United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendant State Farm's Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff's Claims for Negligence, Breach of
Fiduciary Duty, Misrepresentation, Fraud, and Deceit. (Doc. #
2). The court directed the parties to brief the motion in
accordance with a briefing schedule (Doc. # 6), but Plaintiff
has filed no response to the motion. After careful review,
and for the reasons explained below, Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss (Doc. # 2) is due to be granted.
purchased an insurance policy from Defendant in September
2014. (Doc. # 1-1 at 7). Plaintiff lost her house in a July
2015 fire. (Id.). She submitted an insurance claim
with Defendant, and Defendant partially satisfied the claim.
(Id. at 8). Nevertheless, according to Plaintiff,
Defendant has failed to pay her for the full amount of losses
she suffered. (Id.).
Standard of Review
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However, the complaint must include
enough facts “to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings that
contain nothing more than “a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action” do not meet Rule 8
standards, nor do pleadings suffice that are based merely
upon “labels and conclusions” or “naked
assertion[s]” without supporting factual allegations.
Id. at 555, 557. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss, courts view the allegations in the complaint in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Watts
v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, '” the complaint
must demonstrate “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A
plausible claim for relief requires “enough fact[s] to
raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556.
considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1)
eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely
legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield,
Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 F. App'x 136, 138
(11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna
Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task
is context specific and, to survive the motion, the
allegations must permit the court based on its
“judicial experience and common sense . . . to infer
more than the mere possibility of misconduct.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the court determines that
all of the well- pleaded facts, accepted as true, do not
state a claim that is plausible, the claims are due to be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
has asserted fraud, misrepresentation, and deceit claims
against Defendant. (Doc. # 1-1 at 9). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 9(b) requires a party pleading fraud to
“state with particularity the circumstances
constituting fraud or mistake.” To plead a viable fraud
claim, a complaint must state:
(1) precisely what statements were made in what documents or
oral representations or what omissions were made, and (2) the
time and place of each such statement and the person
responsible for making (or, in the case of omissions, not
making) same, and (3) the content of such statements and the
manner in which they misled the plaintiff, and (4) what the
defendants obtained as a consequence of the fraud.
Ziemba v. Cascade Int'l, Inc., 256 F.3d 1194,
1202 (11th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff's misrepresentation and
deceit claims also must comply with Rule 9(b)'s standards
because, under Alabama law, both claims are fraud-based
claims. See Inman v. Am. Paramount Fin., 517 F.
App'x 744, 748 (11th Cir. 2013) (applying Rule 9(b) to a
negligent misrepresentation claim under Florida law); Ala.
Code § 6-5-101 (stating when misrepresentations
constitute legal fraud); Ala. Code § 6-5-104 (describing
deceit as a “fraudulent” act).
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges negligence, breach of fiduciary
duty, fraud, misrepresentation, and deceit/bad faith claims.
(Doc. # 1-1 at 8-9). After careful review, the court
concludes that all these claims are due to be dismissed.
Plaintiff Cannot Maintain ...