Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jordan v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

July 15, 2019

JAMES JORDAN, Plaintiff,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NOS. 10 AND 15]

          Benita Y. Pearson United States District Judge.

         Pending is Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No. 10), filed two days before the Case Management Conference (“CMC”).[1] For the reasons set forth in Section II.A. below, the motion is denied.

         Also pending is Plaintiff's Motion to Extend Expert Report and Associated Discovery Deadlines by Sixty Days (ECF No. 15).[2] For good cause shown, the motion is granted without opposition as set forth in Section II.B. below.

         I. Background

         The Complaint (ECF No. 1-1 at PageID #: 6-11) in the above-entitled action was filed in the Mahoning County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas on December 11, 2018.[3] It alleges that Plaintiff suffered property damage to his residence as a result of a fire that occurred while insured under a Liberty policy of insurance designated as Policy No. H35-281-103241-70 (the “Policy”). ECF No. 1-1 at PageID #: 7-8, ¶¶ 4, 8. The alleged loss occurred on February 26, 2017. ECF No. 1-1 at PageID #: 7-8, ¶ 8. Plaintiff claims that he complied with the obligations of the Policy and that Defendant improperly refused to make payment for the loss. Liberty formally denied coverage for the claim in November 2018, approximately 21 months after the fire loss. ECF No. 1-1 at PageID #: 8, ¶ 14.[4] Thereafter, Plaintiff brought claims against Defendant for breach of contract (First Claim) and bad faith (Second Claim).

         The Policy has certain general conditions that are identified beginning on page 8 of the Policy. On page 10, the Policy sets forth a limitation of action clause that provides:

8. Suit Against Us. No action can be brought unless the policy provisions have been complied with and the action is started within one year after the date of loss.

ECF No. 11-1 at 91.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Judgment on the Pleadings (ECF No. 10)

         The procedural standard for determining a judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) is indistinguishable from the standard of review for dismissals based on failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). U.S. ex rel. Bledsoe v. Community Health Systems, Inc., 342 F.3d 634, 643 (6th Cir. 2003); Ziegler v. IBP Hog Market, Inc., 249 F.3d 509, 511-12 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Mixon v. Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 399-400 (6th Cir. 1999)). In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), or a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c), the Court must take all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and construe those allegations in a light most favorable to the plaintiff. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations omitted). “To survive a 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 679. The factual allegations in the complaint “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing authorities).

         In other words, claims set forth in a complaint must be plausible, rather than conceivable. Id. at 570. “[When] the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged __ but it has not ‘show[n]' __ ‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). The factual allegations in the complaint “must contain something more . . . than . . . a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, p. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004)). In addition to reviewing the claims set forth in the complaint, a court may also consider exhibits, public records, and items appearing in the record of the case as long as the items are referenced in the complaint and are central to the claims contained therein. Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008); Erie County, Ohio v. Morton Salt, Inc., 702 F.3d 860, 863 (6th Cir. 2012).

         Defendant, citing the unreported case of Walker v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Indiana, No. 5:17CV2214 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 13, 2018) (Adams, J.), [5] argues that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted for two reasons. First, Plaintiff's breach of contract claim fails because it was brought outside the limitation period in the Policy. Second, Plaintiff's bad faith claim cannot succeed where the breach of contract claim fails.

         Plaintiff responds that Liberty has failed to cite persuasive legal authority to meet its burden to demonstrate why any portion of his claims should be dismissed on the text of the Complaint (ECF No. 1-1 at PageID #: 6-11) and prior to the completion of discovery. In addition, some of the legal authority upon which Defendant relies is inaccurately represented and does not have the effect stated in the motion. Finally, Plaintiff argues Liberty cannot cite any technical deficiencies in the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.