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Miles v. Corning Inc. Long Term Diability Plan

United States District Court, W.D. New York

June 5, 2013

KATHY MILES, Plaintiff,
v.
CORNING INC. LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN, CORNING BENEFITS COMMITTEE, Defendants

For Kathy Miles, Plaintiff: E. Peter Pfaff, LEAD ATTORNEY, East Aurora, NY.

For Corning Inc. Long Term Disability Plan, Corning Benefits Committee, Defendants: Thomas E. Reidy, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP, Rochester, NY.

OPINION

Page 296

DECISION AND ORDER

DAVID G. LARIMER, United States District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Kathy Miles, (" Miles" ), a former employee of Corning Incorporated and a participant in the Corning Incorporated Long Term Disability Plan (the " Plan" ), brings this action against the Plan and its administrators, claiming that her long term disability benefits payments

Page 297

were improperly and prematurely discontinued, pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (" ERISA" ) and the Plan terms. Count I of the Amended Complaint seeks review of the denial of plaintiff's disability claim. Count II seeks a declaratory judgment declaring that plaintiff is entitled to the benefits sought in Count I. Count III seeks alternative equitable relief pursuant to ERISA § 502(a)(3), " in the event that [the] Court determines that the 'arbitrary and capricious' standard of review applies to the benefit denial decision [that is the subject of Count I]." (Dkt. #1 at ¶ 13).

The defendants now move solely to dismiss Count III of the Amended Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(1) and (6). (Dkt. #13). For the reasons set forth below, that motion is granted, and Count III is dismissed.

DISCUSSION

I. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a claim may be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6). In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must " accept the allegations contained in the complaint as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant." Sheppard v. Beerman, 18 F.3d 147, 150 (2d Cir. 1994), citing Ad-Hoc Comm. of Baruch Black & Hispanic Alumni Ass'n v. Bernard M. Baruch College, 835 F.2d 980, 982 (2d Cir. 1987). Nonetheless, " a plaintiff's obligation . . . requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual ...


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