United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Allstate Insurance Company's motions for
judgment on the pleadings and leave to file a supplemental
brief. Docket Nos. 6 and 25. For the reasons stated below,
the motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED in part
and DENIED in part, while the motion for leave to file a
supplemental brief is DENIED.
case involves two disputes between Allstate and both Francis
and Stephanie Parker. These disputes trace their roots to
January 2014, when Stephanie Parker - while driving a 2003
Toyota Avalon owned by her mother, Francis - was hit by a
driver insured by Allstate.
first dispute involves Allstate's management of the
post-accident settlement process. The Parkers allege that
Allstate delayed that process, refused to give the Parkers an
adequate replacement car, and refused to grant the Parkers an
second dispute involves Allstate's handling of the
Parkers' car during the settlement process. The Parkers
allege that Allstate impounded their car, threatened to have
it sold, and demanded that the Parkers pay car storage
charges - all in an attempt to force the Parkers to accept an
October 2016, the Parkers sought to resolve both these
disputes by bringing a host of tort claims against Allstate
in state court, requesting $140, 000 in compensatory damages
and $1 million in punitive damages. Allstate responded by
removing the case to this Court and moving for judgment on
the pleadings. In June 2017, Allstate filed a motion for
leave to file supplemental briefing regarding its motion for
judgment on the pleadings.
for judgment on the pleadings are governed by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c).
The standard for deciding a Rule 12(c) motion is the same as
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The court accepts all
well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. The plaintiff must plead enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).
Guidry v. Am. Pub. Life Ins. Co., 512 F.3d 177, 180
(5th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
“well-established” that plaintiffs who fail to
meet their burden on a motion for judgment on the pleadings
and yet “may still have a viable avenue to
recover” should be “granted leave to amend their
complaint and make their ‘best case.'”
Boutwell v. Time Ins. Co., No. 3:11-CV-689-CWR-LRA,
2013 WL 53902, at *4 (S.D.Miss. Jan. 3, 2013) (citation
Parkers' complaint alleges that, in both managing the
post-accident settlement process and handling the
Parkers' car during that process, Allstate committed
“intentional torts, ” fraud, and
negligence. Docket No. 3-1 at 6-7. For the reasons
that follow, Allstate is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law on all of these claims. The Parkers, however, may have a
viable avenue to recover on claims involving Allstate's
handling of their car. ...