Stricker et al v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company et al
ORDER by Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. Defendants' 7 Motion to Dismiss Count III is GRANTED and Plaintiffs' 18 Motion to Remand is DENIED. As a result, the stay on Defendants' 9 Motion to Dismiss Count II is lifted, and Defendant may file a reply on or before October 4, 2022. Signed on 9/19/2022 by District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. (Gassen, Austin)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DR. WILLIAM E. STRICKER AND
Case No. 2:22-cv-4074-NKL
AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY,
Before the Court is a Motion to Remand filed by Plaintiffs Pamela and William Stricker,
arguing that this case should be remanded back to the Boone County Circuit Court because the
presence of Defendant Lloyd Hoagenson, a non-diverse defendant, destroys this Court’s subject
matter jurisdiction. Doc. 18. Also before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Count III of Plaintiffs’
Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) filed by Defendants Auto-Owners
Insurance Company (“Auto-Owners”) and Lloyd Hoagenson. Doc. 7. Defendants argue that
Count III, which alleges negligence against Mr. Hoagenson, an Auto-Owner’s insurance adjuster,
fails as a matter of law and should be dismissed. 1 As explained below, Plaintiffs’ claim against
Mr. Hoagenson is clearly foreclosed by Missouri law. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand
Count III is the only claim against Mr. Hoagenson.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 1 of 13
is DENIED, and Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Count III is GRANTED.2
Plaintiffs Pamela and William Stricker maintained a homeowner’s policy from Auto-
Owners covering accidental physical loss to their home and its contents. Doc. 1 -2 (Complaint), at
¶¶ 11–14. While the Strickers were out of town, a water line connected to their washing machine
broke loose, resulting in pressurized water flowing into the house for several days. The first floor
and basement of the Strickers’ home, and all personal belongings therein, suffered severe water
damage. Several weeks later, hail damaged Plaintiffs’ roof. Finally, “at some point in the coverage
period” the house was also vandalized with eggs. Doc. 1 -2, at ¶ 19. Plaintiffs claim that these
losses were covered by their policy with Auto-Owners. Plaintiffs obtained a repair estimates and
provided them to Defendant Lloyd Hoagenson, an Auto-Owners insurance adjuster, and AutoOwners itself. Plaintiffs claim the estimate amounts were within the policy limits. Nevertheless,
Auto-Owners obtained its own estimates, which were substantially lower. As a result, AutoOwners maintained that it would only pay Plaintiffs’ claims in part. Id.
Mr. Hoagenson informed Plaintiffs that the documentation they submitted was insufficient
because it failed to adequately identify and distinguish covered expenses from an uncovered
remodeling project that occurred at the same time. Doc. 1-23, at ¶¶ 39–40. Mr. Hoagenson stated
that “the final invoices do not allow a means of comparison with [Auto -Owners’] very detailed
and itemized estimate, therefore it is impossible for us to identify any additional items that may be
related to the claim.” Id. at ¶ 41. Plaintiffs allege that they provided Mr. Hoagenson with all the
Also pending is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Count II of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, a cause of
action against Auto-Owners for Vexatious Refusal to Pay pursuant to §375.420 R.S.Mo. Doc. 9.
The Court previously stayed Defendants’ reply deadline pending resolution of Plaintiffs’ Motion
to Remand. Doc. 17. That stay is hereby lifted, and Defendants may file a reply on or before
October 4, 2022.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 2 of 13
information necessary for him to properly distinguish the covered losses from the remodeling
expenses. Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Hoagenson failed to exercise reasonable care as an insurance
adjuster when he “failed to apply basic cross-referencing skills in reviewing the data Plaintiffs
provided, and to request or independently gather such additional information as he might need
from Plaintiffs and their agents.” Id. at ¶¶ 70–71. Plaintiffs argue that Mr. Hoagenson’s
negligence contributed to Auto-Owners’ denying their claim.
Defendants jointly removed to this Court on May 18, 2022, invoking this Court’s diversity
jurisdiction. See Doc. 1 (Notice of Removal). Auto-Owners is a Michigan “citizen” for the
purposes of diversity. Plaintiffs and Mr. Hoagenson are all Missouri residents. Even though Mr.
