Monday, April 18, 2011

Twombly and Iqbal Do Not Apply to Affirmative Defenses

In granting in part plaintiff's motion to dismiss defendant's affirmative defenses for failure to state a claim, the court concluded that Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009) do not apply to affirmative defenses. "In light of the differences between Rules 8(a) and 8(c) in text and purpose, the Court concludes that Twombly and Iqbal do not apply to affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense need not be plausible to survive; it must merely provide fair notice of the issue involved. . . . [T]he requisite notice is provided where the affirmative defense in question alerts the adversary to the existence of the issue for trial. Providing knowledge that the issue exists, not precisely how the issue is implicated under the facts of a given case, is the purpose of requiring averments of affirmative defenses. Thus, the Court will only strike defenses challenged on sufficiency grounds if they do not meet this low standard."

Tyco Fire Products, LP v. Victaulic Company, 5-10-cv-04645 (PAED April 13, 2011, Order) (Robreno, J.)

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