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Andrew J. Nalbandian, Jr., An Individual and Gregory M. Nalbandian, An Individual v. Lockheed Martin Corporation

February 1, 2011

ANDREW J. NALBANDIAN, JR., AN INDIVIDUAL AND GREGORY M. NALBANDIAN, AN INDIVIDUAL,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION, A MARYLAND CORPORATION, AS ADMINISTRATOR AND FIDUCIARY OF THE LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION SALARIED EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PROGRAM; LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION SALARIED EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT
PROGRAM, AN EMPLOYEE PENSION PLAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF 29 U.S.C. §§ 1002(2)(A) AND ) 20 1002(35); AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50, INCLUSIVE,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS CLAIMS TWO AND FOUR OF THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE

(re: docket #36)

Plaintiffs Andrew Nalbandian, Jr. and Gregory Nalbandian seek payment of survivor benefits in relation to the denial of retirement benefits to their now-deceased father, Andrew Nalbandian, Sr. Defendants Lockheed Martin Corporation ("Lockheed") and Lockheed Martin Corporation Salaried Employment Retirement Program ("Plan") assert that denial of pension 27 benefits is proper because Nalbandian, Sr. died before the commencement date of his pension plan, 28 and thus Plaintiffs are entitled only to life insurance benefits and not survivor benefits. On September 2, 2010, the Court granted a previous motion to dismiss with leave to amend. See Dkt. 2 # 30. Now pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss claims two (breach of 3 fiduciary duty) and four (failure to produce documents) of the First Amended Complaint ("FAC").

Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds the motion appropriate for resolution without 5 oral argument. Plaintiffs have voluntarily withdrawn their fourth claim. See Pls.' Opp'n to Defs.' 6

Mot. to Dismiss at 2 [dkt. #45]. Thus, that claim is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. For the 7 reasons explained below, Plaintiffs' second claim (breach of fiduciary duty) is also DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The February 3, 2011 motion hearing is vacated. The Case Management Conference, however, remains as set on February 3, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. underlying factual allegations have not changed, the Court will only briefly summarize those 14 allegations here. Andrew Nalbandian, Sr. worked at Lockheed for more than 40 years. FAC ¶ 11.

He retired on February 9, 2009, and died on February 22, 2009 -- Nalbandian, Sr.'s pensions 16 benefits were set to be distributed six days later starting March 1, 2009. Id. at ¶¶ 21-26. Plaintiffs 17 are Nalbandian, Sr.'s two sons: Andrew Nalbandian, Jr. and Gregory Nalbandian. Plaintiffs allege 18 they are beneficiaries of Nalbandian, Sr.'s pension plan and are each owed about $3,700 a month 19 from April 1, 2009 to February 28, 2014. Id. at ¶ 28. 20

I. BACKGROUND

A. Relevant Factual Allegations

As the September 2, 2010 Order set forth the relevant factual background in detail, and the

On March 11, 2009, Defendants sent Plaintiffs Andrew, Jr. and Gregory Nalbandian a

"Benefit Summary" detailing the pension benefits (e.g., $3,728.10 a month for five years) payable 22 to them as beneficiaries of their father's plan. Id. at ¶ 26. However, on April 7, 2009, Defendants 23 sent Plaintiffs an "Updated Benefits Summary," indicating that, in fact, no pension benefits were 24 owed, and that instead, Plaintiffs would equally split a $50,000 life insurance benefit. Id. at ¶ 30. 25

In an April 20, 2009 letter from Defendants to Plaintiffs, Defendants indicated that Nalbandian, Sr. 26 was not considered "retired" under the pension plan because he passed away prior to the Benefit Commencement Date of March 1, 2009. Id. at ¶ 32.

B. The Court's September 2, 2010 Order and the October 1, 2010 FAC fiduciary duty; 3) equitable estoppel; 4) failure to provide proper summary plan description; and 5) 4 failure to produce required documents. Defendants previously moved to dismiss claims two 5 through five. The Court's September 2, 2010 Order dismissed claims two, three, and five with 6 leave to amend, and dismissed claim four with prejudice. Defendants had not challenged, nor do 7 they challenge here, Plaintiffs' first claim for recovery of plan benefits. Regarding claim two Plaintiffs initially asserted five claims for relief: 1) recovery of plan benefits; 2) breach of (breach of fiduciary duty), the Court dismissed with leave to amend so that Plaintiffs could make 9 the required showing as to "why relief on their first claim (recovery of plan benefits) is not an 10 adequate remedy." See September 2, 2010 Order at 6. The Court also noted that, "to find a breach of fiduciary duty based on a denial of individual benefits, a plaintiff must allege that the denial is part of a 'larger ...

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