Hoagenson is a non-diverse defendant, Defendants argue that this Court retains subject matter
jurisdiction because Mr. Hoagenson was fraudulently joined. Defendants have also filed a Motion
to Dismiss Count III, Plaintiffs’ negligence claim against Mr. Hoagenson. See Doc. 7. Plaintiffs
maintain they have a viable claim against Mr. Hoagenson and that, therefore, the Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction and remand is necessary. See Doc. 18.
A party may remove an action to federal court if there is complete diversity of the parties
and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a) and 1441(a). “In the case
of a removed action, diversity [of citizenship] must exist both when the state petition is filed and
when the petition for removal is filed.” Knudson v. Sys. Painters, Inc., 634 F.3d 968, 975 (8th Cir.
2011) (quotation omitted). “If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The removing
party bears the burden of establishing—and defending—federal jurisdiction. In re Bus. Men’s
Assurance Co. of Am., 992 F.2d 181, 183 (8th Cir. 1993). “[A] district court is required to resolve
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 3 of 13
all doubts about federal jurisdiction in favor of remand.” Transit Cas. Co. v. Certain Underwriters
at Lloyd's of London, 119 F.3d 619, 625 (8th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
However, when a non-diverse defendant has been fraudulently joined, diversity jurisdiction
is not destroyed. See BP Chemicals Ltd. v. Jiangsu Sopo Corp., 285 F.3d 677, 685 (8th Cir. 2002).
“Joinder is fraudulent and removal is proper when there exists no reasonable basis in fact and law”
to support a claim against the defendant whose joinder would preclude removal. Id. (quoting Wiles
v. Capitol Indem., Corp., 280 F.3d 868, 871 (8th Cir. 2002)). A defendant must prove that the
forum state’s law leaves no possible room for any claim pleaded against the defendant. Filla v.
Norfolk S. Ry. Co., 336 F.3d 806, 810–11 (8th Cir. 2003). This means that, if “there is a ‘colorable’
cause of action-that is, if the state law might impose liability on the resident defendant under the
facts alleged—then there is no fraudulent joinder.” Id. at 810 (emphasis in original).
It is not enough that a claim simply would not survive a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion ; applicable
state precedent must preclude a cause of action against a defendant for joinder to be fraudulent.
Knudson v. Sys. Painters, Inc., 634 F.3d 968, 980 (8th Cir. 2011); see also Filla, 336 F.3d at 810
(remanding even when no applicable state precedent directly permitted the suit). All ambiguities
in the controlling substantive law should be resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, Filla, 336 F.3d at 811,
and federal courts are not required to “definitively settle the ambiguous question of state law[.]”
Id. (emphasis in original). In situations where the viability of a claim is in question “the better
practice is for the federal court not to decide the doubtful question in connection with a motion to
remand but simply to remand the case and leave the question for the state courts to decide.” Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted).
On the face of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, complete diversity does not exist. Plaintiffs are both
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 4 of 13
Missouri residents, as is Defendant Hoagenson. Nevertheless, Defendants argue that Mr.
Hoagenson does not destroy diversity because Plaintiffs’ claim against him is clearly barred by
Missouri law and should therefore be dismissed, leaving only Auto-Owners—a Michigan
corporation—as a defendant. Whether this Court has jurisdiction, then, turns on whether Missouri
law clearly precludes Plaintiff’s negligence claim against an in-house insurance adjuster who
“failed to consider the substantial information presented to him [in connection with a claim for
insurance coverage] consistent with the standards of a reasonable insurance adjuster.” Doc. 19, at
2. Said differently, Plaintiffs claim Mr. Hoagenson violated a duty of care owed to Plaintiffs
because he failed to investigate and adjust their claim properly; if Missouri law clearly disclaims
such a duty, Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand must be denied and the claims against Mr. Hoagenson
must be dismissed.
