Court characterized as expressing the "core component" of standing, derived directly from the Constitution: "A plaintiff must allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defendant's allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief." Allen v. Wright, 82 L. Ed. 2d at 569. (Citation omitted).
Applying the foregoing standards to this case, it is obvious that the plaintiff lacks standing to press its claim against the school district. Plaintiff has not suggested, nor can the Court discern a common law or Constitutional right to have a school district provide an extraordinary service to a handicapped child, however necessary it may be. Whatever rights to such an expenditure of public funds which may exist were created and delineated by Congress through the EHA. As a complete stranger to the statutory scheme, the plaintiff can suffer no injury at the hands of the defendant school district and consequently has no recourse to the courts. Stated another way, the plaintiff's relationship with the defendant parents through the insurance contract is in no way altered or disturbed by the EHA. Plaintiff has suffered no injury as a result of the statutory scheme, but rather seeks a windfall benefit from it. Moreover, plaintiff seeks to assert the rights of the defendants B B, J B and N B, not its own. Finally, the claim does not fall within the "zone of interests" created and protected by the statute invoked. The EHA was certainly not enacted to shift obligations from an insurance company to a school district.
Still another approach to the issue of standing is the question of whether a private right of action exists on behalf of this plaintiff under the EHA. While other courts have held that the EHA does create a private right of action for claims which do not fall within the usual administrative process or which the specified procedures do not address, Gary B. v. Cronin, 542 F. Supp. 102 (N.D. Ill. 1980), Loughran v. Flanders, 470 F. Supp. 110 (D. Conn. 1979), those decisions are not applicable here in that they considered the claims of handicapped children and their parents. Here, we should return to the method of analysis found in Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66, 95 S. Ct. 2080, 45 L. Ed. 2d (1975). That method requires the Court to consider four factors when deciding whether a particular plaintiff may assert a particular cause of action: 1) Whether the plaintiff is one for whose special benefit the legislation was enacted; 2) Whether there was any legislative intent (explicit or implicit) to create or deny such a remedy; 3) whether it is consistent with the legislative scheme to imply such a remedy; 4) whether the cause of action is one traditionally relegated to state law such that it would be inappropriate to imply a federal remedy. It is quite clear, without further elaboration, that this plaintiff cannot meet the foregoing standards with respect to the EHA.
Thus, it now becomes apparent that plaintiff's lack of opportunity to participate in the administrative process mandated by the EHA is not a reason for the Court to disregard or circumvent that process by considering plaintiff's claim in the context of a declaratory judgment action. Rather, the lack of a mechanism through which plaintiff may have its claim considered within the statutory scheme merely highlights plaintiff's lack of standing under the EHA. In the absence of standing, and, hence, subject matter jurisdiction, this Court has no choice but to dismiss Count I of the complaint.
The same jurisdictional issues do not, of course, apply to Count II, where subject matter jurisdiction is premised upon diversity of citizenship only. Nevertheless, although Count II appears to require only a contract interpretation, in reality that task is here dependent upon whether the presence of the tracheostomy attendant is necessary for the child, B B, to benefit from his special education program, ie. is a "related service" under the EHA. Only when that question is answered can the Court determine whether the insurance contract exclusion relating to the availability of government benefits applies. Once again, this Court cannot properly make that determination. Thus, while we do not, technically, lack subject matter jurisdiction over Count II, as a practical matter, we cannot adjudicate the claim made there. Consequently, we conclude that plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted in Count II, requiring the dismissal of that claim as well.
In their answer to the amended complaint, defendants B B, J B and N B also asserted a counterclaim against the plaintiff, alleging that it has failed to pay certain medical expenses on behalf of B B as it is obligated to do under the insurance contract. The counterclaim alleges no jurisdictional facts, however. Consequently, the Court cannot determine whether there is subject matter jurisdiction in this court in light of the dismissal of Count II of the amended complaint. Thus, we will also dismiss defendants' counterclaim, subject to their right to amend their pleading to assert a claim over which the Court has independent subject matter jurisdiction or to reassert it if plaintiff ultimately amends the complaint to assert a viable claim against the counterclaim defendants.
And now, this 30th day of December, 1987, upon consideration of defendant Bethlehem Area School District's motion to stay proceedings and plaintiff's response thereto, IT IS ORDERED that the motion is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Count I of the amended complaint is DISMISSED for want of subject matter jurisdiction.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Count II of the amended complaint is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff may amend Count II in accordance with the accompanying memorandum within twenty (20) days of the entry of this order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the counterclaim of defendants B B, J B and N B is DISMISSED without prejudice to their right to amend it within thirty (30) days of the entry of this order.