NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DETERMINES PLAINTIFF IMPROPERLY JOINED INSURANCE AGENT – DENIES PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR REMAND
In Davis v. State Farm Lloyds, 3:15-CV-0596-B, 2015 WL 4475860, at *4 (N.D. Tex. July 21, 2015), the Northern District of Dallas denied a Plaintiffs’ Motion for Remand, and determined that causes of action alleged against the insurance agent were insufficient. Plaintiffs sued State Farm and Plaintiffs’ agent for negligent misrepresentation; fraud; violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act; and Civil Conspiracy to commit illegal acts for damages allegedly suffered. In fact, the Court noted that Plaintiffs’ Original Petition was so vague that it had to presume the case involved Plaintiffs’ house.
Conducting a 12(b)(6) analysis into Plaintiffs’ pleadings, the Court analyzed the causes of action Plaintiffs brought against the non-diverse insurance agent. The Court reiterated the standard for improper joinder, and noted that State Farm successfully demonstrated there was no possibility of recovery against the agent.
Analyzing each cause of action asserted against the agent, the Court determined Plaintiffs’ negligent misrepresentation claim merely echoed elements for each cause of action, and Plaintiffs’ claims lacked the requisite factual support or context from which the Court can draw the reasonable inference that the agent is liable.
The Court noted Plaintiffs’ allegations are a collection of threadbare recitals of the elements of the claim, conclusory statements, and even ambiguous assertions that provide no facts to indicate the viability of the negligent misrepresentation claim.
The Court also noted that Plaintiffs’ fraud claim merely made conclusory accusations that Defendants made representations that were material and false. The Court noted that the accusation that Defendants made representations that Plaintiffs were adequately insured lacked the requisite factual support to uphold a fraud claim against the agent.
With regard to the sufficiency of Plaintiffs’ DTPA claim, the Court noted Plaintiffs merely quoted excerpts of the DTPA that listed actions constituting “false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices.” Plaintiffs did not adapt or supplement this statutory language with facts regarding their particular circumstances. Plaintiffs made no effort to clarify what statements or advertisements the agent made or what she may have failed to disclose in the course of her dealings with Plaintiffs.
Consequently, the Court dismissed the agent under the doctrine of improper joinder and denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Remand.