Cieutat v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 7 Motion to Dismiss. The motion is granted with respect to any claim for attorney's fees, pre-judgment interest or costs. Those claims are dismissed. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 11/4/2015. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MARY ANNE CIEUTAT,
) CIVIL ACTION 15-0380-WS-N
WRIGHT NATIONAL FLOOD
This matter is before the Court on the defendant’s motion to dismiss and
for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. 7). The parties have filed briefs in support
of their respective positions, (Docs. 8, 17, 18), and the motion is ripe for
According to the complaint, (Doc. 1), the defendant issued the plaintiff a
standard flood insurance policy as a “write-your-own” carrier. The plaintiff’s
house was damaged by flood, but the defendant paid only a portion of her covered
losses. Count One seeks a declaration of rights, and Count Two asserts a claim for
breach of contract.
The defendant first argues that governing law does not permit the plaintiff
to recover attorney’s fees, costs or pre-judgment interest. (Doc. 8 at 6-8). The
plaintiff concedes the point. (Doc. 17 at 2).
The defendant also argues that Count One is “not only procedurally
incompatible with the request for monetary relief [in Count Two] but is also
redundant and immaterial.” (Doc. 8 at 5). The defendant does not explain the
former contention; as to the latter, it asserts that the plaintiff “would get nothing
from the declaratory judgment that [she] would not get from [her] breach of
contract claim.” (Id. at 6). The plaintiff asserts, somewhat unconvincingly, that
this is untrue. (Doc. 17 at 3-4).
It is unnecessary for the Court to resolve that controversy at this time,
because the defendant has not explained why it is important to do so. If Count
One truly adds nothing to Count Two, the defendant cannot be prejudiced by its
presence or helped by its elimination. And if Count One truly goes beyond Count
Two, the plaintiff would be harmed by its elimination. The defendant may of
course, if it feels strongly enough about the matter, seek dismissal of Count One
on the grounds of redundancy on motion for summary judgment at an appropriate
For the reasons set forth above, the motion to dismiss is granted with
respect to any claim for attorney’s fees, pre-judgment interest or costs; all claims
for such relief are dismissed. In all other respects, the motion to dismiss is
DONE and ORDERED this 4th day of November, 2015.
s/ WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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