United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MARK A. MCGRATH, Plaintiff,
LIBERTY LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF BOSTON, Defendant.
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Liberty Life Assurance Company of
Boston's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (d/e 5). Defendant's
motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff Mark A. McGrath's Complaint
is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
majority of the following facts come from Plaintiff's
Complaint (d/e 1). The Court accepts these facts as true in
ruling on a motion to dismiss. Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).
Additional facts come from the benefit denial letter, dated
April 21, 2005, sent by Defendant to Plaintiff, a copy of
which is attached as Exhibit A to Defendant's memorandum
of law in support of its motion to dismiss. Although not
attached to Plaintiff's Complaint, the benefit denial
letter is referenced in the Complaint, see
Complaint, ¶ 13, and is a document critical to the
Complaint. Therefore, the Court can consider the denial
letter in ruling on Defendant's motion to dismiss.
See Phillips v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 714 F.3d
1017, 1019-20 (7th Cir. 2013).
a supply chain manager for Safran USA from September 1996
through December 2013, was a participant of the Safran USA
Long Term Disability Plan (Safran Plan). The Safran Plan was
underwritten and administered by Defendant.
October 26, 2013, Plaintiff's medical impairments
prevented him from performing his work activity. Plaintiff
applied to Defendant for disability benefits and received
said benefits from April 25, 2014, to April 21,
2015. In addition, Plaintiff applied for Social
Security disability benefits. On August 11, 2014, the Social
Security Administration determined that Plaintiff was
disabled under sections 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social
Security Act beginning on October 26, 2013. Although
Defendant was aware of the Social Security
Administration's decision, Defendant sent Plaintiff a
benefit denial, dated April 21, 2015. The benefit denial
letter stated that Defendant had determined that disability
benefits were not payable to Plaintiff beyond April 21, 2015.
Benefit Denial Letter (d/e 6-1), at 1. The denial letter also
stated that any written request for review of Defendant's
decision had to be sent within 180 days of Plaintiff's
receipt of the letter. Id. at 6.
did not send a request for an administrative review to
Defendant within 180 days of the April 21, 2015, denial.
After the administrative review deadline had passed,
Plaintiff's attorney contacted Defendant and requested a
voluntary administrative review. Defendant's
representative could not guarantee the review requested.
April 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint (d/e 1), asserting
a claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (ERISA). Plaintiff seeks the payment of disability
benefits by Defendant pursuant to the terms of the Safran
Plan. On April 21, 2017, Defendant filed its Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiff's Complaint must be
dismissed because Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing this suit. Plaintiff
did not file a response to the motion to dismiss.
Plaintiff's ERISA claim is one by a plan participant to
recover benefits due to him under the terms of a disability
plan offered by his employer, this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over the claim. See 29 U.S.C. §
1132(e)(1). Additionally, the Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's ERISA claim because it is
based on federal law. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331
(“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction
of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.”).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Plausibility means
alleging factual content that allows a court to reasonably
infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged
misconduct. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 547 (2007). A plaintiff's complaint must
suggest a right to relief, “raising that possibility
above a speculative level.” Kubiak v. City of
Chicago, 810 F.3d 476, 480 (7th Cir. 2016). “[A]
plaintiff is not required to plead facts in the complaint to
anticipate and defeat affirmative defenses.”
Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Information Servs.
Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012). However, if
the plaintiff's complaint “sets out all of the
elements of an affirmative defense, dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) is appropriate.” Id.
faced with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court
“accept[s] as true all of the well-pleaded facts in the
complaint and draw[s] all reasonable inferences in favor of
the plaintiff.” Roberts v. City of Chicago,
817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016). However, “legal
conclusions and conclusory allegations merely reciting the
elements of the claim are not entitled to this presumption of
truth.” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).