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Faalevao v. Mechem

June 10, 2010

LIA CHARLENE FAALEVAO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TIMOTHY DAVENPORT MECHEM, INSURED, AND ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

Plaintiff, Lia Charlene Faalevao ("Plaintiff"), appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, filed the instant complaint alleging damages for personal injuries against Timothy Davenport Mechem and Allstate Insurance Company ("Defendants"). Plaintiff is requesting compensatory damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $100,000.

DISCUSSION

A. Screening Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court must conduct an initial review of the complaint for sufficiency to state a claim. The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the court determines that the action is legally "frivolous or malicious," fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). If the court determines that the complaint fails to state a claim, leave to amend may be granted to the extent that the deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by amendment.

A 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). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. At 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While legal conclusions can provide a framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. At 1950. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusion are not. Iqbal at 1949.

In reviewing a complaint under this standard, the Court must accept as true the allegations of the complaint in question, Hospital Bldg. Co. V. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pro se pleadings liberally in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000), and resolve all doubts in the Plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1969).

A pleading may not simply allege a wrong has been committed and demand relief. The underlying requirement is that a pleading give "fair notice" of the claim being asserted and the "grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47-48 (1957); Yamaguchi v. United States Department of Air Force, 109 F.3d 1475, 1481 (9th Cir. 1997).

B. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Mechem's vehicle struck her vehicle, and that resulting collision caused property damage to Plaintiff's vehicle and personal injury to Plaintiff in the form of "whiplash injuries to her neck, shoulders, and her back areas...." Doc. 1 at 2. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Mechem was insured by Defendant Allstate, and that Defendant Allstate paid Plaintiff's property damage claim in the amount of $5,329.49. Doc. 1 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Allstate offered to settle her bodily injury claim for $4,700, but refused Plaintiff's offers to settle for various amounts between $15,000 and $70,000. Doc. 1 at 3-4.

Plaintiff alleges $200,000 in damages for soft tissue injuries and past pain and suffering, and seeks $300,000 in damages for future pain and suffering. Doc. 1 at 5. Plaintiff also seeks $100,000 in punitive damages. Doc. 1 at 6.

C. Jurisdiction

The parties appear diverse: Plaintiff is a citizen of Oregon and Defendant Mechem is a citizen of California. Moreover, Plaintiff asserts damages in excess of the ...


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