Brown v. J B Hunt Transport Services Inc
ORDER denying 137 Motion to Stay. Plaintiff's response to Prudential's motion for summary judgment is due by 7 November 2011. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 10/20/11. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
Case No. 4:08-cv-89-DPM
THE PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA
Motion for discovery, Document No. 137, denied. Generally, district
court review in ERISA cases is limited to the evidence that was before the
administrator. Jones v. ReliaStar Life Insurance Co., 615 F.3d 941, 945 (8th Cir.
2010). In Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Glenn, the Supreme Court held that
a conflict of interest exists when an administrator both evaluates and pays
claims. The Court further held that this conflict is a factor to be considered in
determining whether there was an abuse of discretion. 554 U.s. 105 (2008).
The Eighth Circuit has not yet decided whether Glenn affected the usual
discovery limitations under ERISA. Chronister v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of
America, 563 F.3d 773, 775 n.2 (8th Cir. 2009). Post-Glenn cases are going both
ways. As best this Court can discern, the issue has to be evaluated case by case.
Discovery may well be needed in some instances, but this is not one of
them. Brown's dated materials from other litigation do not establish any
particularized basis for discovery in this case. Prudential's sworn papers say
no claims manuals were used in evaluating Brown's claim; Prudential has
acknowledged that it is both insurer and claims administrator; and the
administrative record appears sufficient to permit a fair evaluation of
Prudential's decision. The Court therefore sees no need for discovery.
Brown's motion, Document No. 137, is denied. Her response to Prudential's
motion for summary judgment is due by 7 November 2011.
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D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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