Great-West should be estopped from denying her payment of benefits because it paid life insurance claims to beneficiaries of similarly situated employees. Specifically, she notes that defendant paid claims to the beneficiaries of Evelyn Epright and James Saunders. In her written submissions, however, plaintiff offers no evidence to support her contention that Great-West paid these claims and only vaguely asserts that Great-West has previously paid claims on two similarly situated individuals. In addition, she now claims that Great-West accepted the premium payments with full knowledge of her husband's disability, age and employment status because it was paying him long term disability benefits. Great-West's failure to inform him that he was no longer eligible for life insurance benefits, she asserts, prevented him from converting his life insurance coverage from a "group" to "individual" policy, a change that ostensibly would have allowed him to maintain some level of life insurance coverage.
Defendant urges the Court to dismiss plaintiff's equitable estoppel claim on the ground that she has failed to adequately plead all the elements necessary to support her claim. It notes that plaintiff's complaint merely alleges that Great-West paid claims on similarly situated U.S. Liability employees. Furthermore, it argues that if any claims were actually paid on similarly situated employees then they were made in error and it is therefore under no obligation to make the same mistake again. Finally, it stresses that U.S. Liability made and it accepted premium payments on behalf of Gould in error and cannot be required to pay the claim on this basis alone.
Upon review, the Court finds that plaintiff claim for relief is inadequate to withstand an adverse summary judgment. Assuming that Great-West's alleged payment of claims on similarly situated employees rises to the level of material misrepresentation, plaintiff does not allege in her complaint that Gould relied to his detriment on Great-West's alleged payments to similarly situated employees. Because plaintiff's other equitable estoppel claims are not referenced in her complaint, the Court declines to address them on the ground that they are not properly before the Court. Accordingly, plaintiff's equitable estoppel claim is dismissed.
For the reasons stated, defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's breach of contract claim is denied and its motion to dismiss plaintiff's equitable estoppel claim is granted. Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.
William H. Walls, U.S.D.J.
This matter having been opened to the Court by Defendant for an Order dismissing the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures or alternatively, for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule 56 and by Plaintiff for an Order granting her Summary Judgment; and the Court having considered all papers filed in this matter and for good cause shown,
It is on this 24th day of February 1997,
ORDERED that Defendant's motion to dismiss Count one of the complaint is denied ;
ORDERED that Defendant motion to dismiss count two of the complaint is granted ;
ORDERED that Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.
William H. Walls, U.S.D.J.
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