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United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 6, 2005.

SIPRA MITRA, Plaintiff,
STATE BANK OF INDIA, T.S. VAIDYANATHAN, Individually and in his Official Capacity, and S. IYENGER, Individually and in his Official Capacity, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DEBORAH BATTS, District Judge


Plaintiff Sipra Mitra brings suit against Defendants the State Bank of India ("SBI"), T.S. Vaidyanathan and S. Iyenger*fn1 for allegedly discriminating against her with respect to the terms, conditions and privileges of her employment based on her sex and age in violation of the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws, N.Y. Exec. Law. § 296 et seq.; N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107 et seq., and for administering voluntary retirement severance packages for employees in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. Section 1001 et seq. Presently before the Court is Defendants Vaidyanathan and Iyenger's (collectively "Individual Defendants") motion to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.


  Plaintiff, an American citizen of Indian national origin, was employed in SBI's New York office from 1971 until her termination in 2003. She began her employment with SBI as a Customer Support Representative. (1st Am. Compl. ¶ 2).*fn2 In 1979, as a result of her excellent job performance, Plaintiff was promoted to the position of Deputy Manager. (Id. ¶ 16). In 1985, Plaintiff began working as the Deputy Manager in SBI's Foreign Exchange and Money Operations Department. (Id.). In 1988, an unposted managerial position became available in SBI's letters of credit department. Upon learning of this information, Plaintiff, as the only female deputy manager and the most senior deputy manager in SBI, applied for the position to SBI's Vice President of Operations. However, despite her level of experience and credentials, the position was given to a male employee with less professional experience and seniority. (Id. ¶¶ 19, 22).

  In 1990 SBI began a policy of sending its managerial employees to India for specialized training. (Id. ¶ 21). However, rather than provide Plaintiff with such an opportunity, SBI instead sent only male employees with less seniority and/or professional experience. (Id. ¶ 23). As a result, on or about January, 2001, Plaintiff repeated her request to participate in said training program. Again, Plaintiff was denied the training opportunity, and two male deputy managers were instead selected to attend the program. (Id. ¶ 26).

  Similarly, beginning in 1992 and continuing until her termination in 2003, SBI consistently denied Plaintiff salary increases. (Id. ¶ 25). Moreover, she was allegedly told that there had been a salary cap imposed on her managerial title and/or position, while other employees with similar supervisory duties continued to receive salary increases. (Id.).

  In or about February 2002, it became well-known within SBI that certain Indian bank officials, including Indian employees with the same title or position and/or responsibilities and/or duties as Plaintiff, were offered a voluntary retirement severance package ("VRS"). (Id. ¶ 28). The VRS package was offered to bank officials who were above 65 years of age or who had served SBI for at least 15 years. The VRS paid an eligible employee three weeks of compensation for every year of service with defendant SBI, and 18 months of medical coverage. (Id. ¶ 33). However, while the SBI policy manual provides for the payment of appropriate severance pay, SBI did not issue a written severance policy specifically concerning the VRS package. (Id. ¶¶ 29, 30). Instead, by providing and administering the VRS to the Indian bank officials, SBI has an established pattern and practice of making severance payment to its employees. (Id. ¶ 31). All the while, SBI maintained a welfare benefit plan for providing severance benefits for employees within the meaning of ERISA. (Id. ¶ 32).

  In the fall of 2002, Plaintiff and four other New York-based deputy managers of SBI spoke to the Individual Defendants concerning the VRS package. (Id. ¶ 36). Both promised that eligible New York-based managers would be offered the same VRS package as that which would be administered to Indian Bank officials. (Id. ¶ 34). Subsequently, Plaintiff again applied for a promotion to a managerial position, but a younger male employee with less experience was promoted instead. (Id. ¶¶ 35-36). On May 27, 2003, Plaintiff was terminated after 32 years of service and replaced by a male employee. (Id. ¶¶ 37, 41). Following her termination, Plaintiff contacted the bank headquarters in India and was assured by the officials that she would be offered the same VRS package offered to the Indian officials of the bank. (Id. ¶ 38). Nevertheless, she was not offered the VRS package as promised, but instead was given a maximum of 20 weeks of severance pay for her service to the bank. (Id. ¶ 40).

