United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Allstate Insurance Company's
Motion to Dismiss. Docket No. 13. After considering the
allegations, arguments, and applicable law, the Court grants
in part and denies in part Allstate's Motion.
Factual and Procedural History
Watson purchased a home insurance policy from Allstate.
Docket No. 1-1 at 3. In December 2015, Watson's home and
personal property were destroyed by a fire. Id.
Watson filed an insurance claim with Allstate. Id.
After conducting its own investigation, Allstate denied
Watson's claim because he “intentionally overstated
the value of the personal property damaged by the fire”
and “made additional misrepresentations during the
investigation of the claim.” Id. at 16.
filed this suit in Warren County Circuit Court in 2016,
alleging several state law claims against Allstate. Docket
No. 1-1. The action was properly removed to this Court on
December 28, 2016, pursuant to diversity jurisdiction. Docket
No. 1. Allstate now seeks dismissal of four of Watson's
claims: breach of fiduciary duty; estoppel and detrimental
reliance; negligent, grossly negligent, and wanton failure to
monitor and train agents and adjusters; and indemnity. Docket
No. 13. Watson filed a response, Docket No. 15, to which
Allstate filed a rebuttal. Docket No. 22.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of an
action that fails “to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court accepts all
factual allegations as true and makes all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff's
complaint “must contain a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. at 677-78 (quotation marks and
citation omitted). The plaintiff's claims need not
include “detailed factual allegations, ” but the
complaint must contain “more than an unadorned, the
Id. at 678 (quotation marks and citation omitted).
The plaintiff must also plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Hale v. King, 642
F.3d 492, 499 (5th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678).
Iqbal, the Fifth Circuit has clarified that the
Supreme Court's “emphasis on the plausibility of a
complaint's allegations does not give district courts
license to look behind those allegations and independently
assess the likelihood that the plaintiff will be able to
prove them at trial.” Harold H. Huggins Realty,
Inc. v. FNC, Inc., 634 F.3d 787, 803 n.4 (5th Cir.
2011). The plausibility standard calls only “for enough
fact to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will
reveal evidence of the necessary claims or elements.”
Flagg v. Stryker Corp. 647 Fed. App'x. 314, 316
(5th Cir. 2016) (internal quotations and citation omitted).
diversity action, the applicable substantive law is that of
the forum state, Mississippi. Capital City Ins. Co. v.
Hurst, 632 F.3d 898, 902 (5th Cir. 2011). State law is
determined by looking to the decisions of the state's
highest court. United Teacher Assoc. Ins. Co. v. Union
Labor Life Ins. Co., 414 F.3d 558, 565 (5th Cir. 2005).
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
asserts that Allstate breached its fiduciary duty by refusing
to honor the terms of Watson's insurance policy. Docket
No. 1-1 at 6. Allstate argues that it owes Watson no such
duty, as “there can be no fiduciary duty between an
insurer and insured in a first party scenario.” Docket
No. 15 at 4. The Court agrees with Allstate.
maintain an action for breach of fiduciary duty, a fiduciary
relationship must exist.” Gibson v. Markel
Int'l, Ltd., No. 1:07-cv-1245-HSO-JMR, 2008 WL
3842977, at *6 (S.D.Miss. Aug. 14, 2008) (citing Skinner
v. USAble Life,200 F.Supp.2d 636, 641 (S.D.Miss.
2001)). Under Mississippi law, an insurer does not owe a
fiduciary duty to the insured in the context ...