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Milgard Manufacturing, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

April 24, 2015

MILGARD MANUFACTURING, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL AND FOR SANCTIONS

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Milgard Manufacturing, Inc.'s ("Milgard") second motion to compel and for sanctions (Dkt. 156). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion in part and denies it in part as moot for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 28, 2014, Milgard filed a motion to compel and for sanctions ("first motion to compel"). Dkt. 46. As part of its motion, Milgard asked the Court to compel Defendant Liberty Mutual Insurance Company ("Liberty") to produce documents with internal hyperlinks in an accessible format. Id.

On October 1, 2014, the Court held a hearing to resolve discovery disputes between the parties. Dkt. 89. During the hearing, the Court directed the parties to work together to resolve any outstanding discovery issues, including producing all documents in an accessible format. Id. at 25-26. The Court also granted Milgard sanctions in the form of attorney fees. Id. at 25.

On October 17, 2014, Milgard contacted Liberty about discovery issues. Dkt. 102, Declaration of Matthew Segal ("Segal Dec."), Ex. A. Milgard notified Liberty that its technical consultant was available to discuss the production of Liberty's documents in an accessible format. Id. at 3. Milgard also asked Liberty to supplement the files of its expert retained for claims adjustment purposes, David Stewart ("Mr. Stewart"). Id. In response, Liberty produced additional documents from Mr. Stewart. Segal Dec., Ex. C. Liberty also notified Milgard that its technical consultant would meet with Milgard's consultant. Segal Dec., Ex. B at 3.

On November 14, 2014, Milgard followed up with Liberty about several discovery issues, including providing a complete supplement of Mr. Stewart's files and making documents with hyperlinks accessible. Dkt. 157, Second Declaration of Matthew Segal ("Second Segal Dec."), Ex. A.

On January 5, 2015, Liberty provided the expert report for its claims handling expert, Linda Bowen ("Ms. Bowen"). See Second Segal Dec., Ex. C. That same day, Liberty moved for a protective order to prohibit discovery into Milgard's rescinded claims. Dkt. 137. On February 3, 2015, the Court denied Liberty's motion and ruled that Liberty's handling of the rescinded claims was relevant to Milgard's bad faith action. Dkt. 144.

On February 4, 2015, Milgard contacted Liberty about outstanding discovery issues. Second Segal Dec., Ex. C. These issues included: (1) producing documents maintained by Liberty's claims handler in an electronic document "portal"; (2) making documents with hyperlinks easily accessible; (3) supplementing Mr. Stewart's files; (4) producing all documents relied upon by Ms. Bowen; and (5) providing all claim notes. Id.

Between February 24 and 27, 2105, Liberty produced thousands of documents related to the rescinded claims. Dkt. 187, Declaration of Ray Cox ("Cox Dec."), Exs. B, E, F.

On February 27, 2015, the parties held a Rule 37 conference to discuss the aforementioned discovery issues. Second Segal Dec., Ex. I. On March 5, 2015, Milgard moved to compel and for sanctions. Dkt. 156. On March 16, 2015, Liberty responded. Dkt. 184. On March 20, 2015, Milgard replied. Dkt. 194.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motion to Compel

Milgard requests that the Court compel Liberty to: (1) produce records maintained by Liberty's claims handler in a document portal and ensure such documents are produced in an accessible format; (2) supplement Mr. Stewart's files; (3) produce all documents relied on by Ms. Bowen; and (4) confirm whether any claim notes have been withheld. Dkt. 156 at 2. In response, Liberty argues that ...


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