United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: DISMISSAL MOTION
J. GARBIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court has before it Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [ECF No. 20], incorporated
by reference in Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
[ECF No. 31] and the materials submitted relating thereto.
The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.
procedural posture of the instant case requires remedial
action to eliminate apparently unnecessary issues. In the
pending Amended Complaint [ECF No. 11],  Plaintiff
identified the Defendants as Liberty Life Assurance Company
Of Boston (“Liberty”) and “PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc. as Administrator of the PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc., and Affiliates Long-Term Disability
Plan (“PNC”).” Plaintiff did not name the
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., and Affiliates Long-Term
Disability Plan (“the Plan”) as a defendant.
response to the Amended Complaint, Defendants PNC and Liberty
filed the instant motion seeking dismissal of claims against
them. However, the Plan - although not named in the Amended
Complaint as a defendant - represented by the same counsel as
Liberty and PNC - filed Defendant's Answer to
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [ECF No. 19].
are pending cross-motions for summary judgment, but the Plan
is not a party to these. Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 31] is filed by PNC and Liberty (but not
the Plan) and Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 34] seeks summary judgment against PNC and
Liberty (but not the Plan).
§ 502, 29 U.S.C. § 1132 provides, in pertinent
An employee benefit plan may sue or be sued under this
subchapter as an entity. . . . Any money judgment under this
subchapter against an employee benefit plan shall be
enforceable only against the plan as an entity and shall not
be enforceable against any other person unless liability
against such person is established in his individual capacity
under this subchapter.
if the Plan wrongly denied Plaintiff his claimed benefits, he
could obtain a money judgment against the Plan.
§ 503 requires plan administrators to provide
participants with a “full and fair review” of any
adverse benefits determination. 29 U.S.C. § 1133; 29
C.F.R. § 2560.503- 1(f)-(g); Clarke v. Unum Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 852 F.Supp.2d 663, 676 (D. Md. 2012).
In cases where there is a procedural ERISA violation, the
appropriate remedy is to remand the matter to the plan
administrator so that a “full and fair review”
can be accomplished. Gagliano v. Reliance Standard Life
Ins. Co., 547 F.3d 230, 240 (4th Cir. 2008). Thus,
should Plaintiff prevail on his denial of a full and fair
review claim, he may obtain a remand to the plan
the matter may not be free from doubt, the Court finds that
the Amended Complaint can be read to provide a plausible
claim against PNC and/or Liberty with regard to
Plaintiff's procedural ERISA claim. Therefore, that claim
is pleaded adequately to avoid dismissal. However, the Court
is not, by any means, deciding herein that PNC and/or Liberty
would not prevail on the pending cross-motions for summary
STATUS OF THE PLAN
matters now stand, there may be a question whether the Plan
is, or is not, a party to the instant case. Furthermore, the
Plan is not named as a party to ...