The dispute continues between Utica Mutual and Clearwater Insurance in the Northern District of New York where the court recently denied, in large part, the parties’ respective motions to compel discovery of insurance and reinsurance documents unrelated to the specific facultative reinsurance policies at issue in the action. In this case, on which we have previously reported, the issue is whether reinsurance is due under contracts between Utica Mutual and Clearwater for a reinsurance claim relating to a settlement with one of Utica Mutual’s insureds. Utica Mutual sought to compel Clearwater to produce unrelated reinsurance contracts, claim notices, claim files, claim billing information, and other documents concerning contractual relationships with non-parties, arguing these documents were relevant to Clearwater’s defenses and counterclaim that it was misled into paying amounts toward that settlement. Clearwater, in turn, sought to compel Utica Mutual to produce information about primary commercial insurance policies issued by Utica Mutual to a number of its commercial insureds, claiming the information was needed, in part, to determine damages relating to the underlying settlement.
The court denied the parties’ motions, finding the documents sought were not relevant and noting that any issues as to the underlying settlement were already litigated and resolved. Discovery of entirely different contracts and documents that are “not germane or are only faintly relevant” would create confusion and diversion. The court did grant that part of Utica Mutual’s motion seeking to compel Clearwater to respond to an interrogatory requesting the factual and legal bases for Clearwater’s assertions that the amounts it paid to Utica Mutual were not due and payable. That single interrogatory, the court found, sought relevant information. Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 6:13-cv-01178 (USDC N.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2015).