Mealey's Discovery

  • April 02, 2020

    In Camera Review Of Insurer’s Claim File Is Necessary In Oil Spill Coverage Suit

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on March 31 determined that an in camera review of an insurer’s claim file is warranted to determine whether the information in the claim file related to an insured’s coverage claim for an oil spill is privileged (Central Crude Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-308, W.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56560).

  • April 01, 2020

    Magistrate Won’t Compel Production Of Employee Pay Data In Specific Format

    WICHITA, Kan. — The failure of the plaintiff in an overtime pay dispute to request the production of electronically stored information (ESI) in a desired format led a Kansas federal magistrate judge on March 30 to deny her request to compel her former employer to re-produce employee pay data in another format, stating that the “dispute could have been avoided altogether had the parties adequately conferred” prior to the discovery process (Peggy Lynn Lundine v. Gates Corp., No. 6:18-cv-01235, D. Kan., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54637).

  • April 01, 2020

    Judge Upholds Order Denying Additional Discovery In Disability Benefits Suit

    TRENTON, N.J. — A magistrate judge did not err in refusing to allow additional discovery in a disability benefits dispute because the magistrate judge’s order was not clearly erroneous or contrary to law, a New Jersey federal judge said March 30 (Kevin McCann, M.D. v. Unum Provident, et al., No. 11-3241, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55106).

  • March 31, 2020

    9th Circuit: Court Must Say Why FDA Can Withhold Ebola Drug Documents

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 24 reversed summary judgment that denied access to Food and Drug Administration records about ZMapp, an experimental drug to treat the Ebola virus (Goldwater Institute v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 19-15615, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9126).

  • March 30, 2020

    Insurer Compelled To Provide Reinsurance Info In Bad Faith Lawsuit

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a breach of contract and bad faith dispute, a West Virginia federal magistrate judge on March 25 compelled an insurer to produce reinsurance reports in its claim files regarding a fire loss to insureds’ car dealership (Mid-State Automotive, Inc., et al. v. Harco National Insurance Co., No. 19-407, S.D. W.Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51727).

  • March 27, 2020

    Nike Must Provide Employee Names, Data In Sex Bias Class Action, Magistrate Rules

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal magistrate judge on March 23 granted a motion by a group of former Nike Inc. employees to compel the sporting goods giant to produce employee names and identifying information associated with certain documents that it has already provided in discovery in a sex bias suit against it, with the magistrate finding that a prior ruling and a protective order will guard the employees’ privacy interests (Kelly Cahill, et al. v. Nike, Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01477, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49838).

  • March 26, 2020

    Florida Appeals Panel Quashes Discovery Of Nursing Home Patient Records

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Granting in part a nursing home’s petition for certiorari of two discovery orders in a wrongful death lawsuit, a Florida appeals panel on March 24 found that an order requiring the production of certain patient records violated privacy protections of Florida laws and the state’s constitution, also holding that the requested information was not likely to lead to admissible evidence (Saints 120 LLC v. Michaele M. Moore, No. 1D19-973, Fla. App. 1st Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 3811).

  • March 25, 2020

    Objection To Insolvent Insurer’s Subpoena Of Accounts Is Overruled

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal bankruptcy judge on March 17 overruled an objection to a subpoena of bank accounts because the information sought relates only to an insolvent insurer’s fraudulent transfer claims that had been dismissed (In re:  British American Insurance Company Ltd., Chapter 15, Nos. 09-31881 and 09-35888, British American Insurance Company Ltd. v. Robert Fullerton, et al., No. 11-03118, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).

  • March 24, 2020

    Judge Strikes Expert Report, Says It Challenges Decided Wetlands Determination

    ERIE, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 20 granted the government’s motion to strike exhibits filed as part of a farm owner’s redrafted motion to vacate a consent decree in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit, holding that a previously undisclosed expert report challenges a previously made determination that the parcel of land at issue is a wetland under the statute (United States v. Robert Brace, et al., No. 90-229E, W.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48326).

  • March 24, 2020

    Judge Again Grants FBI Summary Judgment In FOIA Dispute With Associated Press

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three years after initially ruling in favor of the FBI in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the Associated Press (AP), a District of Columbia federal judge on March 20 again granted summary judgment to the bureau in a post-reversal and remand ruling, finding that the FBI properly withheld documents from four FOIA requests under the deliberative process privilege and other exemptions (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392 and 1:18-cv-00345, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48925).

