The issue presented in this case was whether a statutory provision authorizing limited discovery of a defendant’s insurance coverage information authorized pretrial discovery of a nonparty liability insurer’s reinsurance agreements for purposes of facilitating settlement of an underlying tort action. In a 4-3 decision, the court concluded that while such discovery may be appropriate in limited circumstances, such as where the reinsurance agreement was functioning the same way as a liability policy or where the reinsurance agreement was itself the subject matter of the litigation at hand, the present case did not present such narrow circumstances. The dissenting opinion stated that the relevant statute “unambiguously provides for discovery of reinsurance policies, by including ‘any agreement under which any insurance carrier may be liable to . . . indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment.’” Catholic Mutual Relief Society v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, S134545 (Cal. Sup. Ct. Aug. 27, 2007).
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