United States District Court, E.D. California
MILLER MARITAL DEDUCTION TRUST, by and through its trustees, Helen Miller and James Morris; and HELEN MILLER, an individual, Plaintiffs,
ESTATE OF MARK B. DUBOIS, DECEASED, an individual and dba Glo Dry Cleaning System, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
STANLEY A. BASTIAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 2, 2017, the Court held a telephonic motion hearing
on Defendant Estate of Jack Miller's Motion to Dismiss,
ECF No. 39. Bret Stone and Barry Bryan appeared on behalf of
Plaintiffs, and Jon-Erik Magnus and Jodi Lambert appeared on
behalf of Defendant. The Court took the motion under
Estate of Jack Miller (“Defendant”) requests the
Court dismiss Plaintiffs' Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth,
Tenth, and Thirteenth Causes of Action; as well as
Plaintiffs' First and Sixth Prayer for Relief alleged in
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint for failure to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted. After careful
consideration of the parties' briefings and presentation
to the Court, Defendant's motion is denied.
approximately 1970 to 1985, Jack Miller owned the property
located at 6054 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, California (the
“Property”). During those years Mr. Miller leased
the Property to Glo Dry Cleaning System; a dry cleaning
business that had been operating on the Property since
approximately 1956. This action stems from the environmental
contamination to the Property and the areas to which the
contamination has migrated outside the boundaries of the
Property (collectively, the “Site”), as a result
of hazardous chemicals used in the operation of the dry
Mr. Miller's death, the Miller Marital Deduction Trust
(“Miller Trust”) obtained-and currently
holds-ownership of the Property. On August 10, 2016, the
Miller Trust, by and through its trustees, Helen Miller and
James Morris; and Helen Miller, as an individual,
(“Plaintiffs”) filed this action in defense of
claims made against them by the California Regional Water
Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region, related to the
numerous Defendants named in the Complaint, Plaintiffs
included Defendant to the extent of his estate's
liability insurance assets pursuant to Cal. Prob. Code
§§ 550, et seq. On September 12, 2017
Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”). ECF No. 34.
October 3, 2017 Defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(6). ECF No. 39. Defendant seeks dismissal of
Plaintiffs' Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, and
Thirteenth Causes of Action; as well as Plaintiffs' First
and Sixth Prayer for Relief.
support of its motion, Defendant attatched declarations for
the following: (1) Darrell McCarley, a claims adjuster for
Allianz Insurance Company; and (2) Arlene Church, a records
management specialist for Zurich American Insurance Company.
Defendant holds insurance policies with both companies.
Defendant also seeks judicial notice of the following
documents: (1) Jack Miller's death certificate; and (2)
proof of service of summons of Zurich American Insurance
motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded allegations of material
fact are taken as true and construed in a light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Wyler Summit
P'ship v. Turner Broadcasting Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d
658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
“should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt
that [the] plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief.”
Hydranautics v. FilmTec Corp., 70 F.3d 533, 535-36
(9th Cir. 1995).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that each claim in a
pleading be supported by “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” To satisfy this requirement, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual content “to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Landers v.
Quality Commc'ns, Inc., 771 F.3d 638, 641 (9th Cir.
2014) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim for relief is plausible on its
face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In
evaluating whether a complaint states a plausible claim for
relief, courts rely on “judicial experience and common
sense” to determine whether the factual allegations,
which are assumed to be true, “plausibly give rise to
an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 679.