United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION
TO DISMISS [DKT. 16]
Vanessa L. Bryant, United States District Judge
Plaintiffs, Justyn Cyr and Sheila Cyr (the
“Cyrs”), bring this action in a three-count
complaint against Defendant CSAA Fire & Casualty
Insurance Company (“CSAA”). The Plaintiffs allege
breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing, and violations of the Connecticut
Unfair Insurance Practices Act (“CUIPA”) and
Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”), as a result
of CSAA's decision to decline coverage for damage to the
basement walls of Plaintiffs' home (the
“Property”) under a homeowners insurance policy
(the “Policy”). CSAA has moved to dismiss Counts
Two and Three of the Complaint. [Dkt. 16]. Plaintiffs oppose
the motion. [Dkt. 21]. For the reasons that follow,
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
Cyrs own and reside at 35 Old Kent Road South, Tolland, CT
06084. [Dkt. 1-1 (“Compl.”) ¶ 1]. CSAA
provided homeowners insurance to the Cyrs for this residence.
Id. at ¶ 3. Over time, the Cyrs observed
visible cracking patterns in the basement walls if their
home. Id. at ¶ 5. Having seen news reports
regarding deteriorating concrete issues, the Cyrs engaged a
structural engineer to inspect their basement. Id.
at ¶ 6. The engineer informed them that the cracks were
due to a chemical reaction in the concrete that would
ultimately render the walls unstable and recommended that the
concrete be replaced. Id. at ¶ 7.
October 2015, the Cyrs made a claim to CSAA for coverage of
the damages caused by the chemical reaction based on the
report made by the structural engineer. Id. at
¶ 8. The claim was based on the terms of the insurance
coverage, which specifically stated that one of the
“Perils Insured Against” was the “risk of
direct physical loss to property.” Id. at
¶ 9. Additionally, the homeowner's insurance policy
covers “collapse, ” which the plaintiffs contend
includes progressive deterioration of the concrete in the
basement walls. Id. at ¶ 11. CSAA disagreed
with the Cyrs, citing contrary policy provisions to deny the
claim on October 23, 2015. Id. at ¶¶
support of their assertion that this denial was made in bad
faith, the Plaintiffs allege, “[T]he Defendant in its
discretion, unreasonably and in bad faith, sought out other
policy provisions and interpreted these and other policy
provisions in a manner for the purpose of denying benefits
despite the aforementioned provisions of the policy
conferring benefits.” [Compl. ¶ 16]. The Complaint
provided no additional details indicating why the Cyrs
believed that their denial was unreasonable or made in bad
allege Defendant is aware of “the numerous claims and
lawsuits that have arisen in this section of
Connecticut” regarding deteriorating concrete, through
Defendant's participation in the Insurance Services
Office, Inc. (“ISO”), which collects data
regarding insurance claims. Id. at ¶¶ 19,
21. Based on the aforementioned information received from
ISO, the Plaintiffs contend that Defendant has attempted to
deny coverage for claims such as the Plaintiffs' based on
other purported exclusions, despite provisions within the
policy that provide coverage for chemical reaction and
collapse, to which there is no chemical reaction exclusion.
Id. at ¶ 22. The Defendant provided a false and
misleading denial of coverage that was contrary to other
sections of its policy that provide coverage for chemical
reaction and collapse. Id. at ¶ 23. Nowhere in
the policy does it exclude coverage for chemical reaction.
has “regularly denied claims in similar manners or on
similar grounds or other grounds, ” in a
“business practice intended to put the Plaintiffs at a
disadvantage.” Id. at ¶¶ 24-25.
Plaintiffs assert Defendant's denial of Plaintiffs'
claim contravenes the terms of the policy, is
“oppressive, unethical, immoral, and unscrupulous,
” and directly and proximately caused Plaintiffs to
suffer “losses and damages they are rightfully owed
under the homeowner's insurance policy” as well as
litigation expenses and loss of interest. Id. at
brought this action in the Superior Court of Connecticut on
December 14, 2015, alleging breach of contract, breach of the
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of
Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“CUTPA”). [Dkt. 1-1]. The case was removed to
this Court on January 20, 2016. [Dkt. 1].
survive a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the complaint must plead “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Court must “accept all factual allegations as true
and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff” when deciding a motion to dismiss.
Litwin v. Blackstone Grp., L.P., 634 F.3d 706, 715
(2d Cir. 2011). A court may, however, “choose to begin
by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than
conclusions, are ...