Vincent McLaughlin et al v. Owens et al

Filing 43

ORDER VACATING 2/3/2012 CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; EXTENDING FACT DISCOVERY DEADLINE; SETTING PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. Fact Discovery cutoff 7/1/2012. Preliminary Pretrial Conference statement due 5/29/2012. Preliminary Pretrial Conference set for 6/8/2012 11:00 AM in Courtroom 4, 5th Floor, San Jose before Hon. Edward J. Davila. Signed by Judge Edward J. Davila on 1/31/2012. (ecg, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/31/2012)

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1 2 3 4 LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL E. MARQUEZ State Bar No. 176173 1500 Adeline Drive Burlingame, CA 94010 Phone (650) 343-2611 Attorney for: Estate of Vincent McLaughlin and Raquel McLaughlin-Ray 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA—SAN JOSE DIVISION 8 9 10 Estate of Vincent McLaughlin and Raquel McLaughlin Ray, Plaintiff 11 12 13 14 Case No. CV11-02287 EJD SUPPLEMENTAL CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT AND PROPOSED ORDER Terri Owen, Media News Group, Inc., The McClatchey Company, Aetna Life Insurance Company and DOES 1 through 30 inclusive, Defendant 15 Date: January 27, 2012 Time: 10:00 a.m. Courtroom: 1 16 17 18 Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 16-10(d), and Standing Order for All Judges of the 19 20 Northern District of California regarding Contents of Joint Case Management Statements, 21 plaintiffs Estate of Vincent McLaughlin and Raquel McLaughlin-Ray and defendants Terri 22 Owen, MediaNews Group and Aetna Life Insurance Company respectfully submit their 23 Joint Case Management Conference Statement. DESCRIPTION OF SUBSEQUENT CASE DEVELOPMENTS 24 25 26 1. The following progress or changes have occurred since the last case management statement filed by the parties: 27 a. Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint on November 28, 2011. Defendants 28 MediaNews Group and Terri Owen have filed Answers to the First Amended 29 Complaint. Page 1 b. Defendant Aetna Life Insurance Company filed a Motion to Strike Certain 1 2 Portions of Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint on January 13, 2012. This 3 motion is set for hearing on March 16, 2012. c. Defendant Owen filed a Motion to Expunge Lis Pendens on November 16, 4 2011. That motion is also set for hearing on March 16, 2012. 5 6 d. Thus far, the parties have not engaged in settlement discussions. However, the 7 parties have agreed to confer within 120 days, once additional discovery has 8 been conducted, to determine and schedule an appropriate form of ADR. e. The parties have agreed to propose to the court a 30 day extension of time for 9 10 all parties to conduct fact discovery, and the parties request a new Fact 11 Discovery Cutoff date of July 1, 2012. The parties do not anticipate that this 12 extension will affect any other deadline identified in the October 25, 2011 Case 13 Management Order. 14 2. Aetna contends discovery is inappropriate in this matter because it is governed by 15 ERISA and the review of Aetna’s benefits determination is for an abuse of discretion 16 and limited to the administrative record. Aetna will not propound any discovery and 17 will oppose any attempt by plaintiff to supplement the administrative record 18 This is an ERISA claim and the sole issue is a review of the propriety of the 19 decision to deny or limit benefits, applying the appropriate standard of review. The evidence 20 supporting the claims decision is reviewable in that context only and cannot be added to by 21 information not provided to the claims administrator at the time the decision was made. It is 22 the propriety of that decision based upon the records then available that is the crux of any 23 benefit suit under ERISA. Therefore extra record evidence, including witnesses and exhibits 24 outside of the Administrative Record, is improper. 25 This Ninth Circuit has clearly established that “the abuse of discretion standard 26 permits the district court to ‘review only the evidence presented to the [plan] trustees.’” 27 Banuelos v. Constr. Laborers' Trust Funds for S. Cal., 382 F.3d 897, 904 (9th Cir. Cal. 28 2004)(internal citation omitted). “This conclusion is consistent with the nature of abuse of 29 Page 2 1 discretion review, furthers the goals of ERISA, and is in line with the decisions of nearly 2 every other circuit to consider the issue.” Ibid. Under an abuse of discretion standard of 3 review, the decision on the merits, must rest on the administrative record once the conflict (if 4 any) has been established. Abatie v. Alta Health & Life Ins. Co., 458 F. 3d 955, 970. 5 There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) “…a district court may hear such 6 evidence when the court must determine if a plan administrator’s decision was affected by a 7 conflict of interest…[and (2)] the court [in its discretion] can hear evidence outside the 8 administrative record when the standard of review of the administrative decision is de novo” 9 only when circumstances clearly establish that additional evidence is necessary to conduct 10 an adequate de novo review of the benefit decision. Mongeluzo v. Baxter Travenol Long 11 Term Disability Benefit Plan, 46 F.3d 938, 943-44 (9th Cir. 1995). This case does not 12 invoke either of these two exceptions, and therefore evidence outside the administrative 13 record is not permitted. 14 15 16 17 3. The parties jointly request the Court to make the following Supplemental Case Management Order: a. The deadline to conduct fact discovery is extended by 30 days, with a new Fact Discovery Cutoff date of July 1, 2012. 18 19 20 DATED: January 27, 2012 Respectfully submitted, LAW OFFICE OF MICHAEL E. MARQUEZ 21 22 23 24 __/s/ Michael E. Marquez__________ Michael E. Marquez Attorney for Plaintiffs CASAS, RILEY, & SIMONIAN 25 26 __/s/ Valerie S. Higgins____________ 27 Gregory C. Simonian Valerie S. Higgins Attorneys for MediaNews Group, Inc. 28 29 Page 3 1 2 LAW OFFICE OF SANDRA DEMENT 3 _/s/ Sandra Dement_______________ Sandra Dement Attorney for Terri Owen 4 5 6 GORDON & REES 7 __/s/ Jordan Altura________________ Jordan Altura Caraine Leon Guerrero Attorneys for Aetna Life Insurance Co. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 SUPPLEMENTAL CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 The Supplemental Case Management Statement and Proposed Order is hereby adopted by the Court as a Supplemental Case Management Order for the case and the parties are ordered to comply with this Order. The deadline to complete fact discovery is hereby extended to July 1, 2012. The court schedules this action for a Preliminary Pretrial Conference on June 8, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. __________________ Dated:The parties shall file a Joint Preliminary Pretrial Conference statement on or before May 29, ______________________________ 2012. The Case Management Conference scheduled for February 3, 2012, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT is VACATED. DATED: January 31, 2012 __________________________ EDWARD J. DAVILA United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 29 Page 4

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