The opinion of the court was delivered by: Siragusa, J.
This employment discrimination case is before the Court on plaintiff EEOC's*fn1 motion to strike the first, second and third affirmative defenses contained in the answer of defendants SSM & RC Incorporated, a/k/a/ SSM& RC., INC., d/b/a Spring Sheet Metal and Roofing, and Spring Sheet Metal and Roofing Co. Inc. ("defendants") to EEOC's complaint (# 1), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants EEOC's motion.
In it's earlier decision denying defendants' motion to dismiss (# 29), the Court outlined the background of this case, including EEOC's and plaintiff-intevenor's contentions. Familiarity with the Court's prior decision will be presumed.
In Cohen v. Elephant Wireless, Inc., No. 03 Civ. 4058(CBM), 2004 WL 1872421, *2 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 19, 2004), the Southern District discussed the standards applied with regard to a motion to strike pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f):
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) allows a court to strike "from any pleading any insufficient defense." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). The standard that applies to a motion to strike is the "mirror image" of the standard on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. See Sony Fin. Servs., LLC v. Multi Video Group, Ltd., 2003 WL 22928602, at 8 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2003) Motions to strike are generally disfavored and courts will not strike an affirmative defense unless the defense is clearly insufficient as a matter of law. See Avent v. Solfaro, 210 F.R.D. 91, 94 (S.D.N.Y.2002); Forschner Group, Inc. v. B-line A.G., 943 F. SUPP. 287, 291 (S.D.N.Y.1996). See also Ulla-Maija, Inc. v. Kivimaki, 2003 WL 160777, at 4 (S.D.N.Y.2003) (motion[s] to strike "are not favored and will not be granted unless it is clear that the allegations in question can have no possible bearing on the subject matter of the litigation"). In addition, the moving party must also show that it would be prejudiced if the defense were to remain in the pleading. See Avent, 210 F.R.D. at 94. Increased time and expense of trial may warrant a court in granting a Rule 12(f) motion and a court should strike a defense to eliminate the delay and unnecessary expense from litigating an invalid claim when it is insufficient as a matter of law. See Estee Lauder, Inc. v. The Fragrance Counter, Inc., 189 F.R.D. 269, 272 (S.D.N.Y.1999).
Cohen v. Elephant Wireless, Inc., No. 03 Civ. 4058(CBM), 2004 WL 1872421, *2 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 19, 2004).
EEOC contends that the following affirmative defenses are legally insufficient:
(1) that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted ("first affirmative defense"); (2) that the complaint is barred by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution ("second affirmative defense"); and (3) that the complaint is barred by estoppel ("third affirmative defense"). In support of its argument, EEOC submits that:
(1) this Court already determined that its complaint states a claim for which relief can be granted; (2) the First Amendment does not exempt defendants from complying with Title VII; and (3) estoppel is not a defense available against the United States. Thus, EEOC argues that the defenses ...