Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chesney v. Valley Stream Union Free School District No. 24

March 31, 2009

KEVIN CHESNEY AND LORRAINE CHESNEY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
VALLEY STREAM UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 24; VALLEY STREAM UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 24 BOARD OF EDUCATION; JOSEPH CONRAD, PRESIDENT; CAROLE MEANEY, VICE PRESIDENT; HENRIETTA CARBONARO, PAUL DEPACE, ANTHONY IADEVAIO, FRANK NUARA, AND LAWRENCE TROGEL; EACH IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; EDWARD M. FALE, PH.D., SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; LISA K. CONTE, PRINCIPAL; CHARLES BROCEAUR, MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; STEPHEN HARAMIS, CUSTODIAN AND UNION REPRESENTATIVE, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; LOCAL 74 SEIU; "JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES A THROUGH D", THE LATTER BEING PERSONS AND/OR ENTITIES UNKNOWN TO COMPLAINANT, AND THE NASSAU COUNTY DIVISION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF NEW YORK STATE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurley, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Plaintiffs Kevin Chesney ("Plaintiff or "Chesney") and Lorraine Chesney brought the present suitagainst Valley Stream Union Free School District No. 24 (the "District"); Valley Stream Union Free School District No. 24 Board of Education; Joseph Conrad; Carole Meaney; Henrietta Carbonaro; Paul DePace; Anthony Iadevaio; Frank Nuara; Lawrence Trogel; Edward M. Fale; Lisa K. Conte; Charles Broceaur; Stephen Haramis (hereinafter, collectively, "District Defendants"); Local 74 Service Employee International Union ("Local 74"); "John Does and Janes Does A through D"; and the Nassau County Civil Service Commission (the Commission") in the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Nassau alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq.; the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ("COBRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1166; the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C.A. § 12131 et seq; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the "Eighth Amendment right to confront his accusers"; and six state law claims. The action was removed to this Court.

Currently before the Court is the District Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the Plaintiff's COBRA claim. For the reasons set forth herein, the Defendants' motion is granted.

Factual and Procedural Background

Subsequent to the removal of the action from state court, the District Defendants moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b) (4), (5), and (6). Defendant Local 74 moved separately to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(c).

By Memorandum & Order dated September 22, 2006, the Court (1) dismissed all claims against Defendant Local 74 and (2) granted the District Defendants' motion to dismiss the claims against them with the exception of Plaintiff's COBRA claim.

Thereafter, the Commission moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint as to the claims asserted against it. By Memorandum & Order dated April 30, 2007, the Commission's motion was granted.

As a result of Court's decisions set forth above, the lone surviving claim is Plaintiff's COBRA claim against District Defendants. The following facts relevant to said claim are undisputed unless otherwise noted:

The District employed Plaintiff as a cleaner from October 6, 2003 until June 30, 2004. For purposes of the continuation of coverage notices required by COBRA, the District was both Plaintiff's employer and the plan administrator. There is no dispute that Plaintiff's employment with the District ended on June 30, 2004. Plaintiff does claim, however, that the termination of his employment was "illegal."

During the relevant period, Anne Luzzi ("Luzzi") was the District employee responsible for sending Cobra notices to District Employees. According to Luzzi, on or about June 28, 2004, she was notified by the Superintendent's office that Plaintiff's employment with the District would be ending on June 30, 2004. She immediately prepared and mailed a COBRA continuation notice to Plaintiff. Luzzi avers that had the notice been returned by the Postal Service it would have been directed to her; however, neither she, nor, to her knowledge, anyone else at the District, received it back.

On July 22, 2004, at the Superintendent's request she prepared a second COBRA continuation notice and caused it to be mailed to Plaintiff. This second notice was identical to the first except that the second notice had Plaintiff's name written on the top and it contained an error in the termination date, reciting it as "6/3/04" rather than "6/30/04." According to the Superintendent, he asked Luzzi to prepare this second notice because on July 21, 2004, he received a letter from Plaintiff, dated July 19, 2004. which stated:

As you are aware, I was unjustly discharged from my position as a Custodian Cleaner for the District. Both my wife and I were covered under the District's medical plan. I am aware that Local 74 has filed a grievance relative to my termination of employment. In the interim until the arbitration, I would request that the District continue my medical insurance coverage. In the alternative, if you chose not to do so I would seek eligibility for coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA). I need coverage for both my wife and I.

Furthermore, if you chose not to do either of the above I require a letter from the District stating that I am no longer eligible for medical coverage so that I may seek coverage elsewhere. I would require this letter immediately be sent to my home address listed above. (Def.s' Ex. H.)

According to Luzzi, on July 26, 2004 she received a phone call from Lorraine Chesney asking her to prepare a letter confirming that neither she nor Plaintiff were covered under the District's health insurance plan, so that she could pick up coverage through her employer and obtain coverage for Plaintiff under that plan. Luzzi prepared such a letter ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.