Griffin v. Middlefork Insurance Agency et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: (1) Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 10 ) is GRANTED; (2) Plaintiff Geraldine Griffins Complaint (Doc. # 1-1 at 15-25) is DISMISSED with respect to her claims against Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency; and (3) Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency is DISMISSED as a party to his action, as the Court has dismissed and adjudicated all claims against it. Signed by Judge David L. Bunning on 11/13/17.(MRS)cc: COR
UNITED STATED DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 17-215-DLB-HAI
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MIDDLEFORK INSURANCE AGENCY, et al.
This matter is before the Court upon Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency’s
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 10). Plaintiff Geraldine Griffin having failed to respond to the
Motion, and the time to do so having expired, the Motion to Dismiss is ripe for review.1
On October 4, 2017, this Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order in this
case, finding that Plaintiff had failed to state a colorable claim against Defendant Midlefork
Insurance Agency for breach of contract, fraud, or violations of the Kentucky Unfair
Claims Settlement Practices Act. (Doc. # 8). Therefore, the Court determined that
Middlefork Insurance Agency had been fraudulently or improperly joined in the action and
denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand. Id. at 9.
The Court having reviewed the instant Motion to Dismiss, and being otherwise
sufficiently advised, the Court concludes that the same reasons require dismissal of
Joint Local Rule 7.1(c) provides that “[f]ailure to timely respond to a motion may be grounds for
granting the motion.” LR 7.1(c). However, the Court’s inquiry must not stop there. The Sixth Circuit has
held that prior to dismissing an action, the Court must still “consider the merits of the underlying motion.”
Stough v. Mayville Cnty. Schs., 138 F.3d 612, 614 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing Carver v. Bunch, 946 F.2d 451,
452 (6th Cir. 1991)). Accordingly, the Court will consider the merits of Middlefork’s Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff’s claims against Middlefork.2
Accordingly, for the reasons stated herein,
IT IS ORDERED as follows:
Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 10) is
Plaintiff Geraldine Griffin’s Complaint (Doc. # 1-1 at 15-25) is DISMISSED
with respect to her claims against Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency; and
Defendant Middlefork Insurance Agency is DISMISSED as a party to his
action, as the Court has dismissed and adjudicated all claims against it.
This 13th day of November, 2017.
K:\DATA\ORDERS\London\2017\17-215 MOO re Middlefork MTD.docx
As explained in the October 4, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court “resolved all
disputed questions of fact and ambiguities in the controlling state law in favor” of Plaintiff—the non-removing
party—when considering the Motion to Remand and the viability of Plaintiff’s claims against Middlefork.
(Doc. # 8 at 3). The “combination of the ‘colorable’ standard with the requirement that all ambiguities of
state law … be resolved in favor of the non-removing party” created a “‘particularly heavy burden” for the
defendant.” Id. (quoting Kent State Univ. Bd. of Trs. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 512 F. App’x 485, 2013 WL
216026 (6th Cir. 2013) (table)). The Court further explained that it was applying “a test similar to, but more
lenient than, the analysis applicable to a Rule 21(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” Id. (quoting Casias v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 695 F.3d 428, 432-33 (6th Cir. 2012)). Therefore, Plaintiff’s claims against Middlefork, which
failed to pass scrutiny at the lenient motion-to-remand stage, undoubtedly fail to survive the more stringent
Rule 12(b)(6) standard applicable to the instant Motion to Dismiss.
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