United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are a motion to dismiss (Doc. 7) and brief in
support (Doc. 8) filed by Defendant State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”).
Plaintiff Perry Taylor has filed a response (Doc. 10). State
Farm filed a reply (Doc. 13). State Farm moves for dismissal of
Mr. Taylor's bad faith tort claim under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that Mr. Taylor has not
alleged sufficient facts to state the claim but instead has
only provided a legal conclusion.
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court must “accept
as true all facts pleaded by the non-moving party and grant
all reasonable inferences from the pleadings in favor of the
non-moving party.” Gallagher v. City of
Clayton, 699 F.3d 1013, 1016 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting
United States v. Any & All Radio Station Transmission
Equip., 207 F.3d 458, 462 (8th Cir. 2000)). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). In reviewing the complaint, the Court must assume
the truth of the factual allegations and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lustgraaf v.
Behrens, 619 F.3d 867, 872-73 (8th Cir. 2010). However,
legal conclusions couched as factual allegations are not
entitled to the same presumption of truth, and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. “[W]here the Court
concludes that the pleadings do not, as a matter of law, set
forth facts sufficient to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, the Court should grant the defendant's motion
to dismiss.” In re Staffmark, Inc. Sec.
Litig., 123 F.Supp.2d 1160, 1163 (E.D. Ark. 2000).
succeed on the Arkansas tort of bad faith, a plaintiff must
show “affirmative misconduct by the insurance company,
without a good faith defense, and . . . the misconduct must
be dishonest, malicious, or oppressive in an attempt to avoid
its liability under an insurance policy.” Aetna
Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Broadway Arms Corp., 664 S.W.2d
463, 465 (Ark. 1984). Bad faith is “dishonest,
malicious, or oppressive conduct carried out with a state of
mind characterized by hatred, ill will, or a spirit of
revenge.” Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am. v.
Edwards, 210 S.W.3d 84, 87 (Ark. 2005). “The
standard for establishing a claim for bad faith is rigorous
and difficult to satisfy.” Id. “The tort
of bad faith does not arise from a mere denial of a claim;
there must be affirmative misconduct.” Selmon v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 277 S.W.3d 196, 202 (Ark.
Taylor alleges that he was insured with State Farm and
maintained no fault medical payments coverage and coverage
for work loss, and that State Farm denied payment on claims
made for this coverage. Mr. Taylor alleges that State Farm
has “failed to act in good faith and refused to honor
the terms and conditions of the insurance policy and the
terms and conditions of their own policies and claims
procedures.” (Doc. 3, ¶ 16). This statement
amounts to a legal conclusion of bad faith. It is a
“threadbare recital of the elements” of bad faith
and is, therefore, insufficient to state a plausible claim
for relief. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Though he
pleads a breach of contract, Mr. Taylor fails to allege
specific facts in his complaint that would support his
conclusion that the breach of contract was done in bad faith.
His bad faith tort claim must be dismissed.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company's motion to dismiss (Doc. 7) is
GRANTED, and Plaintiff Perry Taylor's bad faith tort
claim is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
 The Court has considered State
Farm's reply even though it was filed without leave.
See Doc. 8, ¶ 7 (“Parties must seek leave
before filing any reply in support of a motion other than a
summary judgment motion.”); W.D. Ark. R. 7.2(b)
(indicating that the only reply that may be filed as a matter