Under Missouri law, the agent of an insurance company is not liable for damages caused
by his failure to perform a duty owed to the insurer. State ex rel. Ranni Assocs., Inc. v. Hartenbach,
742 S.W.2d 134, 139–40 (Mo. 1987). But the agent can be liable “if he commits [an act] which
would [also] constitute an independent tort” or if he owed an independent duty to the insured. Id.
at 139; see also Haughland v. Parsons, 863 S.W.2d 609, 611 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992) (“A mere failure
to perform a contract cannot serve as the basis of tort liability unless the breach is also an
independent tort.”); General Elec. Capital Corp. v. Rauch, 970 S.W.2d 348 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998)
(“We note that an agent, while performing his duties for a principal, is liable for acts or omissions
causing injuries to third persons, whenever, under the circumstances he owes a duty of care in
regard to such matters to such third persons” and this would be true even “if no relationship of
master and servant or principal and agent existed between him and someone else.”)
Plaintiffs argue that, among other things, Mr. Hoagenson owed them an independent duty
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 5 of 13
because insurance adjusters are held to a professional standard of care, which represents a duty
owed to the insureds whose claims they adjust. See generally Richey v. Phillip, 259 S.W.3d 1, 1718 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008) (establishing that insurance professionals are held to a professional
standard of care) (overruled on other grounds by Parr v. Breeden, 489 S.W.3d 774, n. 6 (Mo. banc
It is the Defendants’ burden to prove that Missouri law is settled in their favor on this point,
and they have done so. Defendants’ primary support for their position is the Eighth Circuit’s
decision in Kerr v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 113 F.3d 884 (8th Cir. 1997). There,
the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, specifically addressed a plaintiff’s claim that an
insurance adjuster failed to appropriately investigate and determine if the plaintiff’s loss was
covered by the applicable insurance policy. Id. The plaintiff in Kerr argued that the adjuster
undertook a duty to plaintiff when he agreed to complete plaintiff’s proof of loss form and submit
it. To the plaintiff, because the adjuster undertook this duty, his failure to complete plaintiff’s
proof of loss with skill, care, reasonable expedience, and faithfulness was an independent tort. Id.
The Eighth Circuit disagreed, relying on its interpretation of the Missouri Supreme Court’s
decision in State ex rel. Ranni Assocs., Inc. v. Hartenbach, 742 S.W.2d 134, 139–40 (Mo. 1987),
which reaffirmed that an insurance adjuster is only liable “if he commits [an act] which would
constitute an independent tort.” Id. at 887. The Eighth Circuit noted that “[t]hroughout his course
of dealings with [plaintiff], [the adjuster] conducted only activities which related to his duty as
FEMA’s adjuster” and therefore, “[b]ecause [plaintiff] ha[d] not established that [the adjuster’s
company] undertook a separate duty to [plaintiff], he [could] not claim that an independent tort
arose which would cause [adjuster’s company] to be liable for [plaintiff’s] economic harm.” Id.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 6 of 13
Kerr, and Ranni, concretely answer the question before the Court: insurance adjusters do
not owe a general, independent duty to insureds, separate from their duty owed to the insurer, to
adjust a claim with care. To the extent an insurance adjuster negligently performs his job duties,
the remedy is a claim against the insurance company. Ranni, 742 S.W.2d at 139–40 (“If plaintiffs
suffered economic loss from the acts of Ranni as an agent, their remedy is to sue the principal,
Manhattan Life, who is subject to the jurisdiction of Missouri courts.”); Kerr, 113 F.3d at 887
(“Any cause of action [plaintiff] has with regard to [insurance agent’s] alleged negligence must be
brought against [insurance company] as [insurance agent’s] principal.”). Plaintiffs’ attempts to
distinguish Kerr from the facts of this case are not persuasive.
First, Plaintiffs argue that Kerr was a federal question case, and accordingly remand was
never an option. Plaintiffs posit that, had the issue arisen in a case premised on diversity
jurisdiction, it would have been a “perfect example of a case where remand would have been
appropriate so the state courts could fill an apparent gap in state law.” Doc. 21, at 8. To begin,
the Court disagrees that there is a gap for a state court to fill. See Ranni, 742 S.W.2d at 139–40.
