United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF
P. GORDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company moves to
dismiss two of the four causes of action in plaintiff Cindy
Braden's complaint. State Farm argues that Braden's
claim for violations of the Nevada Unfair Claim Practices Act
(“UCPA”) fails to identify the specific
subsections that were violated and lacks a sufficient factual
basis. Id. State Farm also argues that Braden's
unjust enrichment claim should be dismissed because it is
necessarily precluded by her breach of contract claim.
State Farm's motion to dismiss. The defendants can
reasonably infer that Braden is alleging violations of Nevada
Revised Statutes § 686A.310 subsections (c) and (e).
Braden's unjust enrichment claim is pleaded in the
alternative to her contractual claim. And Braden supports her
claims with sufficient facts in her complaint.
claims she suffered serious injuries from an automobile
accident on July 17, 2016. ECF No. 1. Although the other
driver was at fault, he did not have insurance coverage.
Braden, however, had an uninsured motorist coverage policy
with State Farm. Braden alleges she incurred nearly $70, 000
in medical expenses due to the accident and she will require
additional treatment in the future, including reconstructive
surgery that will cost approximately $351, 000. On March 23,
2018, Braden demanded that State Farm pay under her policy.
State Farm requested an independent medical examination, to
which Braden complied. On June 1, 2018, State Farm offered to
pay Braden $10, 362. Id. at 14-16.
sues State Farm for failure to pay in accordance with the
insurance policy. She asserts four claims: (1) breach of
contract, (2) contractual breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, (3) violation of the UCPA; and
(4) unjust enrichment in the alternative. Braden seeks
punitive damages under the first three claims, arguing that
State Farm's conduct was malicious and oppressive.
Id. at 16-19.
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
Atl. 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). The complaint must set forth coherently “who is
being sued, for what relief, and on what theory, with enough
detail to guide discovery.” See, e.g., McHenry v.
Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 1995).
“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).
courts must apply a two-step approach when considering
motions to dismiss. Id. at 679. First, the court
must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and
draw all reasonable inferences from the complaint in the
plaintiff's 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 only by conclusory statements, do not suffice.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
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
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 citation 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 the [district] court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679.
VIOLATION OF UNFAIR CLAIMS PRACTICES ACT
Farm argues that the complaint does not identify which
specific subparts of Nevada Revised Statutes § 686A.310
it allegedly violated, so it does not know which subparts
serve as the foundation for the cause of action. Id.
at 6-7. State Farm also argues that the complaint does not
include allegations or facts that could be interpreted as a
violation of any of the subparts of § 686A.310. It
posits that the UCPA was intended to provide relief for acts
that an insurer engaged in during the handling of the claim
but that the present conflict stems from an alleged failure
to pay, which is covered by Braden's breach of contact
responds that she is not required to specify which
subsections were violated because the court and State Farm
can draw reasonable inferences from the allegations in the
complaint that State Farm violated § 686A.310(c) and
§ 686A.310(e). ECF No. 8 at 6-8. A The Complaint alleges
that State Farm “among other things, fail[ed] to
effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims
in which liability of the insurer has become reasonably
clear, and fail[ed] to adopt and implement reasonable
standards for the prompt investigation and processing of
claims arising under insurance policies.” ECF No. 1 at
6. This language mirrors subparts (e) and (c) of §
686A.310, and it can be reasonably inferred that Braden based
her claim on these two subsections. Additionally, the
supporting facts presented in the complaint are sufficiently
support her claim and are not mere recitals of the elements
of the cause of action. I therefore deny State Farm's
motion to dismiss Braden's claim for violations of the