Insurer And Reinsurer Locked In Discovery Row

Carlton Fields
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[author: Matthew Burrows - Law Clerk]

In a row between Granite State Insurance Company (“Granite”) and R & Q Reinsurance Company (“R & Q”), a New York trial court denied R & Q’s attempt to (1) vacate a prior court order, (2) appoint a special referee, and (3) dismiss counts in the complaint.

By way of history, the court previously found that certain discovery documents were protected under attorney-client privilege. Looking for reconsideration of this order, the court construed R & Q’s motion to vacate as a motion to renew and/or reargue. The court denied R & Q’s motion to renew as it failed to present a change in law or present new facts that would necessitate an alteration of the prior discovery order. The court also denied R& Q’s motion to reargue finding the “common interest” exception to attorney-client privilege inapplicable between an insurer and reinsurer. Without a relevant exception, the court held that R & Q “failed to demonstrate that [the court] overlooked or misapprehended the relevant facts.”

The court also denied R & Q’s attempt to appoint a special referee because an appointment would only extend an already prolonged discovery process without “special circumstances.” Finally, the court noted that Granite and R & Q engaged in a considerable “meet and confer” process in an effort to narrow the scope of discovery, and thus instead of dismissing claims for which discovery had not yet been provided, the court directed R & Q to re-serve its discovery requests directed to those claims, as appropriately revised based on the parties’ “meet and confer” process.

Granite State Ins. Co. v. R & Q Reinsurance Co., No. 654494/2013 (Sup. Ct. July 22, 2015)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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