United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
CHAD E. MATHIS M.D., Plaintiff,
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO. a/k/a METLIFE, SOURCE BROKERAGE, INC., LEE D. MOORE, Defendants.
ENTRY ON PENDING MOTIONS
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE.
Chad E. Mathis, M.D., was insured under Disability Policy No.
6490290 (the “MetLife Policy” or
“Policy”) issued by Defendant Metropolitan Life
Insurance Co. a/k/a/ MetLife (“MetLife”). Mathis
was an orthopedic surgeon who alleges he became disabled in
March 2017 and submitted a claim for disability insurance
benefits. Following a 90-day elimination period, MetLife paid
Mathis benefits until August 2017, when MetLife stopped
paying benefits. Mathis alleges he has remained continuously
disabled since March 2017. Invoking the court's diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, he sued MetLife for
breach of contract and sued MetLife as well as Defendants
Source Brokerage, Inc. (“Source Brokerage”), an
Indiana insurance broker, and Lee D. Moore, a licensed
insurance broker and agent, for negligence in procuring the
pending before the court are: (1) MetLife's Motion to
Dismiss the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 18), (2) Defendant
Source Brokerage, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 20), (3) Defendant
Lee D. Moore's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Chad E.
Mathis, M.D.'s Amended Complaint (ECF No. 31), and (4)
Plaintiff's Objections to MetLife's Exhibits Not
Attached to the Amended Complaint and Not Referred to and
Central to the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 36). MetLife moves
to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that Mathis has no
legally viable claim for negligence, and his negligence claim
is time barred and/or barred by the doctrine of contributory
negligence. MetLife also maintains that the breach of
contract claim is not ripe and is contractually prohibited by
the terms of the Policy. Source Brokerage contends that if
the Court grants MetLife's motion to dismiss on the
grounds asserted, the Court's holding would apply equally
to the negligence claims against Source Brokerage. Therefore,
Source Brokerage moves to dismiss the Amended Complaint for
failure to state a claim. Moore moves to dismiss the Amended
Complaint on the grounds that Mathis' only claim against
him, his negligence claim, is barred by the doctrine of
contributory negligence or by the applicable statute of
limitations. Plaintiff's Objections to MetLife's
Exhibits urge that MetLife impermissibly relies on documents
not referenced in the Amended Complaint and requests that the
Court not convert the motion to dismiss to a motion for
summary judgment. Having considered the motions, objections,
briefs, complaint, and applicable law, the Court finds that
the motions to dismiss (ECF Nos. 18, 20, and 31) should be
granted and the objections to the exhibits (ECF No. 36)
should be overruled in part and sustained in part.
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a
plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court
takes the complaint's factual allegations as true and
draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Orgone Capital III, LLC v. Daubenspeck, 912 F.3d
1039, 1044 (7th Cir. 2019). The court need not “accept
as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
addition to the allegations in the complaint, on a motion to
dismiss, the court may consider “documents that are
attached to the complaint, documents that are central to the
complaint and are referred to in it, and information that is
properly subject to judicial notice.” Williamson v.
Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir. 2013).
“[D]doc-uments attached to a motion to dismiss are
considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in
the plaintiff's complaint and are central to his
claim.'” McCready v. eBay, Inc., 453 F.3d
882, 891 (7th Cir. 2006) (quoting 188 LLC v.
Trinity Indus., Inc., 300 F.3d 730, 735 (7th Cir.
2002)). Thus, the court may consider such a document
“without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion
for summary judgment.” Id. at 891-92.
a plaintiff pleads facts that show its suit [is] barred . .
., it may plead itself out of court under a Rule 12(b)(6)
analysis.” Orgone Capital, 912 F.3d at 1044
(quoting Whirlpool Fin. Corp. v. GN Holdings, Inc.,
67 F.3d 605, 608 (7th Cir. 1995)); Bogie v.
Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603, 609 (7th Cir. 2013) (on a
motion to dismiss “district courts are free to consider
‘any facts set forth in the complaint that undermine
the plaintiff's claim'”) (quoting Hamilton
v. O'Leary, 976 F.2d 341, 343 (7th Cir. 1992)).
“When a complaint fails to state a claim for relief,
the plaintiff should ordinarily be given an opportunity . . .
to amend the complaint to correct the problem if
possible.” Bogie, 705 F.3d at 608.
Nonetheless, leave to amend need not be given if the amended
pleading would be futile. Id.; see also
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).
Amended Complaint sets forth the following allegations:
relevant times, Mathis has been a board certified orthopaedic
surgeon licensed to practice in the State of Alabama and is a
citizen of the State of Massachusetts. MetLife is a
corporation incorporated in the State of New York with its
principal place of business located in New York. Source
Brokerage is a corporation incorporated in the State of
Indiana with its principal place of business in Indiana.
Moore is a licensed insurance broker and agent authorized to
sell insurance products including disability insurance.
Moore's business office is in Indiana and he is a citizen
of the State of Indiana.
Disability Income Insurance Policy No. 6490290 AH was sold
and delivered to Mathis on November 16, 2006. The Policy
provides a $10, 000.00 monthly benefit for a total disability
plus a cost of living adjustment. The Policy contains the
following relevant language:
Disability or Totally Disabled
means that due solely to Impairment caused by Injury or
Sickness, You are:
Before the end of the Regular Occupation Period shown on page
a. Prevented from performing the material and substantial
duties of Your Regular Occupation;
b. Not Gainfully Employed; and
c. Receiving appropriate care from a Physician who is
appropriate to treat the condition causing the ...