United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
SUNWOOD CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, a Washington nonprofit corporation, Plaintiff,
TRAVELERS CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
C. Coughenour UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the motion to compel by
Defendant St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company (Dkt.
No. 48) and the motions for protective order by Plaintiff
Sunwood Condominium Association (Dkt. Nos. 54, 55). Having
thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the
relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary
and, for the reasons explained herein, DENIES the motion to
compel (Dkt. No. 48) and GRANTS the motions for protective
order (Dkt. Nos. 54, 55).
an insurance dispute. The underlying property is a
condominium building maintained by Plaintiff Sunwood
Condominium Association. (Dkt. No. 1 at 2.) Defendants are
companies that at one time insured the building. (See
Id. at 2-4.)
August 21, 2012, Sunwood hired non-party J2 Building
Consultants to diagnose building leaks and associated damage.
(Dkt. No. 50 at 6.) J2 found high moisture content and water
damage that needed to be repaired. (Id.) On December
2, 2014, J2 prepared a findings report describing hidden
damage from weather conditions. (Dkt. No. 1 at 5; Dkt. No.
52-1 at 1.) On April 20, 2015, J2 prepared a second report
attributing the damage to “wind driven rain
events.” (Dkt. No. 1 at 6; Dkt. No. 52-1 at 6, 9.)
tendered claims to each of the Defendant insurers. (Dkt. No.
1 at 6.) Defendants denied the claims. (See Id. at
29, 2016, Sunwood brought suit, seeking declaratory relief
and damages for breach of contract, insurance bad faith, and
violations of Washington's claim handling standards,
Insurance Fair Conduct Act, and Consumer Protection Act.
(Dkt. No. 1 at 6-12.)
St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company now seeks to
compel J2 to appear at a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition to
testify about the 2014 and 2015 reports. (Dkt. No. 48 at
and J2 oppose this request to the extent that St. Paul seeks
Rule 30(b)(6) testimony about the opinions in the reports, as
opposed to just factual testimony. (See Dkt. No. 55
at 2.) Sunwood and J2 assert that no current J2 employee has
personal knowledge as to the opinions in the reports, but
that Kris Eggert-the former J2 employee who prepared the
reports-will testify as an expert witness. (Dkt. No. 61 at
1-2.) Sunwood also seeks a protective order as to (1) the
timing of Eggert's deposition, postponing it until after
he has produced his expert report and (2) the scope of
J2's Rule 30(b)(6) deposition, limiting it to factual
testimony and narrowing the categories in St. Paul's
subpoena. (Dkt. No. 54 at 1; Dkt. No. 55 at 1-2.)
may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that
is relevant to any party's claim or defense and
proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). The Court has broad discretion to decide whether to
compel disclosure of discovery. Phillips ex rel. Estates
of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211
(9th Cir. 2002).
motion for a protective order, the Court “may, for good
cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). District courts are
vested with broad discretion in determining whether a
protective order is appropriate and, if so, what degree of
protection is warranted. Seattle Times Co. v.
Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984).