United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS
Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.
plaintiffs, Eugene and Melissa Jones, bring suit against the
defendant, Allstate Insurance Company
(“Allstate”), based on the latter's alleged
refusal to honor the terms of the plaintiffs'
homeowner's property insurance policy. The plaintiffs
sets out two claims against Allstate: (i) specific
performance (count one); and (ii) breach of contract (count
two). Allstate moves to dismiss count one of the
plaintiff's complaint. The plaintiffs have not filed a
response to the motion. For the reasons set forth below,
Allstate's motion is denied.
plaintiffs make the following factual allegations in their
amended complaint, which I assume to be true.
plaintiffs own property located in New London, Connecticut.
(ECF No. 23, Count One, at ¶ 1). At all times relevant to
this case, the plaintiffs “were insured under a
homeowner's property insurance policy issued by the
defendant.” (Id. at ¶ 3). “On or
about March 1, 2015 and days and weeks thereafter, while said
policy was in full force and effect, a snow and/or ice storm
caused damage to [the plaintiffs'] home and personal
property.” (Id. at ¶ 4). Despite the fact
that the plaintiffs' insurance policy with Allstate
included “the right to an appraisal of the loss,
” (id. at ¶ 5), Allstate “refused
and/or failed” to provide such an appraisal.
(Id. at ¶ 6). The plaintiffs “are
entitled to a determination through the appraisal process of
the amount of the total loss made by an appraisal panel
consisting of competent and independent appraisers and an
independent umpire, ” (id. at ¶ 7), and
have “no adequate remedy at law” to attain such
relief. (Id. at ¶ 8).
survive a motion to dismiss [under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)], a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face. 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.” Ray v. Watnick, 688
Fed.Appx. 41 (2d Cir. 2017) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted)). While the Court must “draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party,
” Vietnam Ass'n for Victims of Agent Orange v.
Dow Chem. Co., 517 F.3d 104, 115 (2d Cir. 2008), it must
grant the moving party's motion if “a complaint is
based solely on wholly conclusory allegations and provides no
factual support for such claims. . . .” Scott v.
Town of Monroe, 306 F.Supp.2d 191, 198 (D. Conn. 2004).
the plaintiffs declined to file a response to State
Farm's motion to dismiss, I must determine whether the
plaintiffs' “pleadings provide sufficient grounds
to deny the motion.” Local Civ. R. 7(a)(1).
sole argument in its motion to dismiss the first count of the
plaintiffs' complaint- which comprises a demand for
specific performance-is that specific performance “is
more appropriately considered a remedy, as opposed to a
separate, stand-alone cause of action.” (ECF No. 24 at
4). However, several Connecticut courts have entertained
stand-alone specific performance causes of action. See
Kevalis v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. CV020079667S,
2003 WL 539722, at *2 (Conn. Super. Ct. Feb. 11, 2003)
(denying motion to strike counts for specific performance on
basis that “although plaintiffs were not required to
plead specific performance as a separate equitable cause of
action, [the defendant] has not asserted a sufficient ground
to strike the [counts]”); Stevens v. Allstate
Ins., No. CV00071957S, 2002 WL 237330, at *1 (Conn.
Super. Ct. Jan. 24, 2002) (“The plaintiff has alleged
the necessary elements for a claim of specific performance
and thus may plead in the alternative seeking the equitable
remedy.”). Also, the Connecticut Supreme Court has
entertained stand-alone causes of action for specific
performance. See DeBlasio v. Aetna Life & Cas.
Co., 186 Conn. 398, 398 (1982) (noting that the
plaintiff sought “specific performance of an automobile
insurance contract”); Bender v. Bender, 292
Conn. 696, 702 (2009) (affirming trial judge's decision
dismissing “plaintiffs' count seeking damages for
breach of contract . . . but rendering judgment in favor of
the plaintiffs on the count for specific performance”).
Thus, although Allstate is correct that the plaintiffs did
not have to plead specific performance as a separate cause of
action, their decision to do so does not merit the dismissal
of the claim.
therefore deny Allstate's motion to dismiss the
plaintiffs' first count.
reasons set forth above, the motion to dismiss (ECF No. ...