Anderson Oil Company Inc et al v. Varni Enterprise LLC et al
ORDER denying as moot 7 Amended Partial Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion to Strike by First Casualty Insurance Group, Inc. Signed by Honorable J Michelle Childs on 2/2/2016.(asni, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
CROSSROADS CONVENIENCE, LLC,
as successor to TFL ASSOCIATES, LLC,
and assignee of ANDERSON OIL, INC.,
AND VARNI ENTERPRISES, LLC,
FIRST CASUALTY INSURANCE GROUP,
INC., AND EMPLOYERS MUTUAL
) Civil Action No: 1:15-02544-JMC
This matter is before the court on Defendant First Casualty Insurance Group, Inc.’s (“First
Casualty”) Amended Partial Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion to Strike (ECF No. 7) filed pursuant
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 12(f). No response has been filed.
This case was initially filed in the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Allendale, South
Carolina, on October 20, 2014, by Plaintiffs Anderson Oil Company (“Anderson Oil”) and TFL
Associates, LLC (“TFL”) against First Casualty and Employers Mutual Casualty Company
(“Defendants”). (ECF No. 1-2).
On May 14, 2015, Varni and Anderson Oil executed an
Assignment of Rights and Covenant Not to Execute whereby Varni assigned all of its claims against
First Casualty to Anderson Oil. (ECF No. 1 at 2). On June 12, 2015, Plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint (“First Amended Complaint”). (ECF No. 1-2 at 51). Subsequently, on May 25, 2015,
First Casualty filed a notice of removal, and the litigation was removed to the District of South
Carolina. (ECF No. 1). Thereafter, on July 1, 2015, First Casualty filed this Amended Partial Motion
to Dismiss and/or Motion to Strike.
On August 21, 2015, Anderson Oil filed a motion seeking leave to amend the complaint on
the grounds that TFL was purchased by Crossroads. (ECF No. 19). Additionally, Anderson Oil
entered into an Assignment of Rights and Claims and Covenant Not to Execute with Crossroads.
(ECF No. 20). The court granted Anderson Oil’s motion on September 28, 2015. (ECF No. 25).
As a result, Crossroads became the sole Plaintiff in this litigation. Crossroads filed an Amended
Complaint on September 29, 2015. (ECF No. 26). First Casualty filed an Answer to the newly
Amended Complaint on October 9, 2015. (ECF No. 33). First Casualty did not file a motion to
withdraw or amend its previously filed motion to dismiss.
First Casualty’s entire motion to dismiss is premised on the assertion that TFL could not
assert any rights on behalf of Varni or Anderson Oil because it was not a party to the May 14, 2015
agreement whereby Varni assigned its rights against Defendants to Anderson Oil. Accordingly, First
Casualty asserts that 1) TFL has no standing to assert any claim against First Casualty, and 2) that
TFL’s claims for breach of contract, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel,
and constructive fraud must fail because TFL does not assert that it had any relationship with First
Casualty to support those causes of action. (ECF No. 7-1 at 5-6). First Casualty further asserts that
paragraphs 34, 44, 54, 59, 64, 68, and 74 should be stricken from the First Amended Complaint
because TFL and Anderson Oil are not entitled to recovery against First Casualty as equitable
subrogees. First Casualty contends that TFL cannot satisfy the elements of an equitable subrogation
claim because they do not allege that they have paid any debt on behalf of Varni that would permit
them to assert claims on Varni’s behalf. Further, First Casualty asserts that any equitable
subrogation claim made by Anderson Oil is redundant because Anderson Oil’s claim against First
Casualty is based on an assignment of rights.
As a threshold matter, TFL is no longer a party in interest to this action because Crossroads
purchased TFL on June 30, 2015. (ECF No. 20 at 1). After purchasing TFL, Crossroads entered into
an agreement with Anderson Oil whereby Anderson Oil assigned all of its claims, and previously
assigned claims by Varni, against First Casualty to Crossroads. (ECF No. 20). As a result,
Crossroads has the ability to assert all claims against First Casualty that Anderson Oil and Varni
could have asserted. Subsequent to the filing of First Casualty’s motion to dismiss, Crossroads filed
an Amended Complaint on September 29, 2015, asserting these assigned claims against First
Casualty. Additionally, because Crossroads is the sole plaintiff in this matter and has been assigned
all the rights of the previous plaintiffs, Crossroads does not assert any claims based on an equitable
subrogation theory. As a general rule, once an amended complaint is filed it supersedes the
previously filed complaint and renders it of no legal effect. See Young v. City of Mount Ranier, 238
F.3d 567, 572 (4th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, the filing of the Amended Complaint on September
29, 2015, supersedes the First Amended Complaint. Thus, First Casualty’s motion to dismiss is
based on claims that no longer have any legal effect.
In accordance with the foregoing, the court DENIES First Casualty Insurance Group, Inc.’s
Amended Partial Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion to Strike (ECF No. 7) as moot.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
February 2, 2016
Columbia, South Carolina
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