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Keith Warkentin v. Federated Life Insurance Company

March 23, 2012

KEITH WARKENTIN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERATED LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF DEFENDANT/COUNTER-CLAIMANT'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND COUNTER CLAIM IN ITS ENTIRETY (Document 51)

On February 21, 2012, Plaintiff Keith Warkentin ("Plaintiff" or "Warkentin") filed the instant motion to strike portions of the answer and counterclaim filed by Defendant Federated Life Insurance Company ("Federated"). The matter was heard on March 23, 2012, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. David Hollingsworth appeared on behalf of Warkentin. Sheila Tatayon appeared on behalf of Federated.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND*fn1

On June 14, 2005, Warkentin completed and signed a written application for a disability insurance policy from Federated.

On June 27, 2005, Federated conducted a phone interview with Warkentin. During the interview, Federated asked questions contained in the application, including "Have you seen any other doctors, chiropractors, specialists, or therapists in the last 5 years including any medication, treatment or therapy?" Warkentin responded "No."

On September 8, 2005, Federated sent Warkentin disability insurance policy 656909 ("Policy"), along with an Acknowledgment of Acceptance and Delivery of Policy ("Acknowledgment"). Warkentin signed the Acknowledgment attesting that the information contained in the Policy (and application) was true to the best of his knowledge.

After a dispute arose regarding the Policy coverage, Warkentin initiated this action on December 22, 2009, in Merced County Superior Court. Warkentin initially claimed that Federated unreasonably denied him benefits under two disability insurance policies. Federated removed the action to this Court on February 10, 2010, and filed an answer to the complaint.

On January 12, 2012, the parties stipulated to to allow Warkentin to file a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") and to allow Federated to file a response. Doc. 36. Thereafter, Warkentin filed his FAC, which seeks damages for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, 17500 et seq.), negligent misrepresentation and fraud. Doc. 41. Federated filed an answer to the FAC, along with a counterclaim for rescission and declaratory relief. Doc. 44.

On February 21, 2012, Warkentin filed an answer to Federated's counterclaim. Warkentin also filed the present motion to strike. Doc. 52. Warkentin requests an order striking:

(1) Federated's Twenty-Third, Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth affirmative defenses for the equitable remedy of rescission, a declaration that the Policy is void ab initio and rescission of the contract; and (2) Federated's counterclaim for rescission based on material misstatements and concealment and for declaratory relief.

Federated filed its opposition to the motion on March 9, 2012. Warkentin did not file a reply.

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), the Court may strike from a pleading any "insufficient defense" or any material that is "redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). "[O]nly pleadings are subject to motions to strike." See ...


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