Discovery in De Novo Review ERISA Cases: Court Grants Plaintiff’s Request for Bias Discovery Concerning Paper Reviewing Consultants

In ruling on an action to recover ERISA benefits, a court generally considers only the evidence contained in the administrative record. However, in certain circumstances, a plaintiff in an ERISA case may be able to introduce evidence outside of the administrative record either by way of discovery or a motion to augment the administrative record.The …

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When Can a Disability Claimant Obtain Discovery in an ERISA Suit When the De Novo Review Standard Applies?

When it Goes to the Bias of an Insurer’s Consultants, that’s When a claimant who challenges a denial of disability or life insurance benefits by filing a court action under ERISA is generally not able to present evidence to the court that is not in the administrative record. The administrative record consists of all the …

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Discovery Disputes in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases: Do the Usual Limitations Apply?

Discovery Disputes in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases: Do the Usual Limitations Apply? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) manages many of the benefits people receive from their employers.  These benefits include short-term and long-term disability insurance, health insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance and pension plans.  When a …

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Insurance Company Bias in ERISA Cases: Hartford’s History of Bias and Discovery of an Insurer’s Biased Claims Administration Process

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), a 1974 federal law, sets minimum standards for many employee benefit plans and serves to provide protection for individuals in these plans. Discovery in ERISA cases is often limited because the statute’s primary goal is to provide inexpensive and expeditious resolution to employee benefit claims. District courts are …

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Can an ERISA Claims Administrator Engage in Post-Trial Discovery Regarding Benefit Issues? No, Says District Court

In what may be a matter of first impression, Judge Cormac J. Carney of the United States Federal District Court for the Central District of California denied Sun Life and Health Insurance Company’s Objections to Proposed Judgment in an ERISA long-term disability insurance claim case handled by McKennon Law Group PC.  As detailed here, Robert …

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Submission of the Claim File: Seal or Redact?

For most insurance litigation, the majority of the evidence used by both sides comes from the claim file, also known as the administrative record in ERISA cases.  The claim file represents the insurance carrier’s written record of its handling and processing of an insurance claim.  Obviously, this information is highly relevant whenever coverage or a …

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Under Abatie, Discovery of Profitability Reports is Not Allowed

One of the most interesting questions in ERISA litigation is: What constitutes the administrative record for purposes of determining whether the administrator abused its discretion in making a claim determination?  Bartholomew v. Unum Life Ins. Co., 579 F. Supp. 2d 1339 (W.D. Wash. 2008) helped answer this question. Plaintiff, who sued to recover benefits under …

Read moreUnder Abatie, Discovery of Profitability Reports is Not Allowed

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