United States District Court, D. Nebraska
CHINA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, as assignee of LERADO GROUP CO., LTD; LERADO GROUP HOLDING COMPANY, LTD.; LERADO ZHONG SHAN INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.; LERADO CHINA LIMITED; and LERADO H.K. LIMITED, Plaintiff,
BABY TREND, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. BATAILLON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the defendant's motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim for relief under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Filing No.
19. This is an action for breach of contract and
indemnification that is related to Ribeiro v.
Lerado, Case No. 12-CV-00204 (D. Neb.). That products
liability action was dismissed following a settlement by all
parties. Id., Filing No. 849 (D. Neb. Dec. 28, 2017)
(“the underlying litigation”). Jurisdiction is
premised on diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. §
Complaint, plaintiff China Life Insurance Co. (“China
Life”) asserts that it is the assignee of Lerado Group
Co., Ltd., Lerado Group (Holding) Company Ltd., Lerado (Zhong
Shan) Industrial Co., Ltd., Lerado China Limited, and Lerado
H.K. Limited (collectively, “Lerado”), all
parties to the underlying litigation. It alleges it was the
insurer for Lerado, which is a Chinese company that
manufactures infant products, at all relevant times. It
alleges it paid a settlement amount to the Ribeiro plaintiffs
on Lerado's behalf, and paid Lerado's attorney's
fees and costs, in the underlying litigation. Lerado has
assigned any and all claims and causes of action it may have
against Baby Trend as a result of the underlying litigation
to the plaintiff.
Life seeks to recover from defendant, Baby Trend, under the
indemnification clause in an original equipment manufacturer
(“OEM”) agreement between Lerado and Baby Trend.
China Life alleges that Baby Trend agreed to hold Lerado
harmless for any and all design defects regarding the car
seat at issue in the underlying litigation. Further, China
Life alleges that Baby Trend was the sole designer of the
subject car seat. China Life also alleges that Lerado
tendered the defense of the underlying litigation to Baby
Trend and requested indemnification. The plaintiff asserts
claims for express and implied or equitable indemnification
and breach of contract.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); see Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 n.3. (2007); Braden v.
Wal- Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir.
2009). This standard does not require detailed factual
allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned
accusation. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). “Specific facts are not necessary; the
statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
93 (2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
order to survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), the plaintiff's obligation to provide the
grounds for entitlement to relief necessitates that the
complaint contain “more than labels and conclusions,
and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
The court must find “enough factual matter (taken as
true) to suggest” that “discovery will reveal
evidence” of the elements of the claim. Id. at
558. The court assumes as true the factual allegations in the
complaint, and it construes all reasonable inferences from
those facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Schaaf v. Residential Funding Corp., 517 F.3d
544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008).
Nebraska law, in order to recover for a breach of contract,
the plaintiff must prove a promise, the breach of that
promise, and damages resulting from that breach. K.M.H.
v. Lutheran Gen. Hosp., 431 N.W.2d 606, 608 (Neb. 1988).
Indemnification is available under Nebraska law when one
party is compelled to pay money which in justice another
ought to pay or has agreed to pay. Kuhn v. Wells Fargo
Bank of Neb., 771 N.W.2d 103, 112 (Neb. 2009). Three
types of indemnity are generally recognized: express (or
contractual), implied contractual (also known as
“implied-in-fact” indemnity), and equitable (also
known as “implied-in-law” indemnity).
Id. at 119-20.
Court finds that China Life has met the Federal notice
pleading requirements in this for this case. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint clearly
alleges that Baby Trend designed the product at issue in the
underlying litigation and is responsible for defective
design. Further, it alleges that Lerado assigned any claims
Lerado may have against Baby Trend to China Life. It alleges,
as Lerado's insurer, it settled the Ribiero's claims
against Lerado. It also alleges there is a contract of
indemnification between the Lerado and Baby Trend. China
Life's complaint includes allegations of a promise,
breach, and damages. The plaintiff has alleged enough facts,
taken as true, to suggest that discovery will reveal the
elements of the claims. More particularity is not required
for notice pleading under Rule 8(a) at this pre-discovery
Court finds, for purposes of this motion, that China Life has
set forth facts sufficient to place the defendant on notice
of the claims against it, and the Court finds that the
allegations state plausible breach of contract and
indemnification claims. Accordingly, IT ...