from the Superior Court in Coconino County, No.
S0300CV201700313, The Honorable Jacqueline Hatch, Judge,
Humphrey & Yavitz PLC, Phoenix, By Randall S. Yavitz, Isabel
M. Humphrey, Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants
Oberg Woods & Wilson PC, Phoenix, By Robert T. Sullivan, John
C. Quinn, Alicyn M. Freeman, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Michael J. Brown delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen and Judge Jennifer M.
In this opinion we address whether the superior court
properly dismissed an insurance claim for property damage
caused by feral cats based on a domestic-animal exclusion in
the insurance policy at issue. Because the feral cats that
caused the damage are not domestic animals under all
reasonable interpretations of the facts alleged in the
complaint, the court erred in granting the insurers motion
to dismiss. We therefore reverse and remand for further
Joel and Kim Goldberger ("the Goldbergers") own
residential rental property in Flagstaff, insured by State
Farm Fire and Casualty Company ("State Farm") under
a rental dwelling policy ("Policy"). The
Goldbergers filed a claim asserting their tenant
"allowed" feral cats "to access" the
property and the cats then caused approximately $75,000 of
"accidental damage." State Farm denied the claim,
asserting "feral cats are domestic animals and therefore
the damage was not covered under the Policy."
The Goldbergers then filed this lawsuit, alleging breach of
contract and insurance bad faith. State Farm moved to dismiss
the complaint for failure to state a claim, arguing the
Policys plain language precluded coverage. State Farm based
its denial of coverage on subsection 1.N of the Policy
("Exclusion"), which provides that accidental
losses caused by "birds, vermin, rodents, insects or
domestic animals" are not covered. The superior court
granted the motion, reasoning in part: (1) a cat, feral or
not, is a domestic animal; (2) these feral cats were acting
as if they were domesticated; and (3) a reasonably
intelligent consumer would understand the Exclusion to
unambiguously apply to damage caused by feral cats. This
timely appeal followed.
A party may move to dismiss a claim for "failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Ariz.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In evaluating a claims sufficiency, we
take as true "all well-pleaded factual allegations and
indulge all reasonable inferences from those facts," but
need not accept conclusory statements. Coleman v. City of
Mesa, 230 Ariz. 352, 356, ¶ 9, 284 P.3d 863, 867 (2012).
A court should dismiss a claim only if, under any
interpretation of the well-pleaded facts, the plaintiff would
not be entitled to relief. Id. at ¶ 8. Our review is
de novo. Id. at 355, ¶ 7, 284 P.3d at 866.
Several of State Farms arguments rely on the assumption that
these cats were peaceably living in the home with the tenant.
The superior court, at least in part, appeared to follow
State Farms lead. A court deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion,
however, must "look only to the pleading itself,"
Cullen v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 218 Ariz. 417, 419,
¶ 7, 189 P.3d 344, 346 (2008), including documents that
"are central to the complaint,"
Strategic Dev. & Constr., Inc. v. 7th & Roosevelt
Partners, LLC, 224 Ariz. 60, 64, ¶ 14, 226 P.3d 1046, 1050
(App. 2010), such as the Policy. Because we limit our review
to the complaint and the Policy, we proceed without
characterizing the feral cats behavior or any care the
tenant may have afforded them beyond what the complaint
alleges— that the tenant "allowed [the cats] to
access the property." To the extent State Farms