plans, however, we have added that an ERISA plaintiff must
adduce not only facts sufficient to support the four basic
elements of promissory estoppel, but facts sufficient to [satisfy
an] extraordinary circumstances requirement as well.") (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Schonholz, 87
F.3d at 78; Lee, 991 F.2d at 1009.
Although the Second Circuit has yet to specifically define the
term "extraordinary circumstance," it is clear that the
requirement is not "satisfied unless the surrounding
circumstances are indeed beyond the ordinary." Aramony, 191
F.3d at 152; see also Devlin v. Transportation Communications
Int'l Union, 173 F.3d 94, 102 (2d Cir. 1999) (stating that
"extraordinary circumstances" requires a "remarkable
consideration" such as the use of a promise of benefits to
intentionally induce behavior on employee's part). In addition,
ambiguity in a plan document as to whether or not benefits vest,
or a promise on behalf of the employer that the benefit is
included, is insufficient alone, or when viewed conjunctively, to
establish extraordinary circumstances. Aramony, 191 F.3d at
Here, there are no facts in the Complaint which support an
allegation of extraordinary circumstances. Plaintiff alleges no
more than a promise on Empire's behalf to provide the benefit and
that Plaintiff relied on such a promise to his detriment.
(Compl. ¶¶ 27-28.) There is nothing in the Complaint to suggest,
for example, that Empire made such a promise to induce Plaintiff
to not obtain other life insurance. Accordingly, Empire's motion
to dismiss Plaintiff's third cause of action for equitable
estoppel is granted. Plaintiff, however, is granted thirty (30)
days leave to replead his estoppel claim. See Alie v. NYNEX
Corp., 158 F.R.D. 239, 245 (E.D.N.Y. 1994) ("Where the court
grants a dismissal for failure to meet minimum pleading
requirements, `such dismissal should ordinarily be accompanied by
leave to file an amended complaint.'") (quoting Branum v.
Clark, 927 F.2d 698, 705 (2d Cir. 1991)).
IV. Plaintiff's Claim for Breach of Contract is Dismissed
Plaintiff's fourth cause of action asserts a claim for breach
of contract based upon Empire's "many writings coupled with
verbal as well as written representations [that] it was
[Empire's] intentions to establish a nonterminable [sic] right to
the life insurance benefit of plaintiff." (Compl. ¶ 34.) The
Complaint further alleges that Plaintiff was entitled to this
benefit pursuant to the terms of the Plan. (Id. ¶¶ 35-36.)
Plaintiff's breach of contract claim mirrors the allegations
set forth in the complaint filed by Plaintiff in state court,
which complaint was then removed by Empire to the present forum.
By Memorandum and Order dated May 19, 1999, the Court addressed
Plaintiff's original pleading and held that Plaintiff's breach of
contract claim was preempted by ERISA because the claim "related"
to an employee welfare benefit plan. (May 19, 1999 Memorandum and
Order at 6; see also id. at 4) (citing Case v. Hospital of St.
Raphael, 38 F. Supp.2d 207, 208 (D.Conn. 1999) ("Courts have
consistently held that ERISA preempts state common law . . .
claims such as breach of contract.").) Plaintiff has set forth no
reason why this analysis is incorrect as applied here.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's fourth cause of action, which is
preempted by ERISA, is dismissed.
For the reasons stated above, Defendant's motion to dismiss the
Complaint is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Defendant's
motion is DENIED with respect to the first and second causes of
action and GRANTED as to the third and fourth causes of action.