Archive for the ‘Conflict of Interest’ Category

Daily Journal Article – In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter

The Daily Journal recently published an article authored by M. Scott Koller entitled, “In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter.” Originally Published by The Daily Journal on December 2, 2010.

District Court Provides Additional Guidance on Scope of Discovery Under Glenn

In the last several years, the scope of discovery in ERISA cases has been a point of contention between plaintiff and defense counsel.  Plaintiffs typically want free range to conduct discovery on any potentially relevant information addressing the conflict of interest issue while defense counsel would like discovery requests to be as narrow as possible.  Generally, […]

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Applies Montour To The Conflict of Interest Analysis

In the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court holding in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, __ U.S. __, 128 S.Ct. 2343, 2348 (2008), the courts have struggled to apply this holding.  The Ninth Circuit did so in Montour v. Hartford Life & Accid. Ins. Co., 582 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2009).  In turn, […]

The Failure to Disclose Information to the Participant Justified an Increased Level of Scrutiny and the Court’s Review of “New” Evidence Not Offered During The Claim

Torres v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., 551 F. Supp. 2d 1221 (D. Or. 2008) Both the Plan Administrator and Participant moved for summary judgment on a cause of action challenging the denial of long-term disability benefits under ERISA.  Noting that the Plan contained discretionary language and citing Abatie, the District Court rejected the Participant’s […]

Hearsay Exception Required for Certain Documents Outside the Administrative Record

Bartholomew v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, 588 F. Supp. 2d 1262 (W.D. Wash. 2008.) A Plan participant brought suit under ERISA challenging the claim administrator’s decision to terminate long term disability benefits. On a motion for summary judgment, the District Court held that the hearsay rule barred the court from considering documents that […]

Structural Conflict Exists Even When Benefits Paid Out of a Trust

Burke v. Pitney Bowes Inc. Long-Term Disability Plan, 544 F.3d 1016 (9th Cir. 2008). The Plan terminated benefits because it determined that the employee was not totally disabled from any occupation. After appealing their decision and exhausting all administrative remedies, the employee sued in federal court. In light of the recent Supreme Court holding in […]

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