United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
BRIAN A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is American Security Insurance Company's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 3)
Cheryl Butler's breach-of-contract claim. For the reasons
that follow, the Motion (Doc. 3) is
homeowner sued an insurer for failing to pay a
property-damage claim under a lender-placed
policy. (Doc. 1-1). At issue is whether the
homeowner has standing to sue under the policy as a
third-party beneficiary (Docs. 3, 4). The Court holds that she
Cheryl Butler owns property in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. (Doc.
1-1 at ¶ 2). Wells Fargo holds a mortgage on the
property. (Id. at ¶ 3). When Plaintiff failed
to provide proof of insurance, Wells Fargo obtained an
American Security policy insuring the property. (Doc. 3-2).
to that policy, Plaintiff demanded that American Security pay
the cost of repairing water damage to her home. (Doc. 1-1 at
¶ 14). She sued American Security for breaching the
policy after she received no response. (Id.).
Security moves to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint for failure to
state a breach-of-contract claim. (Doc. 3). American Security
argues that Plaintiff lacks standing to sue under the policy
because Plaintiff is not a named insured, an additional named
insured, or a third-party beneficiary. (Doc. 3-1). Plaintiff
rejoins that she has standing as a third-party beneficiary.
overcome American Security's motion, Plaintiff must plead
a plausible claim for relief See Romero v. City of
Grapevine, Tex., 888 F.3d 170, 176 (5th Cir. 2018)
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). A claim is plausible if it is pleaded with factual
content that allows the Court to reasonably infer that
American Security is liable for the misconduct alleged.
See Edionwe v. Bailey, 860 F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir.
2017) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
Court accepts as true the well-pleaded facts of Plaintiffs
complaint and views those facts in the light most favorable
to Plaintiff. See Midwest Feeders, Inc. v. Bank of
Franklin, 886 F.3d 507, 513 (5th Cir. 2018). Because
Plaintiff references the American Security policy in her
complaint, the Court considers the policy in its ruling.
See Wolcott v. Sebelius, 635 F.3d 757, 763 (5th Cir.
plaintiff may sue under an insurance policy if she is a named
insured, an additional named insured, or a third-party
beneficiary. See Joseph v. Hosp. Serv. Dist. No. 2 of
Parish of St. Mary, 2005-2364, pp. 8-9 (La. 10/15/06);
939 So.2d 1206, 1212.
does not allege that she is a named insured, an additional
named insured, or a third-party beneficiary. (Doc. 1). So she
fails to plead facts showing that she has standing to sue
under the American Security policy. See Joseph, 939
So.2d at 1212. Because she fails to plead facts sufficient to
show standing, she fails to plead a plausible claim against
American Security. See Romero, 888 F.3d at 176. And
because her claim is not plausibly pleaded, the Court must
dismiss it; the question is whether that dismissal should be
with or without prejudice. That question, in turn, depends on
whether Plaintiff can qualify as a third-party beneficiary
under American Security's policy.
opposition, Plaintiff concedes that she is neither a named
insured nor a named additional insured. (Doc. 4). She
insists, however, that ...