  On July 23, 2003, Plaintiff filed suit in New York State Supreme Court, New York County against SBI and Vaidyanathan, alleging employment discrimination on the basis of sex and age in violation of the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws, N.Y. Exec. Law § 296, et seq.; N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107, et seq. On August 21, 2003, SBI and Vaidyanathan filed a Notice of Removal with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(d) on grounds that, because SBI is an agent of a foreign government, Plaintiff's lawsuit constitutes a civil action against a foreign state as defined by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1603(a). (See Notice of Removal, dated August 21, 2003, ¶¶ 3-4). Thereafter, on September 23, 2003, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, adding Iyenger as a defendant and an additional cause of action against all three Defendants alleging that they had violated ERISA by denying her the same severance package they were offering and administering to Indian SBI officials of similar rank . (1st Am. Compl. ¶¶ 57-58).

  The Individual Defendants now move to dismiss*fn3 all claims against them pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and/or Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.


  A. Rule 12(b)(1) Dismissal

  While Individual Defendants' Notice of Motion mentions Rule 12(b)(1) as a ground for dismissal, nowhere in their moving or reply papers do they set forth any basis for dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Moreover, Defendant Vaidyanathan, in his Notice of Removal, acknowledged that the Court has diversity jurisdiction over this case. (Notice of Removal ¶¶ 3-5). Accordingly, the Court rejects Individual Defendants' argument for 12(b)(1) dismissal as utterly meritless.

  B. Rule 12(b)(6) Dismissal

  1. Legal Standard

  In a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, it is generally accepted that a complaint should not be dismissed unless it is entirely clear that the plaintiff is unable to prove any set of facts that would support the claim and thereby grant him relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 102 (1957). The complaint must be read "generously, accepting as true the factual allegations in the complaint and drawing all inferences in favor of the pleader." Bolt Elec., Inc. v. City of New York, 534 F.3d 465, 469 (2d Cir. 1995); Mills v. Polar Molecular Corp., 12 F.3d 1170, 1174 (2d Cir. 1993). A court should grant the motion to dismiss only "if, after viewing a plaintiff's allegations in this most favorable light, it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Walker v. City of New York, 974 F.2d 293, 298 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting Ricciutti v. New York City Transit Auth., 941 F.2d 119 (2d Cir. 1991)). The Court "is not to weigh the evidence that might be presented at trial but merely to determine whether the complaint itself is legally sufficient." Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d Cir. 1985). In ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, a court may consider the complaint as well as any additional documents incorporated into or appended to the complaint. See Tarshis v. Riese Org., 211 F.3d 30, 39 (2d Cir. 2000).

  2. NYSHRL and NYCHRL Claims

  Individual Defendants argue that Plaintiff's New York State and New York City Human Rights Law claims against them are legally insufficient because Plaintiff fails to allege any specific allegations of actual discriminatory conduct on their parts. (Memorandum of Law In Support of the Motion to Dismiss the Complaint ["Def. Mem."] at 5-6; Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss the Complaint ["Def. Reply"] at 2-3).

