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Senior Lifestyle Corp. v. Key Benefits Administrators, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 15, 2017

SENIOR LIFESTYLE CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
KEY BENEFIT ADMINISTRATORS, INC. Defendants.

          ORDER

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Senior Lifestyle Corporation (“SLC”) alleges that Defendant Key Benefit Administrators, Inc. (“KBA”) breached its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, (“ERISA”). KBA now moves the Court to dismiss part of SLC's Complaint for failure to establish that KBA had a fiduciary duty under ERISA. [Filing No. 35.] For the following reasons, the Court DENIES KBA's Motion.

         I.

         Legal Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim that does not state a right to relief. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide the defendant with “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active Disposal Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Court may not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         II.

         Background

         The following facts are drawn from SLC's Complaint, [Filing No. 1], and the attached exhibit, [Filing No. 1-1], which are treated as true for the purpose of resolving KBA's Motion. E.g., Geinosky v. City of Chi., 675 F.3d 743, 745 n.1 (7th Cir. 2012) (noting that courts must consider “documents attached to the complaint” under Rule 12(b)(6)).

         As of January 1, 2015, SLC and KBA entered into an Administration Services Agreement (“ASA”) for services related to SLC's employee benefits plan. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] Under the ASA, KBA explicitly agreed to do the following, in relevant part:

2. Follow the claims administration procedures and practices provided for under the Plan and in accordance with standard industry practice, and inform Employer of any material changes.
3. Provide suitable facilities, personnel, procedures, standard forms, and instructions for the administration of claims under me Plan.
9. Determine, m accordance with the Plan and claims administration procedures and practices, the qualification of claims submitted, making such investigation as may be necessary to determine -whether a claim is payable under the terms of the Plan.
11. Make Plan payments with Employer funds in strict adheres to the Plan using no funds for payments outside the Plan.
12. Provide Employer with information on disputed claims and rationale for claim payment in accordance with the Plan ...

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