The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini Judge
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Life Insurance Company of North America's ("LINA")*fn1 motion to dismiss Plaintiff William Valle's complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). There was no oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
Until July 7, 1992, Plaintiff William Valle was employed by the New Jersey-based Kessler Rehabilitation Institute ("Kessler"). As a benefit of his employment, Valle was covered under a group long-term disability policy issued by LINA. On the last day of his employment at Kessler, Valle filed a claim for disability benefits with LINA and "received for a time long term disability benefits as a New Jersey resident at a rate of $500.00 per month." Compl. ¶ 1.
On January 24, 2002, LINA terminated Valle's benefits, stating that "[c]ontinued requests for a physical assessment have not been provided and therefore it is reasonable to state there is no evidence of an impairment in functional status." Certification of E. Evans Wohlforth ("Wohlforth Cert.") Ex. D.*fn2 LINA reconfirmed its decision to terminate Valle's benefits in a letter dated March 6, 2002. See Wohlforth Cert. Ex. E. Valle then appealed the termination decision on April 3, 2002. See Certification of Steven F. Berardi ("Berardi Cert.") Ex. D. On June 27, 2002, LINA informed Valle that his appeal was still under review.*fn3 See Berardi Cert. Ex. E.
On October 22, 2004, Valle filed a complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey demanding payment of his benefits, as well as punitive damages. This complaint was dismissed on May 21, 2005 by the New Jersey state court for lack of prosecution. See Berardi Cert. Ex. C. The notice of dismissal, however, was sent to the wrong law firm.*fn4
On August 7, 2008, Valle filed the instant complaint, which is virtually identical to his first, in the Superior Court of New Jersey. See Wohlforth Cert. Ex. B. LINA removed this complaint to this Court on September 4, 2008. LINA now brings a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
Before the Court now is Defendant's motion to dismiss the August 7, 2008 complaint, which was properly removed from the Superior Court of New Jersey.
A. Motion to Dismiss Standard
When deciding a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b), all allegations in the complaint must be taken as true and viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 45 L.Ed.2d 343 (1975); Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc., v. Mirage Resorts Inc., 140 F.3d 478, 483 (3d Cir.1998). If, after viewing the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, it appears that no relief could be granted "under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations," ...