United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Thomas Daniels Agency Inc, Plaintiff: Aaron Eric Edwards,
Lawrence Edward Richter, Jr, Patrick Thomas Napolski, LEAD
ATTORNEYS, Richter Firm, Mt Pleasant, SC.
Nationwide Insurance Company of America, Defendant: Robert M
Darroch, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Goodman McGuffey
Lindsey and Johnson (FL), Sarasota, FL; Sean B Cox, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Hall Booth Smith, Atlanta, GA; William James Flynn,
LEAD ATTORNEY, Goodman McGuffey Lindsey and Johnson,
Forensics Inc, Defendant: David W Overstreet, Steven Raymond
Kropski, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Carlock Copeland Semler and Stair,
M. Gergel, United States District Judge.
RGL Forensic, Inc. (RGL) has filed a Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings. (Dkt. No. 21.) For the reasons set forth
below, the Court GRANTS the motion with prejudice.
case involves an insurance coverage dispute between Plaintiff
Thomas Daniels Agency, Inc. and its insurer Defendant
Nationwide Insurance Company of America (Nationwide). The
facts are taken from Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and
for purposes of this motion are presumed to be true.
Nationwide insured Plaintiff under a policy covering a
building and other property located in North Charleston,
South Carolina. (Dkt. No. 16 ¶ 7.) On February 18, 2007,
an automobile struck the North Charleston building, starting
a fire that caused extensive damage to the building and other
covered property. ( Id. ¶ 8.) Plaintiff filed a
claim and attempted to resolve it directly
with Nationwide, relying on Nationwide's representations
that it would pay the claim. ( Id. ¶ 10.)
September 8, 2008, an employee of RGL informed Plaintiff that
Nationwide had hired RGL to calculate Plaintiff's loss. (
Id. ¶ 11.) On July 24, 2012, RGL requested
" materials" from Plaintiff. ( Id. ¶
13.) In response, Plaintiff furnished " all documents
... in Plaintiff's possession." ( Id.
¶ 14.) Plaintiff, after not hearing from Nationwide or
RGL, wrote Nationwide for an update on February 17, 2014. (
Id. ¶ 15.) That same day, " Nationwide
responded by forwarding an email from [RGL] asking for many
of the same things as requested previously, which Plaintiff
explained were unavailable." ( Id.) Nationwide
has since refused to fully indemnify Plaintiff for the
various losses caused by the fire on February 18, 2007. (
Id. ¶ 16.)
November 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed a civil action against
Nationwide and RGL, alleging claims of breach of contract,
bad faith, negligence, and fraud. (Dkt. No. 1-1 ¶ ¶
16-60.) Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint on March
31, 2015. (Dkt. No. 16.) Plaintiff alleges that RGL was a
" servant, agent or employee" of Nationwide, acting
within the " scope of said service, agency, or
employment,. . . thereby making Nationwide liable for the
acts and/or omissions of [RGL] under the theory of
respondeat superior." ( Id. at ¶
5.) Plaintiff further alleges that Nationwide and RGL "
induced Plaintiff to not take legal action by repeatedly
assuring Plaintiff that the claim would be paid, or that more
information was required before the claim would be paid
...." ( Id. ¶ 17.)
After the pleadings are closed--but early enough not to delay
trial--a party may move for judgment on the pleadings."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Rule 12(c) motions operate to "
dispose of cases in which there is no substantive dispute
that warrants the litigants and the court proceeding
further." Lewis v. Excel Mech., LLC,
2:13-CV-281-PMD, 2013 WL 4585873 at * 1 (D.S.C. Aug. 28,
2013) (quoting 5 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure, § 1368 (3d ed.
2010)). A judgment on the pleadings is only warranted if
" the moving party has clearly established that no
material issue of fact remains to be resolved and the ...