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Swiger v. Hartford

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 5, 2009

ROBERT SWIGER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE HARTFORD DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ORDER OF COURT

Although Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, U.S., 128 S.Ct. 2343 (2008), has substantially altered the standard of judicial review of an administrator's decision to deny ERISA Plan disability benefits,*fn1 structural and procedural factors bearing on potential conflicts of interest may still inform a Court's decision in its judicial review for abuse of discretion under an arbitrary and capricious standard. However, particular procedural irregularities would be gleaned solely from the administrative record, as defendant correctly notes. See e.g., Mitchell v. Eastman Kodak Co., 113 F.3d 433, 440 (3d Cir. 1997).

While some discovery might, theoretically, be appropriate in a given case to determine whether any structural conflicts exist (and the Court expresses no position on this issue), the Court agrees with defendant in this case that with the exception of the "financial status of the administrator," all of the potential structural and procedural factors are to be found in the existing record. As to the financial status of the administrator, the Court agrees that this information is publicly available, and therefore, additional discovery and depositions are not necessary to obtain this information.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Take a 30(B)(6) Deposition (doc. no. 23) is HEREBY DENIED.


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