  The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) makes it unlawful for "an employer or licensing agency, because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, genetic predisposition, or carrier status, or marital status of any individual, . . . to bar or discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment." N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(1)(a). As the language of the statute makes clear, liability for discrimination extends only to a plaintiff's employer, and thus an individual corporate manager or supervisor cannot be held liable under § 296(1)(a) unless he or she is "shown to have an ownership interest in [the business employing the plaintiff] or power to do more than carry out personnel decisions made by others." Patrowich v. Chemical Bank, 63 N.Y.2d 541, 542, 483 N.Y.S.2d 659, 660 (1984) (per curiam); Tomka v. Seiler Corp., 66 F.3d 1295, 1317 (2d Cir. 1995) (same) (citing Patrowich); Smith v. AVSC Intern, Inc., 148 F.Supp.2d 302, 308-09 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (same). However, under § 296(6), which makes it unlawful "for any person to aid, abet, incite, compel, coerce or attempt any of the acts forbidden under [the NYSHRL]," N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(6), an individual supervisor or corporate employee who, while not an "employer," "actually participates in the conduct giving rise to the discrimination claim may be held liable" as an aider and abettor of the discrimination. Tomka, 66 F.3d at 1317; Feingold v. New York, 366 F.3d 138, 157 (2d Cir. 2004) (citing Tomka); D'Amico v. Commodities Exch., Inc., 235 A.D.2d 313, 315, 652 N.Y.S.2d 294, 296 (N.Y.App. Div. 1st Dep't 1997). Meanwhile, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), which prohibits "an employer or an employee or agent thereof" from discharging a person from or discriminating against him in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on account of "age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or alienage or citizenship status," permits even individual corporate employees to be held principally liable for employment discrimination. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(1)(a) (emphasis added).*fn4 However, the prerequisite for individual liability under the NYCHRL is identical to that of § 296(6) of the State Human Rights Law, i.e., "the defendant at issue must have actually engaged in a discriminatory act." Smith, 148 F.Supp.2d at 308 (citing Stallings v. U.S. Electronics, Inc., 270 A.D.2d 188, 707 N.Y.S.2d 9 (N.Y.App. Div. 1st Dep't 2000)); Feingold, 366 F.3d at 158 (noting that the "same standards of analysis" used to evaluate aiding and abetting claims under the NYSHRL apply to claims against individual defendants under the NYCHRL) (listing cases). Thus, under either the NYSHRL or NYCHRL, an individual corporate manager or supervisor may only be held liable for discrimination if he or she (1) has an ownership interest in the plaintiff's employer, (2) has the power to do more than carry out personnel decisions made by others, or (3) actually participated in one or more discriminatory acts.*fn5

  In the present case, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint fails to allege any facts tending to show that the Individual Defendants fit into any of the three categories of defendants subject to individual liability under the NYSHRL or NYCHRL. The First Amended Complaint does not specifically allege that, at the time of the alleged discrimination against Plaintiff, Vaidyanathan and Iyenger had ownership interests in SBI or had the authority to make the relevant personnel decisions on their own, and the fact that they held the positions of Country Head and Branch Head does not, by itself, establish either of these prerequisites to individual NYSHRL and NYCHRL liability. See Patrowich, 63 N.Y.2d at 542 ("A corporate employee, though he has a title as an officer and is the manager or supervisor of a corporate division, is not individually subject to suit . . . under New York's Human Rights Law . . . if he is not shown to have any ownership interest or any power to do more than carry out personnel decisions made by others.") (emphasis added). Moreover, the Amended Complaint does not specifically allege that either Individual Defendant actually participated in any of the alleged discriminatory acts against the Plaintiff.

  Plaintiff in turn alleges in her opposition papers to the present motion that both Individual Defendants were shareholders of, and thus had an ownership interest in SBI, that Defendant Vaidyanathan himself made SBI's employment policies, and that Vaidyanathan directly participated in terminating Plaintiff's employment with SBI because he was the one that gave her a few days notice of her termination. (Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint ["Pl. Mem."] at 8; Affidavit of Sipra Mitra ["Mitra Aff."] ¶¶ 4-5, 7, 12). However, while these allegations are clearly relevant to whether Plaintiff should be granted leave to amend her Complaint again, see Part II.C. infra, they do not change the fact that the First Amended Complaint itself fails to state legally sufficient claims for relief against the Individual Defendants under either the NYSHRL or NYCHRL. Accordingly, Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of these claims is warranted.

  3. ERISA Claim

  The Individual Defendants also contend that Plaintiff's ERISA claim against them fails as a matter of law because there is no allegation in the First Amended Complaint that Vaidyanathan or Iyenger are plan administrators for the VRS package. (Def. Mem. at 6).

