United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE United States District Court
matter is before the Court on Defendant Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Company's (“Nationwide”) Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. (Filing No. 11.)
Plaintiff, Huntington Heights Homeowners Association, Inc.
(“Huntington Heights”) filed this action for
breach of contract and bad faith, alleging that Nationwide,
its insurer, failed to fully pay for covered losses it
sustained. (Filing No. 1-1.) Nationwide moves to
dismiss both claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), arguing that even if the allegations in the
Complaint are true, Huntington Heights failed to plead
sufficient factual matter to state a claim for relief. For
the following reasons, the Court grants in part and
denies in part the Motion to Dismiss.
following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as
required when reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court
accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and
draws all inferences in favor of Huntington Heights as the
non-movants. See Bielanski v. County of Kane, 550
F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008).
Heights, an incorporated homeowners' association in
Marion County, Indiana, insured its property with Nationwide
under policy number ACP BPHM5802376668. (Filing No. 1-1
at 2.) The Complaint alleges that during the policy
period, Huntington Heights' covered property sustained
covered losses. (Filing No. 1-1 at 2). It
does not say how Huntington Heights sustained those losses or
what the losses were. Huntington Heights reported the losses
to Nationwide, but “Nationwide breached the contract by
failing to fully pay for all covered losses.”
Id. at 2. The Complaint further alleges that
“Nationwide breached its duty of good faith and fair
dealing by denying open and obvious covered damage, by
deceiving its insured by stating that there was no damage,
and by making an unfounded refusal to pay for the full value
of the covered damage.” Id. Nationwide moves
for dismissal of the Complaint asserting that the allegations
are “threadbare and conclusory” and that
Huntington Heights is not a named insured on the policy.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a defendant to move
to dismiss a complaint that has failed to “state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), the Court accepts as true all factual allegations
in the complaint and draws all inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Bielanski, 550 F.3d at 633. However,
courts “are not obliged to accept as true legal
conclusions or unsupported conclusions of fact.”
Hickey v. O'Bannon, 287 F.3d 656, 658 (7th Cir.
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, the Supreme Court explained that the
complaint must allege facts that are “enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.” 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). Although “detailed factual
allegations” are not required, mere “labels,
” “conclusions, ” or “formulaic
recitation[s] of the elements of a cause of action” are
insufficient. Id.; see also Bissessur v. Ind.
Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599, 603 (7th Cir. 2009)
(“it is not enough to give a threadbare recitation of
the elements of a claim without factual support”). The
allegations must “give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Stated
differently, the complaint must include “enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d
575, 580 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation and quotation marks
omitted). To be facially plausible, the complaint must allow
“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) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
makes two primary arguments in support of
dismissal. It argues the Court should dismiss
Huntington Heights' breach of contract claim because
“Plaintiff does not identify the specific terms of the
alleged contract that was breached.” (Filing No. 12
at 3.) And it argues the Court should dismiss Huntington
Heights' bad faith claim because the Complaint
“fail[s] to offer any support which would show an
‘element of conscious wrongdoing, '” (Id.
Breach of Contract-Count I
Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co. v. DMH
Holdings, LLC, 2013 WL 683493 at *5-6 (N.D. Ind. 2013)
and Owner-Operator Indep. Drivers Ass'n, Inc. v.
Mayflower Transit Inc., 2007 WL 2900561, *13 (S.D. Ind.
Sept. 28, 2007), Nationwide argues “a plaintiff must
identify the specific contractual provision that has been
breached” in order to survive a motion to dismiss.
(Filing No. 12 at 3.) “Plaintiffs' [sic]
failure to identify the operative terms of the contract
compels dismissal of Count I.” Id.
response, Huntington Heights argues the Complaint is
sufficiently detailed because it lists the policy it held
with Nationwide by number, thus informing it of which
contract it allegedly breached. (Filing No. 14 at
4.) Huntington Heights distinguishes the two cases
Nationwide relies upon and argues that Cincinnati
Specialty delved only into specific provisions of the
contract because the complaint alleged the insurer had failed
to acknowledge a policy limit, had failed to perform an
adequate investigation, and placed the issues raised in a
declaratory action at issue prematurely. Id. The
court dismissed the claim because it “found that these
allegations did not constitute a breach of any identifiable
contractual duty that is implied by Indiana contract
law.” Id. Huntington Heights argues
Mayflower Transit does not apply here because it
concerns a lease agreement, not an insurance contract and was
resolved on summary judgment rather than a motion to dismiss.
Id. at 5.
Court agrees that Cincinnati Specialty and Mayflower
Transit may not support granting Nationwide's motion
to dismiss. The facts in Cincinnati Specialty are
dissimilar. Moreover, in Mayflower Transit, summary
judgment was granted in favor of a defendant on a breach of
contract claim because the “Plaintiffs [had] not
specified a lease provision which has been breached.”
2007 WL 2900561 at *13. As Huntington Heights points out, on
summary judgment, the moving party must show that there are
no disputed issues of material fact and that it is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. On a 12(b)(6) motion, the
plaintiff must merely give a “short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the ...