Skip to Navigation
The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

GAINES v. INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
1:13-cv-04024 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Ronda Gaines
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Northern District of Georgia
Date Filed: 
Dec 4 2013

NOTICE OF REMOVAL TO THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Now comes INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA ("INA")1,
Defendant in the above-styled action, and respectfully shows to this honorable
Court the following facts:
1.
The above-styled action was commenced in the Superior Court of Fulton
County, State of Georgia, on October 17, 2013, as Civil Action File No.
2013CV237874, and is now pending therein.
2.
On November 4, 2013, Plaintiffs attorney sent to INA a Notice of Lawsuit
and Request for Waiver of Service or Summons. Counsel for INA signed and

returned the Waiver of Service to Plaintiffs counsel on November 26, 2013.
This notice of removal of the case to this United States District Court is filed
within thirty (30) days of INA's receipt of the complaint, enclosed with the Notice
of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service or Summons, in accordance with the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446.
4.
In this action, Plaintiff seeks to recover long term disability benefits
allegedly due under a group insurance policy. The coverage was initially issued by
INA to the Trustees of the CIGNA Long Term Disability Income Conversion Trust
("the group policy"). Plaintiff was eligible for coverage under the group policy
because she had been previously enrolled in an employee welfare benefit plan
("the Plan"), sponsored and maintained by her former employer within the
meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended
("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq. When Plaintiff ceased working at her former
employer, she converted her disability insurance coverage from the Plan to the
group policy,
5.
Because Plaintiffs ability to obtain the conversion coverage under the group
policy arose from the ERISA Plan, and the group policy was integrally linked with
the ERISA Plan, Plaintiffs claim for benefits under the group policy is governed

by ERISA. Glass v. United of Omaha, 33 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. 1994); Griggers v.
Equitable Life Assur. Soc'y, 343 F. Supp. 2d 343 (N.D. Ga. 2004).
6.
ERISA completely preempts any state law claims alleged in Plaintiffs
complaint and provides the exclusive federal remedy for resolution of claims by
Plaintiff arising under or relating to the group policy. 29 U.S.C. §§ 502(a)(1)(B),
1132(a)(1)(B) and 1144; see Pilot Life Ins. Co, v. Dedeaux, 481 U.S. 41 (1987).
7.
A cause of action filed in state court which is preempted by ERISA and
which comes within the scope of section 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA is removable to
federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 as an action arising under federal law even
when the ERISA-related nature of the action does not appear on the face of the
complaint. Metro. Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58 (1987),
8.
Thus, this United States District Court has original federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and/or 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(1) with
respect to the claims against IN A.
9.
Because the Court has original federal question jurisdiction over the claims
against INA, this action is removable pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c).

10.
A true and correct copy of this notice of removal will be promptly filed with
the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia, as provided by law.
11.
Attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference are true copies of the
following documents filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of
Georgia:
A. Exhibit 1 — the Complaint and Summons;
B. Exhibit 2 — Sheriffs Entry of Service;
C. Exhibit 3 -- General Civil Case Filing Information;
D. Exhibit 4 — The Notice of Removal filed by INA in the Superior Court
of Fulton County, Georgia.
WHEREFORE, Defendant INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH
AMERICA prays that the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia,
proceed no flirther with Civil Action File No. 2013CV237874, and that said action
be removed from the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

Javascript is required to view this map.