  • March 18, 2020

    4th Circuit Vacates Order Requiring Discovery Of DOD Contractor’s Documents

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 13 granted a petition for mandamus by a contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), vacating portions of three trial court discovery orders that required it to disclose privileged information related to an internal investigation of a terminated employee (In re:  Fluor Intercontinental Inc., et al., No. 20-1241, 4th Cir.).

  • March 17, 2020

    Judge Unseals EpiPen Class Certification Opinion, Won’t Keep ‘2-Pack’ Logic Sealed

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas federal judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on March 10 denied a motion by defendant Mylan Specialty L.P. to keep sealed a portion of his class certification ruling dealing with the defendants’ decision to package its epinephrine autoinjector in twin rather than single packs, saying the information is more than 10 years old and isn’t a competitive secret (In Re:  EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, D. Kan.).

  • March 17, 2020

    Judge Grants Homeowners Insurer’s Motion To Compel In Water, Mold Damage Suit

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on March 16 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion to compel the deposition of an insured after determining that the insurer’s request is relevant to the water and mold damage coverage dispute (Steven Nielsen, et al. v. United Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-2310, D. S.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45097).

  • March 17, 2020

    Facebook Files Notice Of Settlement Of Content Moderators’ PTSD Class Claims

    TAMPA, Fla. — The day after a putative class of content moderators moved in Florida federal court for discovery of settlement details in a similar unsafe workplace suit against Facebook Inc., the social network on March 16 filed a notice confirming a proposed settlement in the other case in which moderators purportedly experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from viewing violent and disturbing content, while expressing reluctance to reveal nonfinalized details prior to the filing of a pending preliminary approval motion (Debrynna Garrett, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 8:20-cv-00585, M.D. Fla.).

  • March 17, 2020

    Sugar Daddy Site Owner Must Supplement Jurisdictional Discovery In Trademark Row

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Granting a dating website operator’s motion to compel, a California federal magistrate judge on March 11 found that a Cyprus-based defendant that allegedly engaged in trademark infringement did not provide sufficient declarations and explanation in its responses to discovery requests related to establishing U.S. jurisdiction over the purported competing “sugar daddy” site operator (Reflex Media Inc., et al. v. Apiriliaco Ltd., et al., No. 8:16-cv-00795, C.D.  Calif.).

  • March 17, 2020

    Florida Panel Quashes Order Compelling Insurer To Produce Investigator’s Photos

    LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on March 13 held that a lower court “departed from the essential requirements of the law” when it ordered a homeowners insurer to produce its investigator’s photographs that were taken during a home inspection related to the insureds’ hurricane water damage claim, quashing the portion of the lower court’s order related to the production of the photographs and remanding with instructions to allow the insurer to file a privilege log within a reasonable time (Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Lee Jones, et al., No. 2D19-243, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 3361).

  • March 13, 2020

    ACLU Sues DHS, TSA For Information On Use Of Facial Recognition Technology

    NEW YORK — In a complaint filed March 12 in New York federal court, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) seeks to compel the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies to respond to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information about the government’s use of facial recognition technology at airports and borders (American Civil Liberties Union, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 1:20-cv-02213, S.D. N.Y.).

  • March 13, 2020

    Rimini Defends Attorney-Client Privilege In Post-Injunction Discovery To Oracle

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal magistrate judge correctly found that certain technical documents that it declined to produce in post-injunction discovery to Oracle USA Inc. were protected by attorney-client privilege, Rimini Street Inc. says in a Feb. 26 brief, arguing that the communications with its counsel were for the purpose of ensuring that it did not violate the injunction in the decade-old software copyright infringement suit (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).

  • March 12, 2020

    Judge Won’t Rethink Denial Of Attorney-Client Privilege Application In ERISA Row

    DALLAS — Two months after he granted a plaintiff health care provider’s motion to compel certain communications between an insurer and an insurance plan in a dispute over benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a Texas federal judge on March 10 denied the insurer’s motion to reconsider his finding that the fiduciary exception prevented the insurer from invoking the attorney-client privilege against the plaintiff, as the plan beneficiaries’ assignee, related to plan administration documents (Advanced Physicians S.C. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02355, N.D. Texas).

  • March 11, 2020

    Judge Approves Chicken Plant Inspection As Groundwater Contamination Case Proceeds

    GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware judge on March 9 approved a couple’s request for an inspection of a chicken processing plant which they say has contaminated the local groundwater with wastewater, as discovery continues in the case (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).