Service Employees International Union Local 2000 Health and Welfare Fund et al v. Agency For Community Transit, Inc.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (See Full Order.) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant Agency for Community Transit, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss 7 is DENIED. This case will be set for a Rule 16 scheduling conference by separate Order. Defendant is reminded of its obligation to answer the complaint within the time set by the rules. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on 11/14/2016. (CBL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
INTERNATIONAL UNION LOCAL
2000 HEALTH AND WELFARE
FUND, et al.,
AGENCY FOR COMMUNITY
No. 4:16 CV 1065 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Service Employees International Union Local 2000 Health and
Welfare Fund and its trustees (collectively, “the Fund”) bring this ERISA action
seeking delinquent contributions from defendant Agency for Community Transit,
Inc. Community Transit now seeks to dismiss the Fund’s complaint under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6), arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Because resolution of the issues raised by Community Transit’s motion
requires consideration of matters outside the pleadings, I may not determine them on
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. I will therefore deny the motion.
In its complaint, the Fund alleges that Community Transit is obligated under
its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to make contribution payments to the
Fund on behalf of eligible employees. The Fund contends that two of Community
Transit’s employees dropped their health and welfare coverage in early 2016, after
which Community Transit ceased paying contributions to the Fund on their behalf.
The Fund alleges that the employees’ drop of coverage was improper, given that it
was outside an open enrollment period and no qualifying family event occurred.
The Fund claims that because this drop of coverage was improper and the employees
remain qualified for coverage, Community Transit remains obligated to pay
contributions to the Fund on the employees’ behalf.
In its motion to dismiss, Community Transit contends that under the terms of
the relevant Summary Plan Document (SPD), an employee’s coverage terminates
when Community Transit stops making contributions to the Plan on behalf of that
employee. Community Transit argues that because it stopped making contributions
to the Plan for the two employees here, as the Fund alleges in the complaint, the
employees’ coverage terminated as of that time, and they were not required to wait
until an open enrollment period to drop their coverage. Community Transit further
contends that it was permitted to stop making contributions for these employees
under Section 14.6 of the CBA, because the employees submitted written proof that
they were insured under another health plan and requested not to be covered under
Community Transit’s plan. Community Transit argues that, given these
circumstances, it properly ceased paying contributions under the terms of the CBA
for these employees, at which time the employees’ coverage terminated under the
terms of the SPD.
Community Transit bases its argument on factual averments that are not made
in the complaint nor shown by the CBA or SPD. Because I may not look outside
the complaint and documents embraced by it when ruling a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, Enervations, Inc. v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 380 F.3d 1066, 1069
(8th Cir. 2004), I will deny Community Transit’s motion. The matters raised by
Community Transit are more appropriately considered on a motion for summary
judgment with submission of evidence relevant to the issues.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant Agency for Community Transit,
Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss  is DENIED.
This case will be set for a Rule 16 scheduling conference by separate
Order. Defendant is reminded of its obligation to answer the complaint within the
time set by the rules.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 14th day of November, 2016.
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