  The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., is a "comprehensive and reticulated statute" that governs employee benefit plans. Mertens v. Hewitt Assocs., 508 U.S. 248 (1993). Its original design was implemented to protect employee pensions and benefit plans by "setting forth certain general fiduciary duties applicable to the management of both pension and non-pension benefit plans." Varity Corp. v. Howe, 516 U.S. 489, 496 (1996). Accordingly, "in a recovery of benefits claim, only the plan, and the administrators and trustees of the plan in their capacity as such, may be held liable." Crocco v. Xerox Corp., 137 F.3d 103, 107 (2d Cir. 1998) (quoting Leonelli v. Pennwalt Corp., 887 F.2d 1195 (2d Cir. 1989)). An ERISA "plan administrator" is "(i) the person specifically so designated by the terms of the instrument under which the plan is operated; (ii) if an administrator is not so designated, the plan sponsor; or (iii) in the case of a plan for which an administrator is not designated and a plan sponsor cannot be identified, such other person as the Secretary [of Labor] may by regulation prescribe." 29 U.S.C. § 1002(16)(A). A "plan sponsor" in turn is "the employer in the case of an employee benefit plan established or maintained by a single employer," and an "employer" for ERISA purposes includes "any person acting directly as an employer, or indirectly in the interest of an employer, in relation to an employee benefit plan." 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(5),(16)(B).

  The Individual Defendants contend that nowhere in the First Amended Complaint does Plaintiff allege facts tending to show that they meet the ERISA definition of plan administrators with respect to the VRS package. In fact, they point out, the Complaint specifically alleges only that SBI is an ERISA plan administrator. (Def. Mem. at 6; 1st Am. Compl. ¶ 9). Plaintiff, however, argues that the First Amended Complaint, which alleges that the Individual Defendants promised that she and other "eligible local-based bank officials (deputy managers) w[ould] be offered the same VRS package" as Indian bank officials (1st Am. Compl. ¶ 34), pleads facts tending to show that the Individual Defendants "acted in the capacity of or had the discretionary authority or responsibility of administering the VRS package," i.e., that they were de facto VRS package plan administrators. (Pl. Mem. at 6).*fn6 The Individual Defendants in turn submit a written copy of what they claim is the VRS plan at issue and note that because the written plan specifically designates only SBI as the plan administrator, they cannot, under clear Second Circuit precedent, be sued as "de facto plan administrators." (Reply Memorandum of Law in Further Support of Motion to Dismiss ["Def. Reply"] at 4; Affidavit of Arun Bisaria ["Bisaria Aff."], Ex. A (The State Bank of India Voluntary Retirement Plan for Local 2110-Represented Employees) ¶ 6).*fn7

  The Individual Defendants are quite correct that the law of this Circuit prohibits so-called "de facto plan administrators" from being sued under ERISA for denial of employee benefits when the benefit plan at issue expressly designates one or more plan administrators. See Crocco, 137 F.3d at 107 (holding that plaintiff's employer could not, as de-facto plan administrator, be held jointly liable with named plan administrator in a suit to recover benefits under § 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA). However, in the present case, the Court is not convinced that the written plan submitted by the Individual Defendants is in fact the plan under which Plaintiff is seeking to recover benefits. After all, the VRS package for which Plaintiff claims she was promised and was never reduced to writing, was allegedly offered only to Indian SBI officials and select American SBI managers (1st Am. Compl. ¶¶ 29, 34), while the written plan submitted by the Individual Defendants covers "Local 2110-Represented Employees" of SBI. (Bisaria Aff., Ex. A). Thus the Court must assume, for the purposes of the present motion, that there were no specifically-designated plan administrators for the specific VRS package at issue. Moreover, while SBI, as Plaintiff's employer and the sponsor of the VRS package, would therefore be deemed the plan administrator, see 29 U.S.C. § 1002(16)(A)(ii), the Individual Defendants, to the extent they were in fact administering the VRS package on SBI's behalf, would qualify as employers, plan sponsors, and therefore plan administrators under ERISA. See United States v. Carson, 52 F.3d 1173, 1189 (2d Cir. 1995) (holding that where union's pension plan did not name a plan administrator, union officer who acted on behalf of union in relation to the union's pension plan was an employer, plan sponsor and plan administrator under §§ 1002 (5) and (16)).

