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Metlife v. Glenn

Docket No.: 06-923
Certiorari Granted: 1/18/2008
Argued: April 23, 2008
Decided: June 19, 2008

PartyNames: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, et al. v. Wanda Glenn
Petitioner: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Respondent: Wanda Glenn

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
v.
Wanda Glenn
554 U.S. 105 (2008)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION AND THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: "IF AN ADMINISTRATOR THAT BOTH DETERMINES AND PAYS CLAIMS UNDER AN ERISA PLAN IS DEEMED TO BE OPERATING UNDER A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, HOW SHOULD THAT CONFLICT BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT ON JUDICIAL REVIEW OF A DISCRETIONARY BENEFIT DETERMINATION?" EXPEDITED BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Question Presented:

1. Whether the Sixth Circuit erred in holding, in conflict with two other Circuits, that the fact that a claim administrator of an ERISA plan also funds the plan benefits, without more, constitutes a "conflict of interest" which must be weighed in a judicial review of the administrator's benefit determination under Firestone Tire & Rubber v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101 (1989)? 2. Whether the Sixth Circuit erred in holding, in conflict with six other Circuits, that an ERISA claim administrator must consider and refute in its written disability determination a decision, without the underlying record, of a Social Security Administration administrative law judge?

Question:

Does an insurance carrier, acting both as the entity determining when awards are to be paid and actually funding those awards, have the right to represent to a court that an individual is disabled when the insurance carrier separately determines for other purposes that the individual is in fact not disabled?

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
Read METLIFE V. GLENN opinion (PDF)
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