IDA Group Benefit Trust denies benefits
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendants to Produce Initial Disclosures [DE 16], filed by Plaintiff Julie Durham on May 20, 2011, and on Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery [DE 19], filed by Plaintiff on June 8, 2011. Defendant IDA Group Benefit Trust filed a response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendant to Produce Initial Disclosures on June 1, 2011, and Plaintiff filed a reply on June 13, 2011. Defendant filed a response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery on July 11, 2011, and Plaintiff filed a reply on July 20, 2011. I.
BACKGROUND Plaintiff Julie Durham is a participant in Defendant IDA Group Benefit Trust (the "Trust"), which provides health benefits to participating employees and their dependents. Ms. Durham participates in the trust as a dependent of her husband, Timothy Durham, who is an employee of Affordable Garage Door, Inc. Affordable Garage Door, Inc., is a member of the International Door Association, Inc., and a participating employer in the Trust. Mr. Durham and his dependents, including Ms. Durham, participated in the Trust through Affordable Garage Door, Inc. In 2009, Ms. Durham submitted medical bills to the Trust for payment. The claims administrator for the Trust, Medical Benefits Administrators of MD, Inc. ("MBA"), denied Ms. Durham's claim for coverage, citing the guidelines set forth in the Summary Plan Description (the "Plan"). DaySpring Management LLC ("DaySpring") acted as the plan administrator for the Trust.
On November 19, 2010, Ms. Durham filed her Complaint against the Trust in Lake County, Indiana Superior Court, and filed an amended Complaint on January 10, 2011. The Amended Complaint alleges that the Trust wrongfully denied her health care benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. 1001, et seq. On January 27, 2011, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The Trust has not provided initial disclosures pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1). On April 14, 2011, Ms. Durham served Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents on the Trust. The Trust refused to comply with Ms. Durham's requests on the grounds that Rule 26(a)(1)(B)(I) exempts disclosure in actions for review of an administrative proceeding.