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Trinidad v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 16, 2014

OSCAR TRINIDAD and SUSAN TRINIDAD, husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Oscar and Susan Trinidad's ("Trinidads") motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 15) and motion for reconsideration (Dkt. 24). 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 the motions for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 13, 2013, the Trinidads filed a complaint against Defendant Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company ("Metropolitan") in King County Superior Court for the State of Washington. Dkt 1. The Trinidads assert claims for (1) violations of the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act, WAC 284-30, et seq. ("IFCA"), (2) violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW Chapter 19.86 ("CPA"), (3) bad faith, and (4) breach of duty to defend. Id. Exh. 1.

On March 13, 2013, Metropolitan removed the matter to this Court. Id.

On October 31, 2013, Metropolitan filed a motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 9. On November 18, 2013, the Trinidads responded. Dkt. 11. On November 21, 2013, the Trinidads filed a motion for partial summary judgment. Dkt. 15. On November 22, 2013, Metropolitan replied. Dkt. 18. On December 6, 2013, Metropolitan responded to the Trinidads' motion. Dkt. 20. On December 13, 2013, the Trinidads replied. Dkt. 22.

On December 19, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part Metropolitan's motion; dismissed the Trinidad's IFCA, CPA, and breach of the duty to defend claims; and renoted the Trinidad's motion. Dkt. 23. On January 2, 2014, the Trinidads filed a motion for reconsideration of the portion of the Court's order that granted summary judgment. Dkt. 24. On January 6, 2013, Metropolitan filed a supplemental response to the Trinidads' motion. Dkt. 26. On January 9, 2013, the Trinidads filed a supplemental reply. Dkt. 28.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This lawsuit arises out of the Trinidads' insurance claim they submitted to Metropolitan and request for defense. On May 7, 2010, the Trinidads filed a lawsuit in state court against their neighbors for malicious harassment, outrage, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with a business relationship, defamation and nuisance. The neighbors filed a counterclaim against the Trinidads contending that they had engaged in a pattern of surveillance and made false accusations against the neighbors. The subsequent undisputed timeline is as follows:

• A counterclaim was served on the Trinidads on or about 5/26/10.
• A claim and request for defense was tendered to their insurer, MetLife, on 6/1/10.
• The claim was assigned to Bette-Jon Schrade of MetLife on 6/2/10.
• Ms. Schrade spoke with Mr. Wathen, the Trinidads' attorney on the underlying litigation, on June 3, 2010.
• Also on June 3, 2010, Attorney Jack Rankin was contacted by MetLife to conduct a claims ...

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