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Soileau & Associates, LLC v. Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 21, 2019

SOILEAU & ASSOCIATES, LLC, et al.
v.
LOUISIANA HEALTH SERVICE & INDEMNITY COMPANY, D/B/A BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA

         SECTION: “G” (3)

          ORDER

          NANNETTE JOLIVETTE BROWN CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the Court are Defendant Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company, d/b/a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana's (“Blue Cross”) “Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Consolidated Actions, ”[1] “Motion to Strike Evidence Outside the Administrative Record, ”[2] and “Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.”[3] Plaintiffs Soileau & Associates, LLC, Karen S. Kovach, and Isaac H. Soileau, Jr.'s (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) bring this action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) seek to overturn an allegedly arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable decisions by Blue Cross or its agent New Directions Behavioral Health, LLC denying Plaintiffs' claim for benefits.[4] Plaintiffs also bring state law claims for negligence, breach of contract, bad faith claims handling, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.[5]

         Both the motion for partial summary judgment and the motion to dismiss request the same relief.[6] Specifically, Blue Cross argues that all of Plaintiffs' claims except their claim for benefits under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) fail as a matter of law and must be dismissed with prejudice.[7] In the motion to strike, Blue Cross asserts that evidence attached to the opposition to the motion for partial summary judgment should be stricken from the record because Blue Cross argues that only evidence that was in the Administrative Record and before Blue Cross at the time of the benefit determination should be considered by the Court.[8]

         On April 10, 2019, following the filing of the motion for partial summary judgment and the motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs filed a Third Amended and Supplemental Complaint.[9] In the Third Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs assert an additional cause of action based on the allegation that the benefit determination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”).[10] In response, Blue Cross filed a second “Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, ” once again arguing that all of Plaintiffs' claims except their claim for benefits under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) fail as a matter of law.[11]

         Courts vary in how they proceed when a plaintiff files an amended complaint while a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is still pending.[12] Many district courts-including this Court-routinely deny as moot motions to dismiss that are filed prior to an amendment of a complaint.[13] Although courts may address the merits of a motion to dismiss even after an amended complaint is filed, as a general rule, “if applying the pending motion to the amended complaint would cause confusion or detract from the efficient resolution of the issues, then it makes sense to require the defendant to file a new motion specifically addressing the amended complaint.”[14]

         Here, Plaintiffs have amended the complaint to allege additional causes of action under the ADA and PPACA. The second motion to dismiss raises the same issue raised in the motion for partial summary judgment and the first motion to dismiss, i.e. that Plaintiffs exclusive remedy is under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B). Accordingly, it will be more efficient for the Court to consider any arguments regarding dismissal in the second motion to dismiss, which is tailored to all of the causes of action now pending in this matter. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Blue Cross' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Consolidated Actions, ”[15] “Motion to Strike Evidence Outside the Administrative Record, ”[16] and “Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.”[17] are DENIED AS MOOT.

---------

Notes:

[1] Rec. Doc. 40.

[2] Rec. Doc. 50.

[3] Rec. Doc. 75.

[4] Rec. Doc. 95 at 1.


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