United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER
R. Underhill, United States District Judge.
present insurance dispute, Allstate Insurance Co.
(“Allstate”) has moved to dismiss the claims
filed against it by Barry and Robin Agosti. The Agostis'
complaint alleges in Counts Four, Five, and Six that (1)
Allstate breached its contract with the Agostis by denying
coverage under their homeowner's insurance policy (the
“Allstate Policy”) for damage to their basement
walls; (2) Allstate breached the implied covenant of good
faith and fair dealing by baselessly denying coverage; and
(3) Allstate committed unfair and deceptive practices
proscribed by the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act
(“CUIPA”), as enforced through the Connecticut
Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”). Because the
Allstate Policy provides coverage only for an “entire
collapse, ” and the Agostis have alleged no facts to
suggest such a collapse occurred here, I grant the motion and
dismiss the pertinent counts of the complaint.
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is designed
“merely to assess the legal feasibility of a complaint,
not to assay the weight of evidence which might be offered in
support thereof.” Ryder Energy Distribution Corp.
v. Merrill Lynch Commodities, 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir.
1984) (quoting Geisler v. Petrocelli, 616 F.2d 636,
639 (2d Cir. 1980)). When deciding a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept the material
facts alleged in the complaint as true, draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiffs, and decide whether it
is plausible that plaintiffs have a valid claim for relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009);
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56
(2007); Leeds v. Meltz, 85 F.3d 51, 53 (2d Cir.
Twombly, “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level,
” and assert a cause of action with enough heft to show
entitlement to relief and “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” 550
U.S. at 555, 570; see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of
a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.”). The plausibility standard set forth in
Twombly and Iqbal obligates the plaintiff
to “provide the grounds of his entitlement to
relief” through more than “labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quotation marks omitted). Plausibility at the pleading stage
is nonetheless distinct from probability, and “a
well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy
judge that actual proof of [the claims] is improbable, and .
. . recovery is very remote and unlikely.” Id.
at 556 (quotation marks omitted).
Barry and Robin Agosti own and reside at a house in Tolland,
Connecticut, which is protected by a homeowner's
insurance policy underwritten by defendant Allstate. Compl.,
Doc. No. 1, at Count 1, ¶¶ 1, 3. Prior to September
2015, the Agostis gradually “observed visible cracking
in the concrete of their home.” Id. at ¶
5. On September 15, 2015, the Agostis “had their
basement inspected by a professional structural
engineer” because they were concerned about the
“visible cracking patterns in the basement walls”
and were “aware . . . [of] deteriorating concrete
issues [from] recent media reports.” Id. at
¶ 6. The engineer's inspection “indicated the
concrete deterioration and cracking were caused by a chemical
reaction in the concrete, ” which he concluded
“would continue to progressively deteriorate the
basement walls, rendering the structure unusable.”
Id. at ¶ 7. As a result, the engineer
“recommended replacement of the concrete basement
the inspection, on November 10, 2015, the Agostis “made
a timely formal claim for coverage under [their]
homeowner's insurance policy” with Allstate.
Id. at Count 4, ¶ 8. They asserted that the
loss to their basement walls was covered as a
“collapse” due to “hidden decay and/or
defective materials.” Id. at ¶ 10.
Although the Allstate Policy provides that Allstate generally
“do[es] not cover loss to the property . . . consisting
of or caused by: . . . 12. Collapse . . . [or] 15. . . . (g)
settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging or expansion of . . .
foundations [or] walls, ” Allstate Policy, Ex. C to
Allstate's Mot. Dismiss, Doc. No. 17-4, at 31-33, it does
offer coverage pursuant to an “Additional Protection,
” which reads as follows:
[Allstate] will cover:
a) the entire collapse of a covered building structure;
b) the entire collapse of part of a covered building
c) direct physical loss to covered property caused by (a) or
coverage to apply, the collapse of a building structure
specified in (a) or (b) above must be a sudden and accidental
direct physical loss caused by one or more of the following:
a) a loss we cover under Section I, Coverage C-Personal
b) hidden decay of the building structure;
c) hidden damage to the building structure caused by insects
d) weight of persons, animals, equipment or contents;
e) weight of rain or snow which collects on a roof;
f) defective methods or materials used in construction,