United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MICHAEL H. HOLLAND, et al., Plaintiffs,
CONSOL ENERGY INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. JOHNSTON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is Defendant CONSOL Energy Inc.'s
(“CONSOL”) Motion to Dismiss for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1), for improper venue under Rule 12(b)(3),
and for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
(ECF No. 7.) For the reasons provided below, the Court
DENIES the motion insofar as it is brought
under Rule 12(b)(3) for improper venue and DENIES AS
MOOT the motion on the remaining grounds therein.
case arises out of a dispute regarding the way in which
CONSOL implements and administers its Section 9711 Coal
Industry Retiree Health Benefit Act (“Coal Act”)
Plan with respect to certain eligible beneficiaries. (See
generally ECF No. 1.) See also 26 U.S.C. §
9711. The named Plaintiffs are Trustees of the United Mine
Workers of America 1992 Benefit Plan, and they allege that
CONSOL has failed to maintain the statutorily required level
of health care coverage for its eligible beneficiaries.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief in addition
to monetary damages, attorney's fees, and costs pursuant
to 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132(g)(2), 1145, and 1451 as
incorporated into the Coal Act via 26 U.S.C. § 9721.
(ECF No. 1 at 4-5.)
filed the instant motion pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(3), and 12(b)(6), alleging the
following seven bases for dismissal:
1. Plaintiffs lack standing to bring this case because they
have not suffered any real or actual injury.
2. This case is not ripe for adjudication because, again,
Plaintiffs have not suffered an injury.
3. Plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies
set forth in the Coal Act Plan and as required by ERISA.
4. Plaintiffs' claim under Labor Management Relations Act
Section 301 is barred by collateral estoppel.
5. Plaintiffs provide no basis for the Court to invoke its
discretionary power to grant declaratory relief because
Plaintiffs lack standing and there is no substantial or
6. Venue in this Court is improper as CONSOL administers its
Coal Act Plan in Pennsylvania.
7. Plaintiffs fail to state a claim for injunctive relief
because they cannot show either likelihood of success on the
merits or that they have or will suffer irreparable harm.
(See ECF No. 8 at 2-13.)
to CONSOL's Motion to Dismiss becoming ripe, the parties
filed cross-motions for summary judgment. (ECF Nos. 29, 31.)
Further, “[t]he parties agree that the disposition of
the case can be made on the issues of law presented” in
those cross-motions for summary judgment. (ECF No. 37.)
CONSOL's summary judgment motion “summarize[s] . .
. the grounds set forth” in its previously filed Motion
to Dismiss and “incorporate[s] by reference the
supporting reasons set forth therein.” (ECF No. 30 at
1-2.) CONSOL proceeds to summarize, point by point, six of
the seven arguments raised in its Motion to Dismiss and
enumerated above. (See Id. at 2-7.) The only
argument that is not reiterated in CONSOL's Motion for
Summary Judgment is the claim that venue in ...