The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLIFFORD GREEN, Senior District Judge
Presently pending are Third Party Defendant, Plan Vista Solution's
("Plan Vista") Motion to Dismiss the Third Party Complaint, the
Defendant/Third Party Plaintiff, All Shore, Inc.'s ("All Shore") Answer
to the Motion and Alternative Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint,
and the Plaintiff, Hahnemann University Hospital's ("Hahnemann") Response
to All Shore's Motion to Dismiss. Plan Vista claims that All Shore (1)
did not seek leave of court to file the Third Party Complaint which was
filed more than 10 days after they served their Answer, (2) did not make
a claim for contribution or indemnification, and (3) did not state a
claim upon which relief may be granted; therefore, the Third Party
Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice.
The suit arose when Hahnemann filed a complaint under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) against All
Shore seeking payment for medical services rendered to Ms. Hawco, a
participant of the All Shore Plan. Hahnemann claims that it was informed that the benefits for Ms. Hawco. would be paid at 90%.
When Hahnemann submitted claims for $255,918.90 for the care of Ms.
Hawco, they were only paid $102,867.56. All Shore filed their Answer on
September 30, 2003. On November 5, 2003, All Shore filed the Third Party
Complaint against Plan Vista alleging All Shore relied on information and
instruction from Plan Vista as their Third Party Administrator to adjust
Ms. Hawco's Hahnemann invoices. All Shore claims that Plan Vista, known
at the time as NPPN, represented that it had an insurance agreement with
Hahnemann that required All Shore to reduce its bill. The Third Party
Complaint alleges NPPN has an obligation to the Plaintiff and the
Defendant as to both actual damages and potential penalties if imposed by
this court for violations of the ERISA statute.
Although Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14(a) clearly states that a
party must obtain leave, All Shore neither sought leave nor offered an
explanation as to why leave was not sought. Plan Vista does not allege
that they were prejudiced by the thirty (30) day delay; therefore, I will
exercise my discretion and not dismiss the Complaint on the ground that
leave to file was not obtained. As for the sufficiency of the Third Party
Complaint, All Shore claims its liability depends upon the existence of a
contract between Plan Vista and Hahnemann. Upon review of the Complaint
and accepting the allegations as true, I conclude that All Shore's
allegations are sufficiently pled to state a claim. As Plan Vista's
Motion to Dismiss will be denied, it is not necessary to discuss All
Shore's Alternative Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff's Complaint and the
response thereto. That Motion will be dismissed as moot. AND NOW, this ___ day of April, 2004, upon consideration of Third Party
Defendant, Plan Vista's Motion to Dismiss the Third Party Complaint, the
Third Party Plaintiff, All Shore's Answer to the Motion and Alternative
Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint, and the Plaintiff, Hahnemann's
Response thereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plan Vista's Motion is
DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that All Shore's Alternative Motion is
DISMISSED as MOOT.
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