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Custom Manufacturing and Fabrication, LLC v. Nautilus Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

January 6, 2020

CUSTOM MANUFACTURING AND FABRICATION, LLC., Plaintiff,
v.
NAUTILUS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          William C. Lee United States District Judge

         Before the Court are Defendant, Nautilus Insurance Company's (“Nautilus's”) Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) [DE 8] and Request for Oral Argument [DE 10]. For the following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss will be DENIED as will the Request for Oral Argument.

         APPLICABLE STANDARD

         Nautilus has moved to dismiss plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A facially plausible claim is one that allows “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.

         When ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court will “accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true, ” but will not defer to “legal conclusions and conclusory allegations merely reciting the elements of the claim.” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011). Mindful of these standards, the Court turns now to the allegations in the Complaint.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Nautilus issued a policy of commercial liability insurance (hereafter, “the Policy”) to CMF for the time period of November 10, 2014 through November 10, 2015. (A copy of the Policy is attached as Exh. A to the Complaint). The Policy contains policy limits of $1, 000, 000 per occurrence and a $2, 000, 000 general aggregate. Section I of the Policy provides coverage for a Loss which is not otherwise excluded under any Policy Exclusions:

1. Insuring Agreement
a. We will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' to which this insurance applies… The Policy goes on to provide:
b. This insurance applies to ‘bodily injury' and ‘property damage' only if:
(1) The ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' is caused by an ‘occurrence' that takes place in the ‘coverage territory' as defined by the Policy.
(2) The ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' occurs during the policy period; and (3) Prior to the policy period, no insured listed under Paragraph 1 of Section II - Who is An Insured and no ‘employee' authorized by you to give or receive notice of an ‘occurrence' or claim, knew that the ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' had occurred, in whole or in part. If such a listed insured or authorized ‘employee' knew prior to the policy period, that the ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' occurred, then any continuation, change, or resumption of such ‘bodily injury' or ‘property damage' during or after the policy period will be deemed to have been known prior to the policy period.

(Complaint, DE 2, at ¶12, Exh. A at p. 27).

         After an incident on June 30, 2015, CMF, along with others, was sued by Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”) in the Court of Common of Montgomery County, Ohio, cause no. 2017-CB-02760 (the “Lawsuit”). (Complaint at ¶6). In the Lawsuit, Cincinnati generally alleged that CMF “was negligent and caused damages to a balemaster by dropping it from a forklift while unloading it at 4 Over Properties in Dayton, ...


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