The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcmahon, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT PLASMACO'S
MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DISMISS
Plaintiff Paul Kok brings an action for recovery of benefits
and a statement of rights under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1132, and for breach of
contract, specific performance, and "malicious interference with
contract" against defendants First UNUM Life Insurance Company
("UNUM") and Plasmaco, Inc. ("Plasmaco"). This case was filed in
the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of
Westchester, and properly was removed to this Court pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1441 and 1446 on the basis of federal question
Defendant Plasmaco moves to dismiss the claims against it, and
defendant UNUM counterclaims for the amount of benefits that
plaintiff wrongfully received. Plaintiff moves to dismiss UNUM's
counterclaim, or in the alternative, for a more definite
statement of the Complaint.
Plasmaco offered a Long Term Disability Plan to its employees,
which was administered by UNUM. Plaintiff was a full time
employee of Plasmaco from September 1996 through May 1998.
On or about August 3, 1997, while working for Plasmaco,
plaintiff became disabled. UNUM paid benefits to plaintiff for
twenty-four months, after which time they were terminated.
Plaintiff claims that he is totally and permanently disabled,
and unable to perform the duties of a gainful occupation.
According to plaintiff, under the terms of Long Term Disability
Plan Rules and Regulations, when an employee is unable to be
employed after twenty-four months of payments, defendants are
required to pay continued benefits. Plaintiff argues that
defendants unilaterally, and without administrative hearing,
refused to conclude that he was permanently and totally disabled,
and therefore did not pay him
benefits to which he was entitled. He seeks recovery of those
Defendant Plasmaco moves to dismiss the claims against it on
the grounds that a claim for benefits under ERISA must be brought
against UNUM, because UNUM — not Plasmaco — was the administrator
of the plan.
Plaintiff moves to dismiss UNUM's counterclaim for
reimbursement of certain benefits on the grounds that such
reimbursement is prohibited by the plain terms of the benefit
For the reasons stated below, Plasmaco's motion to dismiss the
claims against it is granted. Plaintiff's motions to dismiss the
counterclaim, or for a more definitive statement, are denied.
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
for dismissal of a complaint that fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. The standard of review on a motion
to dismiss is heavily weighted in favor of the plaintiff. The
Court is required to read a complaint generously, drawing all
reasonable inferences from the complaint's allegations.
California Motor Transport Co. v. Trucking Unlimited,
404 U.S. 508, 515, 92 S.Ct. 609, 30 L.Ed.2d 642 (1972). "In ruling on a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, the court is required to accept the material
facts alleged in the complaint as true." Frasier v. General
Electric Co., 930 F.2d 1004, 1007 (2d Cir. 1991). The Court must
deny the motion "unless it appears beyond doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which
would entitle him to relief." Stewart v. Jackson & Nash,
976 F.2d 86, 87 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)).
1. Defendant Plasmaco's Motion to Dismiss is Granted
In a recovery of benefits claim, only the plan and its
administrators may be held liable. Leonelli v. Pennwalt Corp.,
887 F.2d 1195, 1199 (2d Cir. 1989). In this case, UNUM is the