United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
STACY MORGAN, ET AL.
AMERICAS INSURANCE COMPANY
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 5). For
the following reasons, this Motion is DENIED .
a 2015 fire, Hollis Burton hired A-Plus Contractors, LLC
(A-Plus) to perform remediation and repairs to his property.
Burton was insured for this loss by Defendant Americas
Insurance Company (“AIC”). Burton executed a
post-lost “Assignment of Insurance Benefits”
(“AOB”) form in favor of A-Plus, whereby he
assigned all benefits of the policy relative to the 2015 fire
claim. Pursuant to this assignment, Plaintiffs seek payment
from Defendant for the work completed on the property. On
June 15, 2016, Plaintiffs filed suit in Louisiana State Court
seeking payment for the repair and remediation costs and
damages for breach of contract, negligence, and arbitrary and
capricious penalties, attorneys' fees, and general and
special damages pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statutes
§§ 22:1973 and 22:658. Defendant removed the matter
to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction on
August 14, 2016 and promptly filed a Motion to Dismiss.
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must
plead enough facts “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” A claim is “plausible on
its face” when the pleaded facts allow the court to
“[d]raw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.”A court must
accept the complaint's factual allegations as true and
must “draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs
favor.” The Court need not, however, accept as
true legal conclusions couched as factual
legally sufficient, a complaint must establish more than a
“sheer possibility” that the plaintiffs claims
are true. “A pleading that offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action'"
will not suffice. Rather, the complaint must contain enough
factual allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that
discovery will reveal evidence of each element of the
Motion, Defendant makes three arguments relative to the
sufficiency of Plaintiffs' claims. First, it argues that
Stacy Morgan lacks standing to bring this suit. Second, it
argues that Plaintiffs' breach of contract claim must be
dismissed because there is no contract between AIC and
Plaintiffs. Finally, it argues that Plaintiffs' cannot
bring claims for statutory penalties and attorneys' fees
pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. §§ 22:1892 and 22:1973.
The Court will address these arguments in turn.
Stacy Morgan's Standing to Bring this Action
first argues that Morgan does not have standing to bring suit
against AIC personally pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 17, which provides, in pertinent part:
(b) Capacity to Sue or Be Sued. Capacity to sue or be sued is
determined as follows:
(1) for an individual who is not acting in a representative
capacity, by the law of the ...