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Ruiz v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 30, 2019

JOHN RUIZ, Plaintiff,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          VINCENT L. BRICCETTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff John Ruiz brings this diversity action against defendant Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with two homeowners insurance claims submitted to, and denied by, defendant.

         Now pending is defendant's motion for partial dismissal of plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (Doc. #9).

         For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

         BACKGROUND

         For the purpose of ruling on the motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor, as summarized below.

         At all times relevant to the complaint, plaintiff was the owner of real property located at 11 Linden Place in Middletown, New York (the “insured premises”).

         From September 13, 2016 to September 13, 2018, plaintiff and the insured premises were covered by a homeowners insurance policy issued and delivered to plaintiff by defendant (the “policy”).

         On or about January 28, 2017, the insured premises flooded when a pipe burst (the “first flood”). The first flood allegedly caused damage to the insured premises and plaintiff's personal property. Plaintiff reported the incident to defendant and submitted an insurance claim for his alleged losses. Thereafter, defendant inspected the insured premises.

         During the insurance adjustment of the first flood claim, a disagreement between plaintiff and defendant arose respecting the amount of plaintiff's alleged losses. Plaintiff then demanded an appraisal pursuant to the terms of the policy.

         About one year later, on January 13, 2018, the insured premises again flooded following another burst pipe (the “second flood”). The second flood allegedly caused additional damage to the insured premises and plaintiff's personal property.

         Plaintiff reported the incident to defendant and submitted an insurance claim respecting same. Thereafter, defendant inspected the insured premises.

         On March 12, 2019, over two years after the first flood, defendant sent plaintiff a letter denying both claims for coverage “due to alleged fraud or concealment.” (Compl. ¶ 23).

         On March 29, 2019, defendant notified plaintiff by letter that it was terminating the appraisal of plaintiff's damages from the first flood because of a ...


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