Louisiana Court Orders Unum to Produce its IME Doctor's Compensation Records

A Louisiana Court ordered Unum to produce its IME’s doctor’s compensation records in an ERISA disability lawsuit.

A Louisiana woman sought compensation records from one of Unum’s doctors, whose opinion was used by Unum to terminate her long-term disability benefits. In Wittman v. Unum, Ms. Wittmann sought production of records from Dr. James Bress, Unum’s reviewing physician, relating to compensation he received for reviewing disability insurance claims.

Ms. Wittmann sought to discover Dr. Bress’s total compensation for services rendered specifically to Unum. Ms. Wittmann served Dr. Bress with a subpoena duces tecum for the information sought. Unum filed a Motion for a Protective Order as well as a Motion to Quash.

Every day, this law firm helps people like Ms. Wittman get disability benefits paid by insurance companies. This includes successfully seeking discovery from the insurance company that will help the client’s disability case. We have fought all major disability insurance companies and have won several major disability lawsuits, including against Reliance Standard.

The court first had to determine whether the subpoena presented an undue burden. Then it analyzed whether the discovery request complied with the scope of permissible discovery under Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Finally, the court looked to ERISA discovery precedent.

Undue Burden & Scope of Rule 26

When determining whether Ms. Wittmann’s subpoena presented an undue burden to Unum, the court had to consider the:

  • Relevance of the information requested;
  • Ms. Wittmann’ sneed for the subpoenaed materials;
  • Time period covered by Ms. Wittmann’s request;
  • Particularity with which the requested materials were described; and
  • Burden imposed on Unum.

The court ultimately ruled Ms. Wittmann’s discovery request was allowable, with modification, and ordered Unum to produce the documents requested under the protective order.

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