Mealey's Discovery

  • October 12, 2020

    6th Circuit: No Mandamus Order To Block Additional Drug Data Discovery

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 8 denied a mandamus petition by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBOP) to order the opioids multidistrict litigation court to rescind its order to provide the names and addresses of opioid prescribers and dispensers to retail pharmacies in an upcoming bellwether trial (In Re:  National Prescription Opiate Litigation [In Re:  State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy], No. 20-3875, 6th Cir.).

  • October 12, 2020

    Maine High Court Finds Nonparty, Redacted Patient Records Not Discoverable

    PORTLAND, Maine— Concluding that state evidentiary law protecting the confidentiality of patient records applies equally to redacted and unredacted records, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Sept. 29 reversed a trial court’s order compelling the production of the redacted records of nonparty patients who underwent similar surgical procedures as one at issue in a malpractice suit against a hospital (Estate of Carol A. Kennelly v.  Mid Coast Hospital, No. Cum-18-445, Maine Sup., 2020 Me. LEXIS 118).

  • October 12, 2020

    Judge Grants Insurer’s Motion For Protective Order In Hurricane Matthew Dispute

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Oct. 8 granted an insurer’s motion for a protective order and denied without prejudice the insured’s motions for partial summary judgment and to compel certain discovery in a coverage dispute over the insured’s tobacco product losses caused by Hurricane Matthew (U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, No. 19-430, E.D. N.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186908).

  • October 09, 2020

    Supreme Court Declines To Hear Attorney’s Questions About Preremoval Discovery

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Maryland attorney’s questions about federal removal statutes related to discovery requests made prior to a state court lawsuit’s removal to federal court will go unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his petition for certiorari on Oct. 5 (Jason Edward Rheinstein v.  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, No.  20-123, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. LEXIS 4049).

  • October 08, 2020

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Discovery Complaint Over Potential Negligence Claims

    BOSTON — An assisted living facility resident was entitled to pursue a complaint for discovery to explore the viability of potential negligence claims over a fall that she experienced, a Massachusetts appellate panel ruled Oct. 5, reversing a lower court’s dismissal and deeming the matter not moot under the statute of limitations or in light of the resident’s subsequent death (Kenneth F. Atchue v. Benchmark Senior Living LLC, et al., No. 19-P-125, Mass App., 2020 Mass. App. LEXIS 153).

  • October 07, 2020

    No Ongoing Duty To Disclose Fact Witnesses In Asbestos Case, Federal Judge Says

    SEATTLE — A woman disclosed fact witnesses on which she intended to rely and was not under the obligation to repeatedly update asbestos defendants on the status of those witnesses, a federal judge in Washington said Oct. 5 in declining to exclude the witnesses (Charlotte Wineland, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 19-793, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184468).

  • October 07, 2020

    Yale's Expert Must Answer Questions On Experience In ERISA Class Actions

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The plaintiffs in a class action over a Yale University retirement plan prevailed in two Sept. 28 discovery rulings, with a Connecticut federal judge compelling the university's expert witness to provide further answers related to his past experience on retirement plan administrative fees, which are at the heart of the lawsuit brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Joseph Vellali, et al. v. Yale University, et al., No. 16-1345, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181667).

  • October 07, 2020

    Hospital Waives Response In Certiorari Petition Over Discovery Tolling Principles

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hospital that prevailed in two rulings dismissing malpractice claims against it filed a notice with the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 waiving its right to respond to a petition for certiorari in which the husband of a deceased patient seeks clarification on principles regarding the tolling of discovery in a case that was removed from, and ultimately remanded back to, a state court (Charlie Wilson v. Dallas County Hospital District, No. 20-328, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2020

    Magistrate Finds COVID-19 Discovery Restrictions For Inmates To Be Reasonable

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal detainee's motion to modify a protective order to gain reasonable access to counsel and discovery should be denied, an Alaska federal magistrate judge recommended Oct. 1, finding that although present Department of Corrections (DOC) restrictions presented difficulties for inmates, potential constitutional violations are excusable in light of reasonable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (United States v.  Kevin Glover, et al., No. 20-12, D. Alaska, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183904).

  • October 06, 2020

    Federal Judge Permits Discovery Into Parity Act Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — The distinct nature of Parity Act claims over the allegedly improper denial of insurance coverage for mental health treatments requires discovery exceeding the administrative record to which Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases are generally limited, a federal judge in Utah said Sept. 30 (David S., et al. v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., No. 18-803, D. Utah, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182120).

