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The US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri Has Allowed Discovery of Prudential Internal Claims Manual in ERISA case

In Ennis v. Prudential Insurance Company of America,  our client is seeking long term disability benefits from her employer's ERISA plan through Prudential.  The US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, has recently ruled in the case that Prudential's internal claims handling manual is discoverable. We sought the manual in this case because we alleged that Prudential was wrong in refusing to consider Social Security's decision that Ms. Ennis was permanently disabled.  We claimed that we believe Prudential might have violated their own processes and procedures in denying the claim, and because of that allegation, the court said that we should be entitled to see the plan's internal claims handling manual.  The Court basically said that the only way the plaintiff can determine whether the plan administrator failed to follow their own procedures is to see those procedures in the claims manual. The Court distinguished other cases wherein the plaintiff was not allowed to obtain the internal claims manual.

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