United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
ERIC YOST, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff,
ANTHEM LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY Defendant.
D. Mariani, United States District Judge
the Court considers Defendant Anthem Life Insurance
Company's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint (Doc.
11). With this Motion, Defendant asserts the above-captioned
matter ("Yost II”) should be dismissed
because it is duplicative of the action docketed at
3:16-CV-00079 ("Yost I"). (Doc. 12 at 5.)
The Court concludes Defendant's Motion is properly
granted because Yost II is duplicative of Yost
I in all relevant respects.
factual background set out in the Yost I Complaint
(Doc. 1) is the same as that set out in the Amended Complaint
in Yost I (Civ. A. No. 3:16-CV-00079 Doc.
the recitation of facts recently set out the Memorandum
Opinion considering a motion filed in Yost I (Doc.
94 at 6-7) is applicable here:
Plaintiff Eric Yost was insured for disability benefits under
a Group Plan issued by Defendant through Finisar Corporation,
Plaintiffs former employer. (Doc.  ¶ 6.) On February
2, 2013, Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident,
rendering him temporarily disabled. (Id. ¶ 7.)
As a result of his temporary disability, Plaintiff submitted
a claim for short term disability benefits to Defendant,
(Id. ¶ 8.) Thereafter, Defendant paid
disability benefits in the amount of $5, 654.40 to Plaintiff
for the period beginning February 4, 2013 and ending April
23, 2013. (Id. ¶ 9.) As a result of his injury,
Plaintiff sought damages against the alleged tortfeasor.
(Id. ¶ 10.) The tortfeasor's insurer
settled the action and made payment to Plaintiff in
compensation for the personal injuries he sustained in the
motor vehicle accident. (Id. ¶ 11.) Defendant
then asserted a claim for reimbursement of the short term
disability benefits paid to the Plaintiff in the amount of
$6, 997.25. (Id. ¶¶ 12, 14.) The parties
then attempted to negotiate a settlement as to the
reimbursement Defendant asserted it was owed by Plaintiff.
(Id. ¶¶ 14-20.) Defendant has continued to
assert a claim for reimbursement of the short term disability
benefits paid to the Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ .)
As a result, Plaintiffs counsel "has been forced to
refuse to distribute to Mr. Yost the money in dispute"
(id. ¶ ), leaving Plaintiff "subject
to suit and loss of benefits based on the dispute over the
subject funds" (id.).
(Doc. 94 at 6-7.) Plaintiff seeks recovery on behalf of
himself and similarly situated individuals. (Doc. 1 ¶
5.) He avers that the subrogation demand "is contrary to
the policy and law." (Doc. 1 ¶ 22.)
Complaint contains five counts: Count I for Declaratory
Relief related to "the policies and law" (Doc. 1
¶¶ 70, 73); Count II for Violation of Employee
Welfare Benefit Plan and Policy; Count III for Breach of
Fiduciary Duty - Duty of Loyalty related to ERISA's
fiduciary obligations; Count IV for Action for ERISA Relief;
and Count V for Relief Demanded. (Doc. 1 at 16-41.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
this Motion, Defendant moves the Court "to dismiss
Plaintiffs Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and/or
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(c)(2)(A)." (Doc. 11 at 1.) Defendant
does not identify the basis for seeking relief under Rule
16(c)(2)(A). (See Docs. 11, 12.) Therefore, the Court
considers Defendant's Motion under the applicable Rule
complaint must be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) if it does not allege "enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678, (2009).
a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiffs
obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his
'entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of a cause of
action's elements will not do." Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations and alterations omitted).
"[T]he presumption of truth attaches only to those
allegations for which there is sufficient 'factual
matter' to render them 'plausible on [their]
face'... Conclusory assertions of fact and legal
conclusions are not entitled to the same presumption."
Schuchardt v. President of the United States, 839
F.3d 336, 347 (3d Cir. 2016) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S.
the plausibility standard 'does not impose a probability
requirement,' it does require a pleading to show
'more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.'" Connelly v. Lane Const.
Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 786 (3d Cir. 2016) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 and Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678). "The plausibility determination is 'a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.'"
Id. at 786-87 (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. 679).
argues that Yost II is based on the same disability
benefits claim and the same accident as Yost I, and
although the Yost II Complaint eliminates reference
to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility
Law "("MVFRL"), the violations of
"law" asserted in Yost II are
"hopelessly vague and conclusory." (Doc. 12 at 5.)
Defendant also contends that Yost II should be
dismissed because it is an impermissible attempt ...