Court grants Monsanto motion to dismiss suit claiming Missouri man's son was denied health care benefits

By Takesha Thomas | Dec 4, 2018

ST. LOUIS – A Missouri man's lawsuit over his son being denied coverage on a work health insurance plan will continue against his insurer after the the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri recently dismissed his claims against his employer, Monsanto.

in an Oct. 11 filing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Noelle C. Collins granted Monsanto's motion to dismiss in a lawsuit involving Larry Buchana, who alleged that Monsanto had violated the Employment Retirement Income Security Act when it failed to pay benefits under the health-care benefits plan.

Collins ruled that the attorneys for Buchanan had "failed to include allegations against Monsanto establishing that Monsanto is a proper defendant in this action."

Buchanan sued Monsanto and Magellan Health Inc., Magellan Healthcare Inc. and Magellan Behavioral Health Inc., the health insurer.

According to court filings, Buchanan sued after Magellan allegedly denied his claim filed on behalf of his son. Buchanan's son "suffers from generalized anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, and substance abuse," court documents said.

The judge also ruled to deny a motion to dismiss submitted by Magellan against Buchanan's equitable relief claim.

Buchanan's son received therapy in Utah in 2015 at Aspiro Wilderness Therapy. He received additional treatment in 2015 and 2016 in Arizona at the InBalance Program, the court ruling said.

The suit contends that when Buchanan, a participant in a group health plan offered through his employer, Monsanto, sought to use the benefits on behalf of his son, a beneficiary, those benefits were denied.

Buchanan contends that under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, coverage for mental health and substance abuse services should be included.

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