  Unfortunately for Plaintiff, none of the aforementioned allegations in the First Amended Complaint, even if true, would tend to show that the Individual Defendants acted on SBI's behalf with respect to the administration of the VRS package. The Complaint merely alleges that the Individual Defendants promised Plaintiff and four other U.S.-based SBI deputy managers that they would be offered the same VRS package as administered to SBI Indian officials. (1st Am. Compl. ¶ 34). However, the mere fact that the Individual defendants made such a promise does not, by itself, suggest they could and did take part in deciding to whom SBI's VRS package benefits would be administered. Therefore, having failed to plead facts sufficient to establish that the Individual Defendants are employee benefit plan administrators, Plaintiff cannot state a viable claim against them under ERISA.

  C. Leave to Amend

  In addition to opposing the present motion, Plaintiff, in her opposition papers, requests leave to amend her Complaint to cure the aforementioned deficiencies in her ERISA, NYSHRL and NYCHRL claims against the Individual Defendants. (Pl. Mem. at 7, 9-10). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), leave to amend "shall be freely given when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). While "[i]t is the usual practice upon granting a motion to dismiss to allow leave to replead," Cortec Industries, Inc., 949 F.2d at 48 (citing Ronzani v. Sanofi S.A., 899 F.2d 195, 198 (2d Cir. 1990), a court may deny leave to amend on grounds of bad faith, undue prejudice to the opposing party, repeated failures to cure deficiencies in amendments previously allowed, or futility of amendment. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182,83 S.Ct. 227, 230, 7 L.Ed.2d 385 (1962). Ultimately, however, the decision to grant leave to amend a complaint rests within the discretion of the district court. Id.

  The Individual Defendants argue that Plaintiff's request is procedurally deficient because she has not filed a formal motion for leave to amend, has not "set forth with particularity the grounds supporting her application," has not presented "any justifiable excuse for her failure to incorporate the currently proposed amendments in her First Amended Complaint," and has deprived Defendants of notice of the precise nature of her proposed pleading changes by failing to provide them with a copy of her proposed pleading amendments. (Def. Reply at 5). As an initial matter, Plaintiff's failure to file a formal motion for leave to amend is not fatal to her request. See McLaughlin v. Anderson, 962 F.2d 187, 195 (2d Cir. 1992) ("[T]he lack of a formal motion is not a sufficient ground for a district court's dismissal without leave to amend, so long as the plaintiff has made its willingness to amend clear.").

  Further, while Plaintiff has not submitted a proposed Second Amended Complaint to the Court or Defendants, her motion opposition brief and affidavit clearly detail the additional factual allegations she would include in such complaint to cure the deficiencies in her ERISA, NYSHRL and NYCHRL claims — e.g., the Individual Defendants' ownership interest in SBI (Mitra Aff. ¶ 7; Pl. Mem. at 10), Defendant Vaidyanathan's personal involvement in her termination (id. ¶ 12), and the Individual Defendants' authority to make and enforce personnel and management decisions on behalf of SBI, including the possible exercise of discretion with respect to the administration of the VRS package to U.S-based SBI managers. (Id. ¶¶ 4-5, 11; Pl. Mem. at 7) — so that Defendants have clearly been put on notice of the precise nature of her proposed changes.*fn8 Finally, while Plaintiff has already amended her Complaint once previously, such amendment, which was done as of right and simply added Defendant Iyenger and her ERISA claim, was not made with notice of or with the intention to cure the aforementioned pleading deficiencies, and thus Plaintiff is not guilty of "repeated failures to cure deficiencies in amendments previously allowed." Foman, 371 U.S. at 182. Therefore, Plaintiff's request for leave to amend is not procedurally deficient.

