PLEAD YOUR CASE, PARTICULARLY FRAUD, WITH SPECIFICITY OR ELSE
Recently, the United States Southern District of Texas held Michael and Tiffany Sanderson to their burden to follow the federal pleading rules in Michael Sanderson et al. v. Allstate Fire and Casual Insurance Company, 2023 WL 417478. A storm damaged the Sanderson’s home, they requested coverage from Allstate, and Allstate denied coverage. The Sandersons sued Allstate for fraud, misrepresentation, Insurance Code violations, and Deceptive Trade Practices Act violations. Allstate moved to dismiss the case, stating that the Sandersons filed a boilerplate, conclusory petition. The Court agreed, especially noting that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) requires allegations of fraud or mistake to particularly state the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. “The ‘who, what, when, and where’ required by Rule 9(b) is missing” said the Court, and it thereafter required the Sandersons to properly re-plead their case or face dismissal.