Even so, Kerr unambiguously held that an insurance adjuster’s duty to properly investigate and
adjust an insured’s claim is not a “separate” duty under Missouri law. Accordingly, regardless of
the underlying context, the Eighth Circuit’s decision—binding on this Court—established
Missouri law on the relevant question of an insurance adjuster’s duty. This is especially so because
the Eighth Circuit’s decision hinges almost exclusively on the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision
in Ranni.3 There, the Missouri Supreme Court held that when an agent of an insurance company
is accused of a breach of duties owed to the insurance company—said differently, when the
Indeed, as explained, the Court finds that Ranni, not just Kerr, holds that Plaintiffs’ case against
Mr. Hoagenson must fail.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 7 of 13
adjuster is alleged to have done her job poorly and that resulted in a breach of the insurance
contract—the claim is against the insurance company, not the adjuster. Id. The same is true here.
Second, Plaintiffs argue that Kerr involved an external insurance agent, while this case
involves an in-house adjuster employed directly by Auto-Owners. To Plaintiffs, this difference is
legally relevant. Plaintiffs argue that with an outside adjuster, there is no relationship between the
adjuster and the insured; the adjuster is retained by and for the exclusive benefit of the insurer, and
accordingly there is no duty of care owed to the insured. However, Plaintiffs suggest that this is
different with an in-house adjuster because the insurance contract between the insured and the
insurer for which the adjuster works is enough to create a direct link between the adjuster and the
insureds. Doc. 21, at 7 (citing Addison v. Travelers Indem. Co. of America, 2010 WL 3258585 at
*2–3 (D. South Carolina Aug. 17, 2010)).
This argument fails for two reasons. As an initial matter, neither Ranni nor Kerr were
influenced by the nature of the adjuster’s relationship with the insurer. Both courts held that
because an agent—of any kind—is not liable for economic loss caused to a third party by the
negligent performance of duties owed only to a principle, the insurance agents, whose negligence
was within the scope of their employment, owed no duty to the plaintiffs. Id. Both in house and
independent adjusters do the same job, and do it only because the principal insurance company
requires it. There is simply nothing to suggest that negligence occurring within the scope of an
insurance adjuster’s employment could implicate duties owed only to an insurance company
principal for an external insurance adjuster, as held in Ranni and Kerr, but duties owed to insureds
for an in-house adjuster, as Plaintiffs ask the Court to find. Put another way, while an in-house
adjuster may have a more direct link to the insureds, that link still flows only through the adjuster’s
employer, the insurance company.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 8 of 13
Plaintiffs’ only suggestion that an independent duty exists is that insurance adjusters are
held to a professional standard of care. Doc. 21, at 5 (citing Richey v. Phillip, 259 S.W.3d 1, 17–
18 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008)). While that may well be true, the Richey court specifically held that its
decision was cabined to the facts of the case, where, relevant here, the adjuster admitted that she
owed a duty and the court was only deciding whether a directed verdict or post-trial motion could
be granted in the face of that admission. Nothing in Richey, or Jones v. Kennedy, the case on
which it relies, suggests that the heightened standard of care creates a generally applicable,
independent duty owed by all insurance adjusters. Richey, 259 S.W.3d at 17–18; Jones, 108
S.W.3d 203. Indeed, the Jones court specifically found that, despite being held to a professional
standard of care, the insurance adjuster owed no duty to the plaintiff. Accordingly, while Missouri
law does recognize that insurance adjusters are held to a professional standard of care, this does
not suggest that it applies in all situations. And, given well-settled Missouri law, this professional
standard of care does little to change the Court’s analysis, informed by Ranni and Kerr.
What’s more, Plaintiffs’ theory would effectively permit them to challenge an insurance
company’s failure to pay a claim in both tort and contract. When an insurance company
wrongfully refuses payment of a claim to its insured, a plaintiff is limited to a breach of contract
claim. Overcast v. Billings Mutual Insurance Company, 11 S.W.3d 62, 67 (Mo. 2000).4 Plaintiffs
Plaintiffs argue that because the Overcast court held that the vexatious refusal to pay statute did
not preempt a tort claim for defamation, it suggests Missouri courts would look favorably upon
their negligence claim. The Court disagrees. Overcast solidifies the clearly established rule of
Missouri law that when a plaintiff challenges wrongful conduct that exists independent of any
alleged breach of an insurance contract, she may proceed in tort. Overcast v. Billings Mut. Ins.
