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Garoutte v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 24, 2013

RANDY and MONICA GAROUTTE, Plaintiffs,
v.
AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS, RENOTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS, AND TO SHOW CAUSE

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant American Family Mutual Insurance Company ("American Family") motion for protective order re: work product (Dkt. 55), motion for protective order re: 30(b)(6) witness (Dkt. 61), motion for protective order re: proprietary documents (Dkt. 62), motion to expedite (Dkt. 70)[1], motion to stay (Dkt. 68), and Plaintiffs Monica Garoutte and Randy Garoutte's ("Garouttes") motion to compel (Dkt. 57). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and hereby denies American Family's motions, renotes the Garouttes' motion, and allows American Family to show cause, if any there may be, for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 8, 2012, the Garouttes filed a complaint in King County Superior Court for the State of Washington. Dkt. 1, ¶ 1.

On October 11, 2012, American Family removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1.

On April 9, 2013, the Garouttes filed an Amended Complaint alleging that American Family did not fully compensate them under the contract of insurance and asserting causes of action for violations of the Washington Administrative Code 284-30-300, et seq., the Washington Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"), RCW Chapter 19.86, bad faith, and violations of the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act, RCW 48.30.015. Dkt. 30.

On June 3, 2013, American Family filed a motion for partial summary judgment. Dkt. 33. On June 6, 2013, the Garouttes filed a motion for partial summary judgment. Dkt. 35. On July 23, 2013, the Court denied American Family's motion and granted the Garouttes' motion on the issue of bad faith. Dkt. 50. On September 9, 2013, American Family appealed the Court's order. Dkt. 58.

Currently before the Court are the parties' various discovery motions (Dkts. 55, 57, 61, 62) and American Family's motion to stay pending the conclusion of its appeal (Dkt. 68).

II. DISCUSSION

A. Stay

Without citing any authority, American Family moves for a stay of "all litigation" while the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considers American Family's appeal. Dkt. 68. First, American Family's appeal appears to be procedurally improper because the order appealed did not dispose of the action and American Family did not seek discretionary certification from this Court. Second, the appeal is currently subject to a show cause order by the Ninth Circuit because of procedural issues. Regardless, American Family has failed to show any reason why this action should be stayed. Therefore, the Court denies the motion to stay.

B. Proprietary Documents

American Family seeks an order protecting its claim handling and training materials that were requested by the Garouttes. Dkt. 62. With regard to the relevance of these materials, the Court assumes that such materials would be relevant and must be produced. The parties, however, have failed to file the materials with the Court, precluding the Court from making a legal determination as to any specific document. With regard to whether the materials contain proprietary information, the Court assumes that such materials would qualify for some protection. American Family's counsel represents to the Court that the parties dispute whether the Garouttes' counsel may use such documents in future litigation. Dkt. 62-2, ¶ 4. If that issue were to come before the Court, the Court would most likely rule in American Family's favor based upon similar documents produced and protected in similar insurance coverage cases. ...


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