Wiltfong v. Johnson Controls, Inc. et al
ORDER GRANTING 9 DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STRIKE JURY DEMAND AND CLAIMS UNDER MO. REV. STAT. §§ 375.296 AND 375.420. Signed on 8/30/17 by Chief District Judge Greg Kays. (Strodtman, Tracy)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHNSON CONTROLS, INC., et al.,
Case No. 4:17-CV-00265-DGK
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STRIKE JURY
DEMAND AND CLAIMS UNDER MO. REV. STAT. §§ 375.296 AND 375.420
This action arises under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq. Specifically, Plaintiff Michael Wiltfong (“Plaintiff”)
seeks accidental dismemberment benefits under an employee welfare benefit plan sponsored by
his employer, Defendant Johnson Controls, Inc., and funded by group policies issued by
Defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In his complaint, Plaintiff acknowledges the
Court has federal question jurisdiction because he brings this action pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §
Compl. ¶ 1 (Doc. 1).
He demands a jury trial, and seeks damages for
Defendants’ alleged vexatious refusal to pay pursuant to Missouri Revised Statute sections
375.296 and 375.420. Compl. at 1 (demanding a jury trial in the caption), 4 ¶ 30 (seeking
damages pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296, 375.420), 5 (same).
Now before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Strike Jury Demand and Claims Under
Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420 (Doc. 9). Defendants assert Plaintiff’s claims and
remedies are limited solely to those provided by ERISA, and jury trials are not available for
claims asserted under any of ERISA’s remedial provisions. Mot. ¶¶ 3-5 (Doc. 9). Because
Plaintiff did not file suggestions in opposition to this motion by the June 15, 2017, deadline, the
Court treats Defendants’ motion as unopposed. See L.R. 7.0(c)(2) (“Within 14 days after a
motion is filed, each party opposing the motion must file suggestions opposing the motion.”)
Accordingly, Defendants’ Motion to Strike Jury Demand and Claims under Mo. Rev.
Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420 (Doc. 9) is GRANTED. The Court strikes Plaintiff’s jury demand
and his claims under Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: August 30, 2017
/s/ Greg Kays
GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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