  The Individual Defendants also contend that Plaintiff's proposed amendments would be futile because, even with the additional factual allegations in her motion opposition papers, she would still fail to state viable ERISA, NYSHRL, and NYCHRL claims against them. (Def. Reply at 5-6). The Court disagrees. After all, Plaintiff alleges in her motion opposition papers that both Vaidyanathan and Iyenger were personally involved in the decision to terminate her and replace her with a younger male employee (Mitra Aff. ¶ 12, Pl. Mem. at 9), which, if true, would satisfy the actual participation prerequisite for individual liability under the NYCHRL and § 296(6) of the NYSHRL. Further, Plaintiff's additional allegation that both Individual Defendants had ownership interests in SBI and that Vaidyanathan, as SBI Country Head, had the authority to make personnel decisions for all the SBI branches in the U.S. (Mitra Aff. ¶¶ 4, 7; Pl. Mem. at 10), would, if true, establish that they were "employers" for the purposes of the NYSHRL and NYCHRL. Finally, Plaintiff's additional allegations that the Individual Defendants, by virtue of their positions as Country and New York Branch Head, had the authority to "make and enforce [SBI's] policies," and that they decided independently of SBI management in India to deny Plaintiff the VRS package (Mitra Aff. ¶¶ 4, 11; Pl. Mem. at 7) tend to show that the Individual Defendants administered the VRS package on behalf of SBI and, as such, meet the definition of employer, sponsor and plan administrator under ERISA.

  Accordingly, because Plaintiff's proposed amendments would not be futile, Plaintiff's request for leave to amend is GRANTED.

  D. Leave to Conduct Immediate Discovery

  Plaintiff's motion opposition brief also includes a request for an order authorizing her to conduct expedited discovery of the Individual Defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(d).*fn9 (Pl. Mem. at 10-11). "Although [Rule 26(d)] does not say so, it is implicit that some showing of good cause should be made to justify such an order." Charles Alan Wright, et al., 8 Federal Practice and Procedure Civil § 2046.1 at 592 (2d ed. 1994). Requests for expedited discovery are typically appropriate in cases "involving requests for preliminary injunction or motions challenging personal jurisdiction." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 advisory committee notes to 1993 Amendments to Subdivision (d).

  Plaintiff contends that, due to SBI's "policy and practice of changing the higher echelon of the managerial and supervisory employees," the Individual Defendants were to be stationed in New York for a period of four years, which either has expired or soon will expire, after which they will return to India, thereby raising "substantial barriers to the conduct of discovery in this case."(Pl. Mem. at 11). However, if the Individual Defendants are still employees of SBI, and there is no indication that they are not, Plaintiff will likely be able to obtain discovery from them at any point through service of Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notices and subpoenas on SBI, who will almost certainly have to designate the Individual Defendants to testify on its behalf given their alleged involvement in the events recounted in Plaintiff's Complaint. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) (providing that a party may notice and subpoena for deposition "a public or private corporation" and that such corporation "shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons" to testify on its behalf, "and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which the person will testify."). Thus Plaintiff has failed to provide good cause for commencing discovery immediately, and, as such, her request for expedited discovery is denied.


  For the reasons stated above, Defendants Vaidyanathan and Iyenger's motion to dismiss is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART as follows:

(1) All of Plaintiffs' causes of action against the Defendants Vaidyanathan and Iyenger are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
(2) However, dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims against Defendants Vaidyanathan and Iyenger under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is DENIED.
  Plaintiff may amend her First Amended Complaint within forty-five (45) days of the date of this Order solely for the purpose of curing the deficiencies in her claims against the Individual Defendants. The Individual Defendants shall in turn respond to such Second Amended Complaint within thirty (30) days of being served with it. Finally, Plaintiff's request for expedited discovery with respect to the Individual Defendants is DENIED.



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