The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled on several discovery motions in a reinsurance dispute between R&Q Reinsurance Company (“R&Q”) and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company (“St. Paul”) over underlying asbestos claims. Both parties filed cross motions to compel, of which the Court granted R&Q’s motion and denied St. Paul’s, and St. Paul filed motions for protective orders that were also denied in an August 1, 2017 order .
R&Q’s motion to compel first sought unredacted versions of documents which St. Paul claimed contained proprietary information, which the Court granted because its previously issued discovery order sufficiently protected the information and rendered it discoverable. R&Q’s motion next sought to compel production of St Paul’s historical loss reserves, which St. Paul claimed were protected by the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrines. The Court granted the motion, finding that the reserve information was relevant to when St. Paul had notice of potential losses and thus whether it gave sufficient notice to R&Q, as well as concluding that neither attorney-client nor work-product protection applied because the reserve information was created in the ordinary course of business. Finally, the Court granted the motion as to R&Q’s third request for unredacted information related to other reinsurance policies it maintained on the underlying claims. It found the information was relevant to R&Q’s late notice claim because St. Paul had begun defending against the underlying claims in the late 1980s but didn’t provide notice of loss to R&Q until 2013. The Court summarily dismissed St. Paul’s motions for protective orders because they addressed identical issues to those contained in R&Q’s motion to compel.
On the other hand, the Court rejected both grounds asserted in St. Paul’s motion to compel. First, St. Paul’s objections to insufficient interrogatory responses about whether R&Q suffered prejudice from St. Paul’s notice of loss were moot because R&Q had sufficiently addressed the issue in its response to St. Paul’s motion for protective order. Second, the Court denied St. Paul’s complaints over the minimal number of documents produced by R&Q because the characterization was misleading and because R&Q would naturally have fewer documents because of its relatively recent notice of loss in 2013.
After the Court issued the order deciding the various discovery motions, St. Paul regarding the scope of the Court’s order on R&Q’s motion to compel. In particular, it sought to clarify whether the Court was merely ordering production of unredacted versions of documents previously produced based on its proprietary information and other reinsurers objections, or whether it was ordering a new collection and review of documents, including all other reinsurance information from other reinsurer files. St. Paul stated that it would conduct searches to locate and produce documents regarding the date St. Paul first provided notice of the underlying claims to other reinsurers. In its motion, St. Paul claims that in response to the Court’s order to designate relevant documents, R&Q designated hundreds of thousands of pages of documents without any attempt to narrow the designation to identify only potentially relevant documents.
In , the Court ordered St. Paul to disclose all documents it previously redacted as “proprietary,” “reinsurance,” or “reserves,” and to provide responsive answers to R&Q’s interrogatories and search for documents relevant to the late notice issue.
R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Case No. 16-1473 (USDC E.D. Pa.).