Co., 11 S.W.3d 62, 68 (Mo. 2000) (“Thus, Overcast’s defamation claim is not based on the
company’s refusal to pay and is based on conduct quite distinct from conduct that merely
constituted a breach of contract.”). Plaintiffs have not alleged that Mr. Hoagenson was in any way
acting outside the scope of his employment or committed any negligence beyond performing his
job duties poorly, which resulted in the wrongful denial of insurance benefits. The remedy for
which is exclusively a breach of contract claim against Auto-Owners.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 9 of 13
“cannot convert [their] breach of contract claim against [an insurer] for failure to pay under a
policy into a tort claim.” Ryann Spencer Group, Inc. v. Assurance Co. of America , 275 S.W.3d
284, 290 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008). While it is true that Missouri courts announced this principle in
the context of a tort claim against an insurance company, on these facts, and as argued by Plaintiffs,
Mr. Hogaenson is nothing more than an extension of the insurance company as an in-house
adjuster. That itself defeats Plaintiffs’ claims against him. The Missouri Supreme Court has
clearly explained that “[n]o tort claim has supplanted or supplemented the basic contract claim and
remedy where an insurance company wrongfully refuses to pay a loss incurred by its own insured.”
Overcast, 11 S.W.3d at 67. Despite their characterizations otherwise, Plaintiffs are attempting to
supplement their contract remedy with tort recovery against Mr. Hoagenson, an Auto -Owners
employee. Plaintiffs explicitly argued Mr. Hoagenson’s actions caused a breach of the insurance
contract, and therefore, under Missouri law, Plaintiffs’ exclusive path to recovery runs through
Third, Plaintiffs attempt to distinguish Kerr because, to them, it addressed an adjuster’s
contractual duty, not a tort duty, and turned on unique language in the relevant insurance policy.
The Court disagrees; Kerr’s reasoning is not so narrow. Plaintiff in Kerr argued that the adjuster
assumed a separate duty—and was liable in tort—by agreeing to complete certain claim-related
tasks. Kerr, 113 F.3d at 886. Kerr’s bottom-line holding was that “[t]hroughout his course of
dealings with [plaintiff insurer], [insurance agent] conducted only activities which related to his
duty as [insurer’s] adjuster. Because Kerr has not established that [insurance agent’s company]
undertook a separate duty to Kerr, he cannot claim that an independent tort arose which would
cause [insurance agent’s company] to be liable for Kerr’s economic harm.” Id. at 887. This is the
exact situation before this Court. The Eight Circuit’s holding related to duty was not in any way
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 10 of 13
impacted by the language of the specific policy; indeed, the Eighth Circuit only reached the
specifics of the policy only after assuming that the plaintiff had shown an independent duty. Id.
At bottom, Missouri law is clear that if a plaintiff challenges conduct beyond mere
negligent job performance by an insurance agent that resulted in a breach of an insurance contract,
that plaintiff has an independent tort claim against the agent. However, in cases like this one,
where Plaintiffs only argue that an insurance adjuster failed to adjust their claim property, resulting
in the wrongful denial of benefits, those arguments must be made in a breach of contract claim
against the insurer. This Court found no case remanding a claim like Plaintiffs to state court.
