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Coil v. Rightchoice Managed Care, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division

September 25, 2014

ERIC COIL, Plaintiff,
v.
RIGHTCHOICE MANAGED CARE, INC., HEALTHY ALLIANCE LIFE INSURANCE CO., AND HMO MISSOURI, INC., Defendants.

ORDER

NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, District Judge.

The Defendants' motion to dismiss, Doc. 22, is denied without prejudice.

I. Background

Plaintiff Eric Coil originally filed his suit in state court. He pled that his wife had emergency medical treatment and died, and that a medical insurance policy, provided by the Defendants, was in effect on the dates services were rendered to her. Coil alleges that the Defendants initially paid claims for his late wife's medical bills, but subsequently rescinded the payments and denied coverage. Coil filed suit in state court, pleading causes of action for breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay. Doc. 1-1.

The Defendants removed the case to this Court and subsequently moved to dismiss the state-law claims as preempted by ERISA. Doc. 6. The Court concluded that the state-law claims were preempted, and granted the motion in part, but permitted Coil 14 days to amend his complaint to allege any ERISA claim he might have. Doc. 19.

Coil subsequently filed an amended complaint closely mirroring the original, with the addition of a citation to ERISA. Doc. 20.

II. Discussion

The Defendants argue that dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate because

Coil lacks standing to bring the ERISA claim; the amended complaint still contains preempted state law claims; and Coil has failed to exhaust his remedies. They also argue that Coil's demand for a jury trial must be stricken because a jury trial is not available under ERISA.

Coil fails to plead facts demonstrating he has standing. ERISA provides, in relevant part:

(a) Persons empowered to bring a civil action. A civil action may be brought-
(1) By a participant or beneficiary-
***
(B) to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to future ...

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