The opinion of the court was delivered by: Percy Anderson, United States District Judge
Paul Songco Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS - COURT ORDER
Before the Court is plaintiff Karen Tagliaferri's ("Plaintiff's") Motion for an Order Granting Leave to Augment the Administrative Records ("Motion"). (Docket No. 29.)
In this action brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), Plaintiff seeks disability benefits under a policy issued by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MetLife"). On January 20, 2006, Plaintiff was struck by a semi-tractor-trailer on the freeway, which caused her to flip over the center divider and into oncoming traffic, where she was struck head-on by another vehicle. As a result of the accident, Plaintiff was severely injured; her injuries included broken bones, partial facial nerve paralysis, partial impaired vision, partial hearing loss, and brain injury. On March 22, 2007, Plaintiff sought payment of insurance benefits from MetLife, pursuant to the terms of her policy. Plaintiff's claim was denied on May 10, 2007. Contrary to MetLife, the Social Security Administration concluded on August 12, 2007, that Plaintiff was disabled. Plaintiff appealed MetLife's denial of benefits on November 12, 2007; MetLife affirmed its denial on February 8, 2008. Plaintiff brought this action for benefits on February 5, 2009. Now, Plaintiff contends that her Social Security Administration file should be included in the administrative record for this case.
In opposition to Plaintiff's Motion, MetLife has submitted a declaration that the Social Security Administration documents that Plaintiff seeks to add to the administrative record were never received, accessed, or secured by MetLife during the claim review process. As such, MetLife contends that these documents should not be included in the administrative record.
Given that it appears that MetLife required Plaintiff to seek a determination of disability from the Social Security Administration, but then failed to consider any part of Plaintiff's Social Security Administration file, the Court hereby orders the parties to show cause, in writing, no later than December 7, 2009, why this matter should not be remanded for the purpose of considering the contents Plaintiff's Social Security Administration file and assessing whether this information alters MetLife's prior decision to deny Plaintiff's claim.
On the Court's own motion, the hearing on Plaintiff's Motion is continued from November 30, 2009, to December 14, 2009, at 1:30 p.m.