When federal courts in Missouri remand, it is only when the plaintiff has alleged a violation beyond
the simple negligent performance of an agent’s job duties. See, e.g., Eichholz v. American Family
Mut. Ins., 6-cv-0408-DW, Doc. 21 (Aug. 28, 2006) (“There is a reasonable basis in Missouri law
for concluding that Missouri courts may recognize personal liability for claims based on bad
faith, negligence or fraud against [insurance company employees].”); Plazaview, LLC v. Travelers
Indem. Co., No. 4:15-CV-00800-SRB, 2015 WL 9875294, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Jan. 6, 2015)
(remanding negligence and fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation claims against an insurance
company’s claim representative); Ferrellgas, L.P., v. Indemnity Ins. Company N.A., No. 17-cv00944-HFS, Doc. 38 (Sept. 18, 2018) (remanding negligence and bad faith claim against insurance
company’s agent charged with mishandling claim for coverage). On the other hand, in cases where
a plaintiff alleges negligent claims handling against an agent of an insurance company, courts have
declined to remand. See Everett v. St. Paul Guardian Ins. Co., 4:08-CV-488-MLM, 2008 WL
2486044, at *5–6 (E.D. Mo. June 18, 2008) (finding no independent duty where insurance adjuster
defendant was alleged to have negligently handled the plaintiff’s claim for coverage because
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 11 of 13
plaintiffs failed to allege a duty separate from those owed as an employee or agent of the insurance
At bottom, Plaintiffs portray Missouri law as far more unsettled than it is. Plaintiffs argue
that (1) Missouri allows tort claims against adjusters to proceed and (2) insurance professionals
are held to a professional standard of care. Both are true. But neither saves the Plaintiffs’ claim
against Mr. Hoagenson. Missouri allows tort claims against adjusters to proceed only when the
adjuster is alleged to have committed a tort or assumed a duty independent of the wrongful denial
of coverage. Here, Plaintiffs directly allege that Mr. Hoagenson’s failure to act with reasonable
care when adjusting their claim resulted in the wrongful denial of their benefits. Missouri law is
clear that these arguments must be made in a breach of contract claim against Auto-Owners. The
fact that Missouri law recognizes that insurance adjusters—when they assume a separate duty—
are held to a professional standard of care does not change this outcome. Plaintiffs have failed to
Plaintiffs cite Kennedy v. Allstate Property and Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 4111816 (E.D. Pa July
8, 2015) to suggest that remand is required. There, under Pennsylvania law, the court remanded
plaintiff’s claims challenging an adjuster’s negligence—which included active
misrepresentations—to state court. Kennedy does not help the Plaintiffs here. First, Pennsylvania
law provided no guidance to the court in Kennedy; it was forced to look to the law of other states.
Meanwhile, here, Missouri law is already clear that an agent of an insurance company is not liable
unless a plaintiff challenges conduct independent of the agent’s duties to the insurance company;
said differently, unless the plaintiff challenges conduct beyond what would constitute a breach of
the insurance contract. Second, Kennedy appears consistent with Missouri law. The Court in
Kennedy relied heavily on the adjuster defendant’s active misrepresentations about the status of
the investigation into the plaintiff’s insurance claims. The case did not involve only allegations
that an insurance adjuster did not do his job with the requisite level of skill. Id. at * 5 (“[I]t is
possible that a Pennsylvania state court would find that plaintiffs’ negligence claims have at least
‘alleged breach of a general social duty’ based on the alleged misrepresentations and “not a breach
of any duty created by the insurance policy itself.”). Because Plaintiffs’ claim that Mr. Hoagenson
merely failed to act as a reasonable insurance adjuster would, their claim against him is subsumed
by their breach of contract claim against Auto-Owners.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 12 of 13
appropriately allege that Mr. Hoagenson assumed a duty separate from the one he owed AutoOwners, and accordingly their claim against him is not colorable. For these reasons, Plaintiffs’
Motion to Remand, Doc. 18, is DENIED and Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Count III, Docs. 7
is GRANTED.6 Within 14 days of this Order, Defendants may file a reply in support of their
Motion to Dismiss Count II.
s/ Nanette K. Laughrey
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY
United States District Judge
Jefferson City, Missouri
The Rule 12(b)(6) standard is lower than the standard governing a motion to remand. Junk v.
Terminix Int’l Co., 628 F.3d 439, 445 (8th Cir. 2010). Accordingly, because Plaintiffs’ claim
against Mr. Hoagenson is not colorable under state law, it is necessarily not plausible.
Case 2:22-cv-04074-NKL Document 29 Filed 09/19/22 Page 13 of 13
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?