United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Wheeling
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE
COMPANY'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PRESTON BAILEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending before this Court is Defendant Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Company's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 4], which was
filed on January 7, 2019. The Motion has been fully briefed
and is ripe for decision. For the reasons that follow, the
Motion will be GRANTED.
Factual and Procedural History
filed his Complaint in the Circuit Court of Brooke County,
West Virginia on November 30, 2018 [Doc. 1-4]. Defendant
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
(“Nationwide”) subsequently removed this matter
to this Court on December 20, 2018, on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction [Doc. 1].
Complaint alleges the following causes of action against
Nationwide: Common Law Claim Misconduct (Count IV); Unfair
Trade Practices Act (Count V); Breach of Contract (Count IV
(sic)); and Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and
Fair Dealing (Count V). [Doc. 1-2 at ¶¶ 57-61,
62-76, 77-79, 80-82]. Plaintiff also asserts a claim for
Punitive Damages in Count VI.
Complaint stems from an underlying motor vehicle accident
which occurred on September 12, 2013, with a John Doe who
fled the scene of the accident [Doc. 1-1 at ¶ 11].
Defendant Nationwide had previously issued an insurance
policy to plaintiff that provided uninsured motorist coverage
benefits in the amount of $100, 000 per person and $300, 000
per occurrence (Id. at ¶ 22). After the
accident, plaintiff filed an uninsured motorist claim with
Nationwide (Id. at ¶ 39). Plaintiff asserts his
first-party claim for uninsured motorists bodily injury
benefits did not settle in a timely manner (Id. at
¶ 43). The parties eventually settled the underlying
action on November 30, 2017, for $70, 000 (Id.).
Plaintiff asserts he was legally entitled to compensation up
to the per person coverage limit for uninsured motorist
bodily injury under the Nationwide Policy (Id. at
¶ 32). As part of the consideration, the plaintiff
executed a Release in Full on December 17, 2017. The Release
[Doc. 4-1] terms provide:
THEREFORE, in consideration for the resolution of
the matters set forth in the recitals to this release,
plaintiff hereby executes the following agreement:
[. . .]
shall and, by the execution of this document does, release
and discharge Defendant insurance carrier, from any past,
present, or future known or unknown suspected or unsuspected,
claims, obligations, rights, damages, costs and liens whether
based in tort, contract, equity, or any other principles of
law or equity and whether for the recovery or reimbursement
of compensatory, general, special, or any other kind of
damages that Plaintiff has had, presently has, or may have
arising out of or relating in any manner to (i) the Civil
Action; (ii) the subject matters that were set forth, or
could have been set forth, in the complaint commencing the
Civil Action or in any other pleading that was or could have
been filed in the Civil Action; (iii) the Claims; (iv) the
Accident; and (v) any of the matters set forth in the
recitals to this release (collectively the “Released
Matters”), noting however, the specific exclusion and
reservation set forth above preserving extra contractual
claims, including but not limited to violations of the Unfair
Trade Practices Act, Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act,
Substantially Prevail Claims, First Party Bad Faith Claims or
other derivative claims which Shaw (sic) Durbin, may or may
not be entitled to as a matter of law.
complaint must be dismissed if it does not allege
“‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.' Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007) (emphasis
added).” Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298,
302 (4th Cir. 2008). When reviewing a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Court must assume all of the allegations to be
true, must resolve all doubts and inferences in favor of the
plaintiffs, and must view the allegations in a light most
favorable to the plaintiffs. Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999).
rendering its decision, the Court should consider only the
allegations contained in the Complaint, the exhibits to the
Complaint, matters of public record, and other similar
materials that are subject to judicial notice.
Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Schmoke, 63 F.3d 1305, 1312
(4th Cir. 1995). In Twombly, the Supreme Court,
noting that “a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do, ” Id. at 1964-65, upheld the
dismissal of a complaint where the plaintiffs did not
“nudge[ ] their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible.” Id. at 1974.
Court is well aware that “[M]atters outside of the
pleadings are generally not considered in ruling on a Rule 12
Motion.” Williams v. Branker, 462 Fed.Appx.
348, 352 (4th Cir. 2012). “Ordinarily, a court may not
consider any documents that are outside of the Complaint, or
not expressly incorporated therein, unless the motion is
converted into one for summary judgment.” Witthohn
v. Fed. Ins. Co., 164 Fed.Appx. 395, 396 (4th Cir.
2006). However, the Court may rely on ...