury,
that her claims fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Nevada Division of Insurance (NDOI), and that she has failed
to sufficiently allege the elements of her claims. Allstate
also contends that class action treatment is inappropriate
because individualized factual issues would predominate. I
grant both of Allstate's motions.
properly pleaded 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 Ad.
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). "Factual allegations must be enough to rise
above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
"contain enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
696 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
apply a two-step approach when considering motions to
dismiss. Id. at 679. First, I must accept as true
all well-pleaded factual allegations and draw all reasonable
inferences from the complaint in the plaintiffs favor.
Id.; Brown v. Elec. Arts, Inc., 724 F.3d 1235,
1247-48 (9th Cir. 2013). Legal conclusions, however, are not
entitled to the same assumption of truth even if cast in the
form of factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679;
Brown, 724 F.3d at 1248. Mere recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by only conclusory
statements, do not suffice. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
I must consider whether the factual allegations in the
complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id.
at 679. A claim is facially plausible when the complaint
alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged
misconduct. Id. at 663. Where the complaint does not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has "alleged - but it has not
shown - that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). When the claims have not crossed the line from
conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be dismissed.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. "Determining whether
a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a
context-specific task that requires [me] to draw on [my]
judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
initially argues that the court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction over Teodoro's claims because she has not
alleged an injury in fact and thus has no standing and her
claims are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the NDOI.
Teodoro responds that she has alleged an injury: the
difference between the amount Allstate paid her and what she
alleges is its contractual obligation to pay. She also argues
that her claims stem from Allstate's alleged breach of
contract, and that any mention of NDOI was only supportive,
rather than a basis for her claims.
III of the U.S. Constitution confines the federal judicial
power to actual "cases or controversies." U.S.
Const, art. Ill. § 2; Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,
136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016). The "irreducible
constitutional minimum of standing consists of three
elements. The plaintiff must have (1) suffered an injury in
fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct
of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a
favorable judicial decision." Spokeo, 136 S.Ct.
at 1547 (internal quotation omitted).
has alleged that she incurred over $80, 000 in medical bills,
that Allstate is contractually obligated to pay the entirety
of these charges, and that it did not do so. Thus, Teodoro
has alleged an actual injury of the money she believes she is
owed under the insurance policy.
Nevada Department of Insurance
Nevada, a plaintiff challenging violations of the insurance
code "generally must exhaust all available
administrative remedies before initiating a lawsuit."
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Thorpe,170 P.3d 989, 993 (Nev.
2007). While her complaint alleges the NDOI did not approve
Allstate's actions, Teodoro repeatedly argues that her
claims do not rely on this assertion, but rather on
Allstate's alleged breach of contract. Moreover,
Teodoro's causes of action do not rest on alleged
violations of particular sections of the insurance code.
Allstate has therefore not shown that Teodoro's claims
are within NDOI's exclusive ...