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United States Liability Insurance Co. v. Global Acquisitions, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 15, 2015

UNITED STATES LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
GLOBAL ACQUISITIONS, LLC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

RODNEY W. SIPPEL, District Judge.

On March 13, 2013, defendant Global Acquisitions, LLC ("Global") submitted an insurance claim to plaintiff United States Liability Insurance Company ("USLI") for damages to three of its properties. Global claimed that the properties had been damaged by a February 2013 windstorm as well as by vandalism. On November 21, 2014, USLI brought suit, seeking declaratory judgment that Global's claims are not covered by the insurance policy. USLI alleges that Global failed to comply with its duties after loss and engaged in material misrepresentations in making its claims for property damage, which voids and/or excludes coverage under the policy. Global now moves to strike paragraphs 56-58, 60-62, and 65, 68, 76 and 77 of USLI's Amended Complaint under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(f) and 9(b). For the reasons that follow, I will deny Global's motion to strike.

Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), "the court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." "Liberal discretion is enjoyed by the district court in ruling on a motion to strike." Stanbury Law Firm v. I.R.S., 221 F.3d 1059, 1063 (8th Cir.2000). However, striking a party's pleadings is an extreme and disfavored measure. Lunsford v. United States, 570 F.2d 221, 229 (8th Cir.1977). There is general judicial agreement that a motion to strike should be denied unless the challenged allegations have no possible relation or logical connection to the subject matter of the controversy. N. Face Apparel Corp. v. Williams Pharmacy, Inc., 4:09 CV 2029 RWS, 2010 WL 546928, at *1 (E.D.Mo. Feb. 9, 2010). Matters that are not strictly relevant to the principle claim should not necessarily be stricken if they provide "important context and background" to claims asserted. Stanbury Law Firm, 221 F.3d at 1063. Moreover, "even when technically appropriate and well-founded, Rule 12(f) motions are not granted in the absence of a showing of prejudice to the moving party." Am. Home Assur. Co. v. Pope, 2 4057 CV C SOW, 2005 WL 1312975, at *1 (W.D. Mo. June 1, 2005) (internal citations omitted).

Discussion

A. Paragraphs 56-58, 60-61, and 65

Global seeks to strike paragraphs 56-58, 60-61, and 65 from the complaint, arguing that they incorrectly imply and/or assert that Global never made Global properties available for inspection when, in fact, Global made numerous efforts to schedule property inspections. These paragraphs provide:

56. The inspection was set for March 18, 2013, which was the first date Mr. Khan stated he could make the properties available for inspection.
57. On March 18, 2013, neither Mr. Khan, nor anyone on behalf of Global Acquistions, LLC showed up for the inspection as scheduled, and Mr. Hoffman was unable to inspect the properties and evaluate any claimed damage and source of damage for Plaintiff.
58. Thereafter, Mr. Khan refused to allow Plaintiff, or any representative on its behalf, inspect and evaluate the damage at the properties, and Plaintiff was unsuccessful after several attempts to inspect the three properties to evaluate the damages and source of damages following the reported loss.
60. Plaintiff was unable to inspect 2208 Alberta, and/or 4259 W. Cook because Defendant Global Acquisitions had sold the properties.
61. To date, Plaintiff has never been able to secure an inspection of 2208 Alberta or 4259 W.Cook to evaluate any damages alleged by Defendant Global Acquisitions.
65. Defendant Global Acquisitions has failed to comply with Policy conditions making properties available for ...

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