Mattingly et al v. Humana Health Plan, Inc. et al
ORDER DECISION AND ENTRY ADOPTING 50 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended complaint (Doc. 44) is DENIED with respect to Plaintiffs' claim to recover benefits under § 502 of ERISA against Defendant USBS. Defendant's motion to dismiss the second amended complaint (Doc. 44) is GRANTED with respect to all other claims. Defendants Humana Health Plan of Ohio, Inc., Humana Health Plan, Inc., and the Proctor & Gamble Company are DISMISSED from this action. Signed by Judge Timothy S. Black on 6/5/17. (sct)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
MICHAEL W. MATTINGLY, et al.,
HUMANA HEALTH PLAN, INC., et al.,
Case No. 1:15-cv-781
Judge Timothy S. Black
Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman
DECISION AND ENTRY
ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE (Doc. 50)
This case is before the Court pursuant to the Order of General Reference in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Western Division to United
States Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman. Pursuant to such reference, the
Magistrate Judge reviewed the pleadings filed with this Court and, on February 1, 2017,
submitted a Report and Recommendations. (Doc. 50). Defendant The Proctor & Gamble
U.S. Business Services Company (“USBS”) filed objections on March 15, 2017. (Doc.
Defendant’s objections are not well taken. After reviewing the filings in this case, the Court
agrees with the magistrate judge’s conclusion that Plaintiffs have adequately pled exhaustion of
the required administrative remedies associated with the benefit plan at issue for their denial of
benefits claim under ERISA to survive a motion to dismiss. The second amended complaint
specifically states that “Plaintiffs have completed all steps required prior to the filing of this
complaint under the Plan and ERISA[.]” (Doc. 37, at 4). Defendants’ motion to dismiss
attempts to introduce evidence outside the complaint to support their assertion that Plaintiffs
have not in fact exhausted the required administrative remedies—however, such evidence is not
proper in the context of a motion to dismiss, which looks to the complaint to determine whether
Plaintiffs have stated facts that, if true, give Plaintiff a claim for relief. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662 (2009). Plaintiffs have met this liberal pleading standard. Following discovery,
Defendant USBS may revise its argument related to whether Plaintiffs properly exhausted their
administrative remedies in a more appropriate motion.
As required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), the Court has
reviewed the comprehensive findings of the Magistrate Judge and considered de novo
all of the filings in this matter. Upon consideration of the foregoing, the Court does
determine that such Report and Recommendations should be and is hereby adopted in
its entirety. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
Defendants’ motion to dismiss the second amended complaint (Doc. 44) is
DENIED with respect to Plaintiffs’ claim to recover benefits under § 502
of ERISA against Defendant USBS;
Defendant’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint (Doc. 44) is
GRANTED with respect to all other claims;
Defendants Humana Health Plan of Ohio, Inc., Humana Health Plan, Inc.,
and the Proctor & Gamble Company are DISMISSED from this action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Timothy S. Black
United States District Judge
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