Coleman v. Standard Life Ins. Co., 288 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (E.D. Cal. 2003)

Floyd Coleman, who was employed as a probation officer for the County of Sacramento, sued Standard Life Insurance Company after it denied him long-term disability benefits for his knee condition and chronic back pain. Coleman sued for a violation of ERISA and under state law for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Standard moved to dismiss the state law claims on the ground that they were preempted by ERISA. The District Court denied the motion on the ground that Coleman was permitted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(e)(2) to allege a breach of contract as an alternative to the ERISA violation claim.