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Burns v. American United Life Insur. Co.

December 13, 2005

VENITA BURNS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERICAN UNITED LIFE INSUR. CO., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Before the Court is plaintiff's motion to compel defendant to fully respond to interrogatories, requests for production and requests for admission propounded upon defendant. (Doc. 32). More specifically, plaintiff is dissatisfied with defendant's response/objection to the following discovery requests:

Interrogatory 12

Requests for Production 11-15, 26-32, 35, 38-44 and 54

Requests for Admission 2, and 7-14 Defendant has not filed a response to plaintiff's motion. However, defendant did file a motion for a protective order aimed at limiting the scope of discovery to the administrative record. In accordance with Vallone v. CNA Financial Corp., 375 F.3d 623, 629 (7th Cir. 2004), defendant's motion for a protective order was denied. That ruling, along with Judge Herndon's ruling that all of plaintiff's state law claims are preempted by ERISA provide the framework for ruling on the vast majority of the discovery requests at issue.

Interrogatory 12

Interrogatory 12 seeks policies, procedures, rules and/or regulations defendant follows in retroactively terminating policies. Defendant objects that the interrogatory assumes defendant retroactively terminates polices and retroactively terminated plaintiff's group policy.

Whether defendant retroactively terminates polices and retroactively terminated plaintiff's group policy remains a question of fact to be decided. Defendant did not lodge an objection based on relevancy grounds, per se. Therefore, defendant's objection is overruled; defendant must fully answer the interrogatory. If defendant does not terminate policies retroactively, or it does not follow any policies, procedures, rules and/or regulations when terminating policies retroactively, then defendant need only so respond. Defendant's subsequent response to Interrogatory 12 referencing the policy is an equally ambiguous answer. Therefore, defendant must respond to Interrogatory 12.

General Objection to Requests for Production

Defendant asserted a "general objection" to all of the requests for production at issue (Nos. 11-15, 26-32, 35, 38-44 and 54), arguing that the scope of discovery should be limited to the administrative record. (Doc. 32, Attachment/Exhibit 6). As noted above, discovery beyond the administrative record will be permitted. Therefore, defendant's general objection is overruled.

Requests for Production 11-15, 26-32, 35, 38-44 and 54

Defendant's responses to Requests for Production 11-15, 26-32, 35, 38-44 and 54 all reassert defendant's general objection, which has been overruled. Therefore, defendant must produce the requested materials.

Requests for Admission 2 and 7-14

Requests 7, 8 and 10-14 all pertain to Illinois statutes Judge Herndon has ruled are preempted by ERISA. Therefore, defendant need not respond ...


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