• How to Protect Your Ameritas Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Ameritas Disability Benefit Claim and Denial Help

Texas Court Orders Union Central to Provide Discovery to Plaintiff

Shuping v. The Union Central Life Insurance Company is a plaintiff friendly case in the early stages of disability litigation in a Texas federal court. After Randy Shuping filed his ERISA lawsuit, Union Central made a motion asking the court to make its disability decision solely on the administrative record. It argued that plaintiff was not entitled to discovery of any other information or documents. Shuping filed a detailed motion explaining why discovery was necessary. The court agreed with the plaintiff, denied Union Central’s motion to prevent discovery and ruled the plaintiff was entitled to discovery on four separate issues.

Overview of Facts

According to facts presented in plaintiff’s brief in support of discovery, Randy Shuping was employed by Bichsel Trucking when he lost control of the tractor-trailer he was driving which rolled over and landed on its side. He was seriously injured and was hospitalized for a long period of time during which he received treatment from numerous medical providers.

Shuping’s application for payment of medical expenses and lost time benefits provided for in a Union Central policy provided by his employer. His application was denied when Union Central claimed his injuries were not caused by an “occupational accident” as defined in the policy. The detailed definition was provided in Shuping’s brief, but the specific reason Union Central denied benefits was not discussed.

Ultimately, Shuping filed this ERISA lawsuit and requested discovery. Union Central objected, arguing the case should be decided on the administrative record with no other discovery allowed. The court instructed Shuping to file a brief in support of his request for discovery. In response to the brief, the court granted Shuping’s discovery request.

Court Order Granting Discovery

Union Central argued that the court should review the case according to a standard that would give deference to Union Central’s decision and therefore, there was no right to discovery and the case should be decided solely on the administrative record. Although the court agreed that Union Central could be correct if, and only if, that was the standard of review the court should employ. But, the court continued, “Even in a deferential review of the administrator’s exercise of its discretion, the Court would be obliged to consider matters that may require factual exploration through discovery beyond the administrative record, and thus, simply turning over the administrative record will not suffice.”

The court ruled, consistent with arguments presented in Shuping’s brief for discovery, that at a minimum, Shuping was entitled to discovery concerning:

This case was not handled by our office, but may be instructive for those who seek discovery against opposition by their own insurer. If you are pursuing disability benefits, feel free to call any of our attorneys for a free consultation.

Leave a comment or ask us a question

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Ameritas claimants nationwide?

We represent Ameritas clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Ameritas disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Ameritas. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Ameritas.

How do you help Ameritas claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Ameritas long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Ameritas:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Robert A., DDS

I am a long time private practicing dentist that was stricken by a sudden and severe neurological condition, which presented with very subjective symptoms. For 6 months I resisted filing a claim due to the difficulty in verifying the presence of the illness let alone its severity. However after being recommended to Dell & Schaefer by a colleague, and consultation with Steven, I went ahead, be it with a guarded optimism.

Mr. Dell’s advice and guidance was critical in achieving the successful outcome that we did. I originally thought to “go it alone”, but in hind sight there were multiple considerations that I would have certainly missed had it not been for Steven’s acumen and experience.

Mr. Dell and his team far exceeded my expectations in every capacity. He was focused, clear, responsive, efficient and above all exceedingly knowledgeable.

I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking similar counsel. I truly feel that I could not have been better represented.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us