Reinwand, Joseph v. Bradley, Lawrence et al
ORDER denying 20 Motion to Amend Complaint; denying 21 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 4/11/2018. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JOSEPH REINWAND,
OPINION and ORDER
NATIONAL ELECTRICAL BENEFIT FUND,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In this civil action, pro se plaintiff Joseph Reinwand, a prisoner at the Columbia
Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, is bringing claims under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1132, against the pension plan of his previous
employer. On February 5, 2018, I granted a motion to dismiss claims plaintiff had included
against the administrator and trustees of the plan, concluding that plaintiff’s complaint failed
to state claims against those defendants under ERISA or 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Now before the
court are plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend his complaint, dkt. #20, and motion for
reconsideration of the dismissal order. Dkt. #21. Both motions will be denied.
With respect to the motion for leave to file an amended complaint, plaintiff neither
filed a proposed amended complain nor explained adequately what changes he wishes to
make to his original complaint. Instead, he suggests that he may be able to add information
that would clarify the basis for his claims against the previously-dismissed individual
defendants. Plaintiff’s vague statements are not sufficient to justify granting his motion. If
plaintiff wishes to renew his motion by filing a timely proposed amended complaint, he may
do so, but I will not grant him leave to file an amended complaint without reviewing his
In support of his motion for reconsideration, plaintiff argues that the individual
defendants may be sued under ERISA and held personally liable for the benefits owed to
plaintiff because, according to the plan documents, the trustees and administrators are
responsible for evaluating and paying claims. However, none of the plan provisions cited by
plaintiff would support a finding that the trustees or administrators are personally responsible
for paying claims.
Rather, the provisions indicate that these individuals have official
responsibilities in administering the plan and paying benefits, but no personal obligations
to pay, as would be the case if the plan and the individuals were “interchangeable.” E.g.,
Riordan v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 128 F.3d 549, 551 (7th Cir. 1997). As explained
in the previous order, dkt. #19 at 2, the appropriate defendant on an ERISA claim for
benefits is “the party having the obligation to pay,” which is “[t]ypically the plan.” Larson
v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., 723 F.3d 905, 913 (7th Cir. 2013). Plaintiff has
pointed to nothing in the plan documents to undermine my previous conclusion that the
plan is the appropriate defendant in this case.
Therefore, I will deny his motion for
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff Joseph Reinwand’s motion for reconsideration, dkt.
#21, and his motion for leave to amend his complaint, dkt. #20, are DENIED.
Entered this 11th day of April, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
BARBARA B. CRABB
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?