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Sousie v. Allstate Indemnity Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

May 3, 2017

ALEXANDER M. AND AMY N. SOUSIE, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANT LEAVE TO AMEND

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Alexander and Amy Sousie's (“Sousies”) motion for partial summary judgment and for more definite statement (Dkt. 9). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants in part and denies in part the motion for the reasons stated herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 4, 2017, the Sousies served the Washington Insurance Commissioner with a complaint against Defendant and foreign insurer Allstate Indemnity Company (“Allstate”). Dkt. 1-1. The Sousies assert a cause of action for breach of their insurance agreement and a violation of Washington's Insurance Fair Conduct Act. Id.

         On February 1, 2017, Allstate removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1.

         On February 17, 2017, Allstate answered the complaint and asserted the affirmative defense that the Sousies' damages are not covered under the policy of insurance because of misrepresentation, concealmend, and lack of ownership. Dkt. 8.

         On March 2, 2017, the Sousies moved for summary judgment and for a more definite statement. Dkt. 9. On March 20, 2017, Allstate responded. Dkt. 13. On March 24, 2017, the Sousies replied. Dkt. 16.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Summary Judgment

         The Sousies move for partial summary judgment on jurisdiction, venue, all defenses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b), the issuance and contents of the insurance policy, facts relating to the theft of personal property, and certain other affirmative defenses. Dkt. 9 at 6-10.

         1. Standard

         Summary judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record, taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt”). See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Conversely, a genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute, requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

         The determination of the existence of a material fact is often a close question. The Court must consider the substantive evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254; T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The Court must resolve any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving party only when the facts specifically attested by that party contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party. The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the claim. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630 (relying on Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). Conclusory, nonspecific statements in affidavits are not sufficient, and missing facts will not be presumed. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).

         2. ...


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