  • October 05, 2020

    Judge Sanctions Billing Companies For Discovery Violations In Fraud Case

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 24 imposed sanctions against two medical billing companies and their owner for failing to timely produce relevant records and failing to name a corporate representative for a deposition, holding that their actions were deliberate and prejudiced insurance companies that contend that the defendants engaged in a fraudulent billing scheme (RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc. v. Hospital Partners Inc., et al., No. 18-6037, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175978).

  • October 05, 2020

    Magistrate Issues Protective Order For Financial Information Sought By Insurer

    NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Sept. 22 entered a protective order limiting the scope of information sought in subpoenas Allstate Insurance Co. and its affiliates served on third-party financial institutions and an accountant that did business with a medical clinic accused of making misrepresentations about its ownership, finding that the document requests in the subpoenas were overly broad and need to be "narrowly tailored to seek specific documents related to transactions between the Defendants and others" (Allstate Insurance Co., et al. v. All County LLC, et al., No. 19-7121, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176297).

  • October 02, 2020

    Discovery Is Allowed Over Related Entities Of 'Certified Reinsurer,' Insureds Say

    WILMINGTON, Del. — In a coverage suit over a $73.21 million medical malpractice verdict, insureds argues in a Sept. 28 supplemental brief to a Delaware court that a Bermuda health care umbrella insurer is a "certified reinsurer" in the state and that jurisdictional discovery is permitted on its parents, subsidiaries and affiliates' operations (Steadfast Insurance Company v. Community Health Systems, Inc., et al., No. N18C-11-127, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Chinese Drywall MDL Judge Dismisses 3 Plaintiffs For Missing Depositions

    NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge overseeing litigation stemming from allegedly defective Chinese-made drywall on Sept. 8 dismissed claims brought by three Mississippi residents after they failed to appear for court-ordered depositions and submit to property inspections (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, [Elizabeth Bennett, et al. v. Gebr. Knauf Verwaltungsgesellschaft KG et al., No. 14-2722], E.D. La.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Texas Panel Overturns Ruling Ordering Homebuilder To Produce Financial Records

    BEAUMONT, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on Sept. 3 conditionally granted a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by a homebuilder and its affiliates, finding that a trial court judge erred when compelling them to produce financial records to a man who claims that defects in the construction of the home caused him to sustain injuries when he fell down the steps (In re: Elara Signature Homes Inc., et al., No. 09-20-150, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 7151).

  • September 30, 2020

    Trial Court Abused Discretion In Allowing Discovery On Extracontractual Claims

    EASTLAND, Texas — The 11th District Texas Court of Appeals on Sept. 25 granted an auto insurer's petition for writ of mandamus after determining that a trial court abused its discretion in allowing discovery to proceed on an insured's extracontractual claims before the underinsured motorist liability claim was resolved (In re Germania Select Insurance Co., No. 11-20-00176-CV, Texas App., 11th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 7757).

  • September 30, 2020

    Domino's, Blind Man Each Seek Summary Judgment In Website Accessibility Suit

    LOS ANGELES — Motions for summary judgment were filed Sept. 28 in California federal court by Domino's Pizza LLC and a blind man suing it for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to its purportedly inaccessible website and mobile app, with the parties debating whether the accused platforms constitute places of public accommodation (Guillermo Robles v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No. 16-6599, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 29, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Issues Protective Orders In Disputes Between Reinsurer, Insurers

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal magistrate judge on Sept. 28 granted stipulated protective orders in two cases filed by four insurers against a reinsurer and the reinsurer's parent companies over a billings dispute under reinsurance agreements (California Capital Insurance Company, et al. v. Enstar Holdings [US] LLC, et al., No. 20-7806, California Capital Insurance Co., et al. v. Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc., et al., No. 20-1264, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 29, 2020

    Bifurcation Denied; Discovery For Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Overlaps

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal magistrate judge on Sept. 25 denied an auto insurer's motion to bifurcate an insured's breach of contract claim from her bad faith claims because bifurcation is not mandated by New Mexico case law and discovery and the evidence related to the two claims overlap (Casandra Sena-Baker v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 20-492, D. N.M., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176629).

  • September 25, 2020

    Federal Magistrate Denies Motion To Quash Subpoenas In Disability Dispute

    TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona federal magistrate judge on Sept. 23 denied a disability insurer's motion to quash four subpoenas related to the insurer's independent physician's employment history after determining that the disability claimant has shown good cause for the delay in issuing the subpoenas after the close of discovery (Herbert Jalowsky M.D. v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-279, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174920).

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