that is "so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civiled community." Id. (quoting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46, comment at 73.).
The plaintiff in this case alleges that she has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of being fired by UNB, witnessing the defendants' efforts to maintain that she was guilty of misconduct, and being a known diabetic. Even accepting the plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court nonetheless concludes that it falls far short of the standard for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The tort is reserved for unusually outrageous conduct, and should not be successfully pursued by merely alleging "unfair" circumstances surrounding a termination of employment. Because the Court would not permit a jury to find for the plaintiff on this claim in this case, the Court GRANTS the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
IV. Pension Claims
The plaintiff alleges three problems with the defendants' distribution to her of shares in UNB's pension plan. Each of the three points are unfounded.
First, the plaintiff claims that UNB gave the IRS a Form 1099 that misstated the amount paid to Ms. Cunningham. In addition to the fact that this allegation has not been pleaded, the plaintiff has not even stated that federal law grants her a private cause of action. See Gulf Life Insurance Co. v. Arnold, 809 F.2d 1520, 1524 (11th Cir. 1987) (ERISA causes of action to be construed narrowly).
Second, the plaintiff alleges that UNB has not had its plan valued since December 31, 1986, in violation of law. Again, the plaintiff does not contend that this inaction provides her with any private cause of action, or that she was injured by the alleged failure to value the plan. The plaintiff was given shares, not money.
Third, the plaintiff asserts that UNB wronged her by not making its 1987 contribution to her by the time she was fired, on August 21, 1987. It is clear under the terms of the plan, however, that the employer's contribution was to be made at the end of each year, and that allocations were not to be made to employees who had been separated before the end of the year. Plan § 1.12. Under the "arbitrary or capricious" standard for reviewing actions of pension plan trustees, see Holt v. Winpisinger, 258 U.S. App. D.C. 343, 811 F.2d 1532, 1535 (D.C. Cir. 1987), the Court concludes that the trustee's actions were clearly reasonable.
Finally, the Court notes that even if the plaintiff is attempting to claim that she is entitled to damages due to a delay in receiving her shares, she has no valid claim for damages as a result of such a delay. See Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Russell, 473 U.S. 134, 87 L. Ed. 2d 96, 105 S. Ct. 3085 (1985). In sum, the Court concludes that the distribution of the shares due to the plaintiff was made by UNB in accordance with the terms of the plan and federal law. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS defendants' motion for summary judgment on the pension claims.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.