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Sgrillo v. Geico Casualty Co.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 13, 2018

BARBARA SGRILLO, Plaintiffs,
v.
GEICO CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Geico Casualty Insurance Company's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff Barbara Sgrillo filed a response (ECF No. 10), to which defendant replied (ECF No. 14).

         Also before the court is defendant's motion to stay. (ECF No. 8). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 10), to which defendant replied (ECF No. 14).

         I. Facts

         On February 5, 2016, while parked at a stop light, plaintiff's car was hit by a third-party driver. (ECF No. 1-1). Plaintiff alleges that she sustained serious injuries from the accident that require continuing medical treatment. Id.

         At the time of the accident, plaintiff was insured through defendant. Plaintiff's policy provides for $250, 000/$500, 000 uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Id. “[F]ollowing the accident with the third-party driver, and after determining that the third party driver had insufficient policy limits to cover Plaintiff's injuries and damages, Plaintiff demanded uninsured/underinsured policy limit payment from Defendant . . . .” Id. Plaintiff alleges that defendant “refused to make adequate payment to Plaintiff as was required under the Policy.” Id. (emphasis added). Plaintiff alleges that “Defendant's refusal to pay Policy limits was made in bad faith and for the purpose of denying the benefits of contract for underinsured motorist coverage to plaintiff.” Id. (emphasis added).

         On December 14, 2017, plaintiff filed suit in state court.[1] (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff's complaint alleges three causes of action: (1) breach of contract; (2) bad faith and unfair claims practices; and (3) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (ECF No. 1-1).

         On February 15, 2018, defendant removed the instant action to this court. (ECF No. 1). Thereafter, defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, (ECF No. 7), and a motion to stay plaintiff's claims for bad faith and unfair claims practices, (ECF No. 8).

         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 elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. at 678.

         Second, the court 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 plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678.

         Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has “alleged-but not shown-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, plaintiff's claim must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         The Ninth Circuit addressed post-Iqbal pleading standards in Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The ...


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