United States District Court, N.D. New York
EDMUND G. SANDERSON, Plaintiff,
FIRST LIBERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION, Defendant.
G. SANDERSON Plaintiff, Pro Se
GOLDBERG, SEGALLA LAW FIRM JONATHAN SCHAPP, ESQ., SHARON
ANGELINO, ESQ., Attorneys for Defendant
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
N. HURD United States District Judge.
an insurance coverage dispute between pro se plaintiff Edmund
G. Sanderson ("Sanderson" or "plaintiff")
and defendant First Liberty Insurance Corporation
("First Liberty" or "defendant"), his
homeowner's insurance carrier, over water and mold
damage. Although plaintiff initially sought coverage for the
loss from defendant in accordance with his policy, relations
between the parties eventually broke down.
January 6, 2016, Sanderson attempted to initiate suit in
state court-he filed a Summons with Notice in Supreme Court,
Clinton County, under index number 2016-00000023.
Plaintiff's Summons with Notice named "Liberty
Mutual Insurance" as the defendant in the action, but
plaintiff did not serve this summons on defendant.
4, 2016, Sanderson filed an Amended Summons with Notice in
Supreme Court under the same index number. This time,
plaintiff's Amended Summons with Notice named "First
Liberty Insurance Corporation" as the defendant in the
action. And this time, plaintiff effected service on
defendant through the New York State Department of Financial
Services in accordance with New York Insurance Law §
6, 2016, First Liberty removed the action to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of New York and
thereafter moved to dismiss the action under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(4) and
Plaintiff opposed and cross-moved under Rules 4 and 15
seeking leave to amend or correct his Amended Summons with
Notice to relate back to the date of his original filing of
the Summons with Notice.
Memorandum-Decision & Order dated April 19, 2017, First
Liberty's motion to dismiss was denied, Sanderson's
motion for an extension of time to perfect service was
granted, and his complaint was deemed to be the operative
pleading in this action. The April 19 MDO further directed
defendant to answer or otherwise respond to plaintiff's
9, 2017, First Liberty responded to Sanderson's complaint
by moving for partial dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). Although
it conceded that plaintiff had stated at least a plausible
claim for breach of the insurance contract, defendant sought
to eliminate plaintiff's various extra-contractual
theories of relief and his requests for special damages.
2, 2017, Sanderson reacted to First Liberty's partial
dismissal motion by filing an amended complaint. Three days
later, plaintiff followed up by filing a single-paragraph
opposition memorandum requesting that defendant's Rule
12(b)(6) motion be denied as moot in light of his newly filed
First Liberty replied with a request that the merits of its
partial dismissal motion be considered in light of the
revised allegations set forth in Sanderson's amended
complaint. According to defendant, "the Amended
Complaint does not correct most of the defects and
improprieties in the original Complaint." The motion
will be considered fully briefed on the basis of these
submissions and decided without oral argument.
purchased homeowner's insurance policy number
H36-228-085080-70 from First Liberty to cover his home in
Plattsburgh, New York. The policy's effective period ran
between January 25, 2013 and January 25, 2014.
January 7, 2014, Sanderson discovered some water and mold
damage. As plaintiff explains, "[w]ater escaped from the
dwelling plumbing system through a burst 3/4 inch domestic
cold water pipe located in the ceiling space above the first
floor bathroom." Plaintiff timely sought coverage for
the loss from First Liberty in accordance with the policy and
was assigned claim number 028787581.
January 16, 2014, Sanderson hired a public adjuster to assist
him in settling his loss claim. At some point, however,
plaintiff "suspend[ed]" the adjuster's services
and elected to "self-represent." Elsewhere in the
amended complaint it appears that plaintiff became concerned
about communications between defendant and the adjuster he
addition, Sanderson alleges that Christopher Collyer
("Collyer"), First Liberty's own claims
representative, repeatedly made gross errors in his
calculations and measurements of plaintiff's dwelling
that amounted to fraud. Eventually, plaintiff provided to
defendant a self-prepared "dwelling estimate, contents
estimate, other expenses estimate and ordinance or law
estimate." On January 6, 2016, First Liberty sent to
Sanderson a letter explaining that his loss estimate was
substantially larger than defendant's own ...