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NEUMA, INC. v. E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO.

July 2, 1998

NEUMA, INC., an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS and COMPANY, a Delaware corporation, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 ALESIA, District Judge.

 Before the court is a motion filed by defendant E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company ("Du Pont"). This motion is Du Pont's motion to dismiss plaintiff Neuma's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, the court denies defendant's motion to dismiss.

 I. BACKGROUND

 The complaint alleges the following facts which, for the purposes of ruling on this motion, are taken as true. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984). Plaintiff, Neuma, is an Illinois coporation with its principal place of business in Illinois. Defendant, Du Pont, is a Delaware corporation which does business in Illinois. Du Pont is the plan sponsor, plan administrator and fiduciary to the Contributory Group Life Insurance Plan, the Non-Contributory Group Life Insurance Plan and the Du Pont Company Insurance Plan (the "Plans"). James Micahel O'Hara ("O'Hara") was an employee of Du Pont eligible to participate in the Plans and entitled to life insurance benefits under a group life insurance policy (the "policy") with a payout value of $ 22,000

 On June 20, 1994, O'Hara assigned all of his rights, title and interest under the policy to Neuma. Pursuant to the terms of the policy, Neuma had 31 days after O'Hara's termination from Du Pont to convert the group life insurance policy to an individual policy. If the policy was not timely converted, it would lapse. Du Pont knew of Neuma's intent to convert the policy upon O'Hara's termination and Du Pont represented that notice of O'Hara's termination would be sent to Neuma. O'Hara was terminated sometime in 1994 but Neuma did not learn of his termination until 1996, after the period of time to convert the policy had expired.

 Neuma alleges that Du Pont owed a fiduciary duty to Neuma and they breached that duty by failing to timely inform Neuma of O'Hara's termination. Neuma demanded reinstatement of its rights under the policy, but Du Pont has refused to do so. The court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e).

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Standard for deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss

 When deciding a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Midwest Grinding Co. v. Spitz, 976 F.2d 1016, 1019 (7th Cir. 1992). If, when viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must dismiss the case. See FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6); Gomez v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ., 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). However, the court may dismiss the complaint only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).

 Even under the liberal notice pleading standard of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, however, a complaint must include either direct or inferential allegations respecting all material elements of the claim asserted. Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991). Bare legal conclusions attached to narrated facts will not suffice. Strauss v. City of Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 768 (7th Cir. 1985).

 B. Count I - Breach of fiduciary duty

 Count I is a claim against Du Pont for breach of fiduciary duty. Du Pont has moved to dismiss count I on two alternative grounds. Du Pont first argues that Neuma has failed to assert a breach of fiduciary duty by Du Pont. Alternatively, Du Pont argues that Neuma improperly seeks ...


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