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Williams v. American International Group Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

October 22, 2019

RANDY WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC., and AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND ADJUDICATING THE PARTIES' MOTIONS AS PROVIDED HEREIN

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Randy Williams (Williams) is a self represented litigant. He brought this diversity action against Defendants American International Group, Inc., (AIG) and American Home Assurance Company (AHA) (collectively, Defendants) complaining of breach of contract, defamation, and bad-faith failure to pay workers' compensation claims.

         The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge suggesting: (1) AIG's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, Williams's motion for summary judgment, and his motion to sue insurance adjuster be denied, (2) Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and/or summary judgment be (a) granted without prejudice as to Williams's bad faith claims based on lack of jurisdiction, and (b) granted with prejudice as to his defamation claim, (3) this case be dismissed, and (4) Williams's motion for declaratory judgment be deemed moot. The Magistrate Judge prepared the Report in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objection is made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         The Magistrate Judge filed the Report on August 6, 2019. In the Report, regarding Williams's breach of contract claim, the Magistrate Judge suggests Williams “is not a party to the contract referenced in the complaint. Instead, [Williams's] arguments about Defendants' breaches concern Defendants' failure to fulfill the terms of Plaintiff's workers compensation judgment.” Report 5 n.3.

         As to Williams's defamation claim, the Magistrate Judge recommends it is time barred. And, concerning his bad-faith failure to pay workers' compensation claims, she notes that, “in Cook v. Mack's Transfer & Storage, 352 S.E.2d 296 (S.C. Ct. App. 1986), the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a worker's suit for bad faith refusal to pay benefits is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Commission.” Report 6.

         Williams has filed a host of papers since the Magistrate Judge filed the Report, including the following:

August 6, 2019 motion to stay
August 9, 2019 reply to Defendants' answers to his complaint
August 9, 2019 response in opposition to Defendants' motion to stay and supplemental response in opposition to Defendants' motions to dismiss
August 13, 2019 response in opposition to Defendants' motion to stay
August 13, 2019 supplemental response in opposition to Defendants' motions to dismiss
August 13, 2019 supplemental response to AIG's motion regarding request ...

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