United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DAVID B. PUSHKIN, Plaintiff,
BETH R. NUSSBAUM, et al., Defendants.
MICHAEL A. HAMMER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on pro se
Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a Fourth Amended
Complaint, D.E. 288. Defendants oppose Plaintiff's
motion, D.E. 293, 298, 300, 302, 303 and 304. The Court also
has considered Plaintiff's reply in further support of
his motion, D.E. 334. For the reasons set forth herein, the
Court will deny Plaintiff's motion.
filed the original Complaint in this matter on or about
November 30, 2010, suing the following:
1. Beth R. Nussbaum (“Nussbaum”) --
2. RHI Entertainment Inc. (“RHI”) --
Nussbaum's employer during her marriage to Plaintiff
3. Meritain Health (“Meritain”) -- the third
party administrator (“TPA”) of the RHI employee
benefit health plan (“RHI plan”)
4. Timothy J. Quinlivan, Esq. -- an attorney employed by
5. Aronsohn Weiner and Salerno, LLC (“AWS”) --
the law firm that represented Nussbaum in her divorce
proceedings from Plaintiff, and
6. Kevin L. Bremer, Esq. -- an attorney with AWS
claims that he was denied medical benefits to which he
believes he was entitled. Compl., Nov. 30, 2010, D.E. 2.
Through amendment, Plaintiff named additional defendants:
2. Premier Prizm Solutions (“PPS”) - a
case-management organization for personal-injury claims
3. Paul Feldman - a GEICO employee
4. Lisa Ardron and Gina Fuge -- two employees of PPS, and
5. Dominic Spaventa (“Spaventa”).
Amd. Compl., Feb. 17, 2011, D.E. 13.
summarized in Judge McNulty's Opinion on Plaintiff's
Motion to Amend the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges as follows:
Dr. Pushkin is a science educator, formerly employed by
Bergen Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
He sustained an injury in August 2005 and was diagnosed with
a lumbar spinal fracture between November 26, 2006 and
January 22, 2007. On January 28, 2008, he sustained
additional spinal injury in a motor vehicle accident. On
March 21, 2007, he underwent fusion surgery on his lumbar
spine. Pushkin asserts that by the end of 2008, he was no
longer capable of performing duties associated with teaching
chemistry and physics, and his employment was terminated on
December 18, 2008. He filed for unemployment benefits and has
not been employed since.
on Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Second Amd. Compl.
Sept. 11, 2014, D.E. 286, at 3-4. Essentially, Plaintiff
maintains that due to the actions of Defendants, he did not
receive reimbursement from either his auto insurer or his
ex-wife's health insurance plan. Pl.'s Motion to
Amend the Third Amd. Comp., Oct. 15, 2014, D.E. 288.
procedural history of this matter is lengthy, but bears
discussion to place the instant motion in its proper context.
Plaintiff originally filed a complaint in 2010 in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Plaintiff sought damages from Defendants Nussbaum, RHI,
Quinlivan, Meritain, Bremer, and AWS in the amount of $2,
000, 000 for “lost potential wages and employers
benefits, ” “lost retroactive [extended term]
Social Security Disability benefits, unpaid medical expenses,
additional debt associated with unpaid medical expenses,
costs associated with independent medical insurance premiums,
” and costs associated with Americans with Disabilities
Act-complaint housing and “medical support
requirements.” Compl., Nov. 30, 2010, D.E. 2, at 2.
alleged that after he had spinal surgery in 2007, Defendants
“willfully, repeatedly and adversely” interfered
with Plaintiff's “health care and recovery, ”
“physical disability status and legal eligibility for
Social Security Disability (extended term) benefits under the
Social Security Act, ” “legal eligibility for
COBRA Health Insurance in accordance with the Social Security
Act of 1935 and the Medicare Act of 1965, ”
“legal medical insurance coverage, ” and
“legal right to independent medical coverage under the
2010 Recovery Act's COBRA Health Insurance Continuation
Premium Subsidy.” Id. ¶¶ 1-3, 5-6.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants “willfully,
repeatedly and adversely” “violated
Plaintiff's rights and protections under the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990, ” and “provided
and used false information in order to deny Plaintiff's
legal medical insurance coverage.” Id.
¶¶ 4, 7.
February 17, 2011, Plaintiff moved to amend his original
Complaint. Pl.'s. Mot. to Amd. Compl., Feb. 17, 2011,
D.E. 12. Plaintiff's 292-page Amended Complaint modified
the amount sought in damages from $2, 000, 000 to $2, 092,
375. Amended Compl., Feb. 17, 2011, D.E. 13, at 2. It also
provided a lengthy account of Plaintiff's surgeries,
treatments, procedures, hospitalization, physical ability,
rehabilitation, and his relationships with each of the
Defendants. Id. at 3-11. It also alleged that
Plaintiff's ex-wife did not support or accommodate him
during his recovery, leading to their divorce and various
obstacles in obtaining employment and health insurance
coverage for crucial medical treatment. Id.
Plaintiff also alleged that interference by RHI, Meritain,
GEICO, PPS, Feldman, Ardron, Fuge, and Spaventa, caused