How important is it to produce an accurate, identical administrative record?
Pretty important. Producing an inconsistent administrative record may result in a court ordering discovery outside the administrative record.
Here’s the case of Pediatric Special Care, Inc. v. United Medical Resources and Darnden Restaurants, 2011 WL 133038 (E.D. Mich. January 14, 2011)(Producing different versions of the administrative record resulted in discovery of evidence outside of the record).
FACTS: Plaintiff (seeking ERISA benefits) sought discovery outside the administrative record because of alleged procedural due process violations and because Defendant produced “serial versions of the administrative record without being able to tell whether the complete administrative record had been assembled, or what the plan administrator considered in denying the claim.”
HELD: Order GRANTING Limited Discovery
“[G]iven the different versions of the administrative record that were produced, it is impossible to determine what comprises a complete record on which the defendants relied when denying the plaintiff’s claim. The Court concludes that this claim justifies discovery beyond the administrative record.”