United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge
Libman (“Libman”) alleges that Great Northern
Insurance Company and the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
breached his home owner's insurance policy (Count I). R.
1-1 at 8. He also alleges that Great Northern and Chubb,
along with the agent that brokered the policy, David
Schwartz, and the agency Schwartz works for, TA Cummings Jr.
Company (which is owned by AssuredPartners, Inc.)
(collectively, the “Agency Defendants”),
fraudulently induced Libman to sign the policy (Count III)
and are liable for consumer fraud (Count II). Id. at
9-11. Lastly, Libman alleges that the Agency Defendants were
negligent in not relaying information regarding the property
to Great Northern and Chubb (Count IV). Id. at
11-12. Great Northern has moved to dismiss the fraud claims
(Counts II & III) for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). R. 6. (Great
Northern has not made a motion with respect to Count I.) The
Agency Defendants joined Great Northern's motion,
see R. 37; R. 40, and separately moved to dismiss
the negligence claim (Count IV) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). R.
38; R. 42; R. 43; R. 45. Great Northern has also moved to
have Chubb stricken from the complaint, R. 5, and to dismiss
for failure to join a necessary party, namely Libman's
ex-wife, Tami Libman (“Tami”). R. 4. For the
following reasons, the motions to dismiss Counts II, III, and
IV are granted, the motion to strike is denied, and the
motion to dismiss for failure to name a necessary party is
denied in part and granted in part.
12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
complaint. See, e.g., Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of
Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir.
2009). A complaint must provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to
provide defendant with “fair notice” of the claim
and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). This standard “demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). While “detailed factual allegations”
are not required, “labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“‘A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.'” Mann v.
Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Mann, 707 F.3d at 877.
Northern renewed a home owner's insurance policy for Jody
and Tami Libman effective August 30, 2014 (the
“Policy”). See 4-1. The Policy is
described as a “Chubb Masterpiece Policy” and was
printed on “Chubb” letterhead. Id. at 3.
The Policy's cover letter stated, “This mailing
contains information about the renewal of your insurance
policy with Chubb. . . . Relax. You're insured by
Chubb.” Id. at 2. The fine print at the bottom
of the cover letter provided
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (“Chubb”) is
the marketing name used to refer to the insurance
subsidiaries of The Chubb Corporation. Chubb Personal
Insurance (“CPI”) is the personnel lines property
and casualty strategic business unit of Chubb & Son, a
division of Federal Insurance Company, as manager and/or
agent for the Insurers of Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
Id. The Policy states that “Chubb Group of
Insurance Companies” “provided” the Policy,
id. at 5, and “Chubb” is generally
referred to as the insurer throughout the Policy.
purchased the Policy from defendant TA Cummings. R. 1-1 at 5
(¶ 12). TA Cummings is listed as the Policy's
“producer” and “contact” for any
questions. R. 4-1 at 2-3. Defendant Schwartz was the
“account executive” at TA Cummings who worked
with Libman. R. 1-1 at 6 (¶ 16).
August and December 2014 no one lived in the property covered
by the Policy (the “Property”). Id. at 6
(¶ 19). Libman alleges that during the time the Property
was unoccupied, he “was in regular contact with
Schwartz. . . . [and] informed Schwartz . . . that the
Property's units remained unoccupied, but that Libman was
taking necessary steps to protect the Property.”
Id. (¶ 20). Libman also alleges that he
regularly showed the Property to prospective tenants, thereby
checking the status of the Property, and ensuring that
“all utilities . . . were in working order, ” and
“the temperature inside the Property was kept at a
reasonable level.” Id. (¶¶ 22-23).
On December 4, 2014, water pipes at the Property burst and
caused “extensive damage.” Id. (¶
investigating the incident, Chubb and Great Northern denied
coverage under the Policy by letter dated September 14, 2015
(the “Letter”). Id. at 7 (¶¶
27-31). The Letter provides the following in relevant part:
[recitation of certain Policy provisions]
No coverage is afforded under [the Policy] because the loss
was intentionally caused or directed to be caused by you.
Alternatively, no coverage is afforded under the Policy
because you failed to use ...