The facts can be read from the case. The important issue in this case, is how the Court analyzed the allegation that the plan administrator abused his discretion and there was a conflict of interest with the plan administrator being both who evaluates the claims for benefits and pays benefits claims.
The Court stated that in determining whether there was an abuse of discretion, we also consider whether the plan administrator had a conflict of interest. A plan administrator has a conflict of interest if it “both evaluates claims for benefits and pays benefits claims.” However, a conflict of interest is but one factor among many that a reviewing judge must take into account. A conflict of interest should prove more important where circumstances suggest a higher likelihood that it affected the benefits decision. A reviewing court may give more weight to a conflict of interest where the circumstances surrounding the plan administrator’s decision suggest procedural unreasonableness — that is, where the method by which the plan administrator made the decision was unreasonable.