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Title v. Allstate Indemnity Company

March 12, 2012

TITLE:
STEVE PETERSEN
v.
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, ET AL.



CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

PRESENT: THE HONORABLE DAVID O. CARTER, JUDGE

Julie Barrera N/A Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFF: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANT:

None Present None Present

PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss ("Motion") filed by Defendant Allstate. (Dkt. 6). The Court finds the matter appropriate for ecision without oral argument. Fed R. Civ. P. 78; Local R. 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Motion.

The Court DENIES the Motion regarding the Complaint's fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims because: (1) Defendant is incorrect in arguing that the Complaint's negligent misrepresentation claims must meet the heightened pleading standard of Rule 9(b); (2) alternatively, both the Complaint's fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims satisfy Rule 9(b); and (3) the fraud claim alleges facts showing Defendant's intent not to perform. The Court GRANTS the Motion regarding the claim brought under California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 because Plaintiff does not oppose its dismissal.

I.Background

The gravamen of Plaintiff Steve Petersen's Complaint is that Defendant Allstate Indemnity Company, an insurer, promised via its policy to cover future medical expenses arising from an automobile accident, paid approximately $11,000 of the expenses arising from a subsequent accident, but then suddenly denied coverage when Defendant received more than $100,000 of expenses and has refused to further explain its reasons for denying coverage for five months. The Complaint alleges the following facts.

a.Defendant Insurer's Policy

"Prior to June 5, 2008," Plaintiff allegedly "purchased an automobile policy" that "required ALLSTATE to pay to Plaintiff . . . all medical payments . . . up to . . . $100,000.00" and contained an "underinsured motorist provision with a policy limit of . . . $50,000.00." Compl. at ¶ 8. The Complaint provides a policy number. Id.

b.Accident

On June 8, 2008, Plaintiff was allegedly in an accident with "another driver who was at fault and had policy limits of only $50,000.00." Id. at ¶ 8.

c.Defendant's Payment and Nonpayment of Medical Bills

"[S]tarting from March 16, 2009, through May 5, 2009," Defendant's claim services agent "received six medical bill payment requests from medical caregivers totaling $22,891.00." Id. at ¶ 11.

In a June 22, 2009, letter to Plaintiff's counsel, Defendant stated that it had paid $11,092.69 "by reason of the . . . accident." Id. at ¶ 11.

On December 18, 2009, Defendant's claim services agent received additional "hospital bills" totaling "$114,511.08." Id. at ¶ 11.

On January 27, 2012, Defendant's claim services agent sent multiple letters to Plaintiff stating that it was "denying . . . the requests received from March 16, 2009, forward" because "'[t]his procedure was performed for a condition not related to the motor vehicle accident.'" Id. at ¶ 12.

d.Defendant's Settling of Underinsured Motorist Claim

On March 1, 2010, Plaintiff settled with the other driver's insurance "for the total of her policy," which is $50,000. Id. at ¶ 8. That same date, Plaintiff's counsel "requested the policy limits of the [Defendant's] policy.'" Id. at ¶ 11. "On February 16, 2011, after [Plaintiff] demanded the arbitration and insisted [Defendant] choose an arbitrator and then insisted that [Defendant] must choose an arbitration date, [Defendant] finally settled for" the full amount of the underinsured motorist provision. Id. at ¶ 8.

e.The Present Lawsuit and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

In September 2011, Plaintiff filed the present Complaint against Defendant and "Does" in state court. Compl. at 17. Defendant removed the case to federal Court. See Notice of Removal (Dkt. 1). On February 6, 2012, Defendant brought the present motion to dismiss three of Plaintiff's nine causes of action for: (1) Fraud; (2) Negligent ...


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