Bender v. Hartford Life Insurance Company as Administrator and Fiduciary of the Bertelsmann, Inc. et al
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO RE-OPEN DISCOVERY; DEFERRING RULING ON PARTIES' MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT; SETTING SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING SCHEDULE; CONTINUING HEARING. Plaintiff's Supplemental Opposition and Reply due June 11, 2010; defendants' Supplemental Sur-Reply due June 25, 2010; hearing on motions for judgment continued to July 16, 2010. Signed by Judge Maxine M. Chesney on April 27, 2010. (mmclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/27/2010)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Before the Court are the parties' motions for judgment, filed, respectively, on February 26, 2010 and March 26, 2010; the motions have been fully briefed. Also before the Court is plaintiff's administrative motion to re-open discovery, filed April 8, 2010, to which defendants have filed opposition. As set forth below, the Court will grant plaintiff's motion to re-open discovery and will defer ruling on the parties' motions for judgment. Contrary to defendants' argument, the Court finds plaintiff is entitled to conduct limited additional discovery based on defendants' submission of evidence in support of their motion, specifically, the declaration of Bruce Luddy ("Luddy"), Director of Litigation and Appeals for Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company. See, e.g., Golden v. Sun Life Fin., Inc., 2008 WL 2782736, *3 (M.D. Ala. 2008) ("Because the case [although brought v. HARTFORD LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, as Administrator and Fiduciary of the Bertelsmann, Inc. Employee Protection Plan Number 503; BERTELSMANN, INC. EMPLOYEE PROTECTION PLAN NUMBER 503, Defendants. / PENNY BENDER, Plaintiff, No. C 09-1163 MMC ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REOPEN DISCOVERY; DEFERRING RULING ON PARTIES' MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT; SETTING SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING SCHEDULE; CONTINUING HEARING United States District Court IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
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under ERISA] involves more than the administrative record and because the parties will be engaging in discovery, they are required to provide initial disclosures in accordance with Rule 26(a)."); Hamma v. Intel Corp., 2008 WL 648482, *3 (E.D. Cal. 2008) (holding initial disclosures required where "parties [had] agreed that discovery outside the administrative record, authorized under the rationale of Abatie, [was] permitted"). In particular, plaintiff is entitled to depose Luddy, such deposition being limited to Luddy's knowledge of the active steps taken by Hartford to reduce potential bias and to promote accuracy in Hartford's claims administration, as described in Luddy's declaration. See Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, 128 S.Ct. 2343, 2351 (2008) (holding claims administrator's "active steps to reduce potential bias and to promote accuracy" relevant to court's determination as to conflict); see, e.g., Pl's Mot. to Re-Open Ex. B (Civil Minutes in Reese v. Hartford Life and Accident Ins. Co., CV 08-8604 VBF (C.D. Cal. 2009)) (requiring ERISA defendant to produce Luddy for deposition or "commit to not using him as a witness"); cf. Kroll v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan Long Term Disability Plan, 2010 WL 1233871, *1 (N.D. Cal. 2010) (denying motion to compel depositions in ERISA case where plaintiff subsequently limited request to written discovery). Accordingly, the Court hereby GRANTS plaintiff's motion to re-open discovery, DEFERS ruling on the parties' motions for judgment, and SETS the following supplemental briefing schedule: 1. Plaintiff's Supplemental Opposition and Reply shall be filed no later than June 11, 2010, and shall not exceed five pages in length, exclusive of declarations and/or exhibits; 2. Defendants' Supplemental Sur-Reply shall be filed no later than June 25, 2010, and shall not exceed five pages in length, exclusive of declarations and/or exhibits. 3. The hearing on the parties' motions for judgment is hereby CONTINUED to July 16, 2010. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 27, 2010 MAXINE M. CHESNEY United States District Judge 2
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