Lamar Adver. Co. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. 18-1060, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13891 (D. La. Jan. 28, 2020).
This dispute involved an action for recovery under a commercial property insurance policy. The policyholder filed a motion to compel on three sets of written discovery and a noticed deposition. The policyholder asserted that the insurer failed to timely pay business interruption losses and professional fees, arbitrarily and capriciously failed to timely pay these and other claims, and failed to make a timely written offer to settle the policyholder’s property damages claims.
On the requests within the motion to compel, the court opined on whether the requested information was within the scope of discovery or whether it was otherwise protected by privilege. Specifically as to the reinsurance information, the policyholder sought production of any “policies, contracts, and/or agreements providing or potentially providing coverage to [the insurer].” The insurer objected on the grounds of overbreadth, irrelevance, confidentiality, attorney-client privilege and workproduct protection. The court agreed with the policyholder that the insurer was required to produce its reinsurance agreements as part of its initial disclosures. To the extent these agreements had not been produced, the court ordered the production of reinsurance agreements that obligate a reinsurer “to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment [against defendant] in the action or to indemnify or reimburse [defendant] for payments made to satisfy the judgment.”
Similarly, the court ordered production of communication between the insurer and its reinsurers regarding the policyholder’s insurance claims because those communications would contain information relevant to whether the insurer acted in good faith in explaining its reason or granting or denying portions of the claims or otherwise described or explained its handling of the claims. Furthermore, the court ordered the insurer to submit information related to the insurer’s communications with its insurers or reinsurers regarding the policyholder’s claim, and information related to any agreements, including reinsurance, that provide or potentially provide indemnity, defense and/or coverage to the insurer for any of the claims lodged against it by the policyholder.