What guides the Court’s decision?

In Shaw v. AT&T Umbrella Benefits Plan No. 1, 795 F.3d 538 (6th Cir. 2015), the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals outlined the standard of review as follows:

Under the arbitrary-and-capricious standard, we must uphold the plan administrator’s decision if it is “the result of a deliberate, principled reasoning process” and “supported by substantial evidence.” DeLisle v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, 558 F.3d 440, 444 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Glenn v. MetLife, 461 F.3d 660, 666 (6th Cir. 2006)). “When it is possible to offer a reasoned explanation, based on the evidence, for a particular outcome, that outcome is not arbitrary or capricious.” Davis v. Ky. Fin. Cos. Ret. Plan, 887 F.2d 689, 693 (6th Cir. 1989) (internal quotation marks omitted). However, arbitrary-and-capricious review is not a “rubber stamp.” Cox v. Standard Ins. Co., 585 F.3d 295, 302 (6th Cir. 2009). “Several lodestars guide our decision: ‘the quality and quantity of the medical evidence’; the existence of any conflicts of interest; whether the administrator considered any disability finding by the Social Security Administration; and whether the administrator contracted with physicians to conduct a file review as opposed to a physical examination of the claimant.” Fura v. Fed. Express Corp. Long Term Disability Plan, 534 F. App’x 340, 342 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Bennett v. Kemper Nat’l Servs., Inc., 514 F.3d 547, 552-53 (6th Cir. 2008)).

Shaw v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 1, 795 F.3d 538, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13194, 2015 FED App. 0171P (6th Cir.), 60 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 1723 (6th Cir. Mich. 2015)

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