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EMIL v. UNUM LIFE INS. CO. OF AMERICA

February 4, 2003

CHARLES L. EMIL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNUM LIFE INS. CO. OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: A. Richard Caputo, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. 3) Counts II and III of Plaintiff's complaint. Defendant's motion will be granted, and Counts II and III will be dismissed.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's complaint alleges the following: Plaintiff Charles L. Emil worked as a boiler tender for UGI Electric Utilities from 1982 until May, 2001. Plaintiff was a covered beneficiary under a group long-term disability benefits policy issued by UNUM through his employer.

Plaintiff was hospitalized between July 30 and August 8, 1996 due to the onset of angina. He underwent cardiac catheterization and ultimately a coronary arterial bypass graft surgery in 1996. Following a recovery period, Plaintiff returned to work. In May 2001, Plaintiff experienced a new on set of cardiac symptoms including angina. He underwent cardiac catheterization which revealed a lesion in the right coronary artery. He then underwent a stenting procedure. Plaintiff's treating physicians have not yet released him to return to work.

Following his illness in May 2001, Plaintiff filed an application for long-term disability benefits. This application was denied initially on October 11, 2001, and again on November 28, 2001.

Plaintiff filed the complaint in the present action on November 7, 2002. (Doc. 1.) Count I is a claim for wrongful denial of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 11 U.S.C. § 1132. Count II, also under ERISA, alleges breach of fiduciary duty. Count III is a bad faith claim under 42 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. § 8371.

Defendant moved to dismiss Counts II and III of Plaintiff's complaint on January 7, 2003. (Doc. 3.) The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dismissal is appropriate only if, accepting all factual allegations in the complaint as true and "drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor, no relief could be granted under any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc. v. Mirage Resorts Inc., 140 F.3d 478, 483 (3d Cir. 1998).

In deciding a motion to dismiss, the court should consider the allegations in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint and matters of public record. See Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (1993). The court may also consider "undisputedly authentic" documents where the plaintiff's claims are based on the documents and the defendant has attached a copy of the document to the motion to dismiss. Id. The court need not assume that the plaintiff can prove facts that were not alleged in the complaint, City of Pittsburgh v. West Penn Power Co., 147 F.3d 256, 263 (3d Cir. 1998), nor credit a complaint's "bald assertions" or "legal conclusions." Morse v. Lower Marion School District, 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997).

When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court's role is limited to determining whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of the claims. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). The court does not consider whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. In order to survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must set forth information from which each element of a claim may be inferred. See Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993). The defendant bears the burden of establishing that the plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Gould Electronics v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

A. Breach of ...


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