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Bradshaw v. Principal Financial Group

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

December 20, 2017

PATRICIA BRADSHAW, Plaintiff,
v.
PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL GROUP d/b/a PRINCIPAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are four motions: (1) Defendant Principal Financial Group's Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint and to Strike Plaintiff's Jury Demand (“Motion to Dismiss I”), filed on May 15, 2017 (ECF No. 10; see also ECF No. 11); (2) Plaintiff Patricia Bradshaw's Motion to Amend Complaint (“Motion to Amend”), filed on June 12, 2017 (ECF No. 15); (3) Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and to Strike Plaintiff's Jury Demand (“Motion to Dismiss II”), filed on November 10, 2017 (ECF No. 24; see also ECF No. 25); and (4) Joint Motion to Stay Related to ECF Nos. 24, 25, and 26 (“Joint Motion to Stay”), filed on December 4, 2017 (ECF No. 27).

         For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss I is GRANTED, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend is DENIED, and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss II and the Joint Motion to Stay are DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. Background

         Defendant issued long-term disability insurance coverage (the “Plan”) to Plaintiff through her employer. (ECF No. 1 at 2.)[1] On or about June 3, 2005, Plaintiff was diagnosed with malignant, metastatic melanoma. (Id.) Because of her illness, Plaintiff stopped working on August 8, 2005. (Id.)

         Plaintiff began receiving long-term disability benefits from Defendant under the Plan on or around November 9, 2005. (Id.) Defendant also helped Plaintiff receive Social Security Disability Income (“SSDI benefits”), hiring a lawyer and helping Plaintiff obtain records. (Id. at 3; ECF No. 15 at 119.) Defendant informed Plaintiff that, if Plaintiff received SSDI benefits, the amount she received from Defendant under the Plan would be reduced. (ECF No. 1 at 3.) Plaintiff began receiving SSDI benefits before October 20, 2006.[2] On October 20, 2006, Plaintiff mailed Defendant a check for $11, 439.76 to compensate Defendant for the overpayment of long-term disability benefits. (See ECF No. 1 at 3; ECF No. 1-3 at 63.)

         Plaintiff's SSDI benefits were terminated on May 2, 2013. (ECF No. 1 at 3). Defendant paid Plaintiff's attorney to appeal the termination of Plaintiff's SSDI benefits. (Id.) Defendant's representatives told Plaintiff that, if she did not begin receiving SSDI benefits again, her long-term disability benefits would be increased to the amount Plaintiff had received before receiving SSDI benefits. (Id.) Plaintiff began receiving SSDI benefits again on or about September 26, 2014. (Id.)

         On October 20, 2014, Defendant sent Plaintiff a letter informing her that her long-term disability benefits were being terminated. (Id.; ECF No. 1-4 at 64.) Defendant's letter said that Plaintiff “no longer [met] the definition of Disability beyond 10/9/2014.” (ECF No. 1-4 at 64.)

         On March 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Complaint. (ECF No. 1.) The Complaint alleges that Defendant's termination of Plaintiff's long-term disability benefits violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq. (“ERISA”) and breached a contract between Plaintiff and Defendant. (Id. at 5-6.) On May 15, 2017, Defendant filed Motion to Dismiss I. (ECF No. 10; see also ECF No. 11.) On June 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed the Motion to Amend. (ECF No. 15.) De- fendant responded to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend on June 26, 2017. (ECF No. 16.)

         On October 18, 2017, the Court entered an Order Reserving Defendant's Motion to Dismiss I and Plaintiff's Motion to Amend pending filing of Plaintiff's proposed amendment. (ECF No. 22.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to file her proposed amendment by October 30, 2017. (Id. at 152.)

         On October 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 23.) Although styled an amended complaint, the document is a proposed amended complaint. On November 10, 2017, Defendant filed its Motion to Dismiss II. (ECF No. 24; see also ECF No. 25.)

         On December 4, 2017, the parties filed the Joint Motion to Stay. (ECF No. 27.) The Joint Motion to Stay asks the Court “to stay any response due from Plaintiff to the motion filed by the Defendant . . . until such time as the Court rules [on Plaintiff's Motion to Amend].” (Id. at 313-14.)

         II. Standard of Review

         A. ...


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