OCTOBER 2009 BAD FAITH CASES PRO SE BAD FAITH CLAIM SURVIVES TWOMBLY/IQBAL STANDARD; CLAIMS CAN BE PURSUED TO DISCOVERY (Western District)

In Cogley v. Allstate Ins. Co., a pro se plaintiff brought breach of contract and bad faith claims.  The Court applied the new plausibility standards on a federal motion to dismiss, looking at whether the facts alleged raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary elements, and, if, in view of the facts alleged, it can be reasonably conceived that the plaintiff could, upon a trial, establish a case that would entitle him to relief, the motion to dismiss should not be granted. It also gave a liberal construction in plaintiff’s favor because he was pro se.  The court concluded: “The terms of the contract, their meaning and the circumstances surrounding the claim are best determined after discovery has taken place. At that time, defendant may move for summary judgment, if appropriate. Defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint will, therefore, be denied without prejudice.”

Date of Decision:  October 21, 2009

Cogley v. Allstate Ins. Co.,  U. S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, No. 09-852, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97468 (W.D.Pa. Oct. 21, 2009) (Lancaster, J.)