United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON COMMERCE WEST INSURANCE COMPANY'S MOTION
TO LIFT STAY ENTERED AT ECF 32
J. Bryan, United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Lift Stay Entered at ECF 32 (“Motion to Lift
Stay”). Dkt. 33. The Court is familiar with the records
and files herein and all documents filed in support of and in
opposition to the motion.
reasons stated below, the Motion to Lift Stay (Dkt. 33)
should be denied.
October 11, 2018, Plaintiff Commerce West Insurance Company
(“Commerce West”) filed a complaint in this case
seeking declaratory relief and an order that it has no duty
to defend or indemnify Defendant George Allen (“Dr.
Allen”) under a homeowners insurance policy with
respect to the claims of Defendant Mary Roe (“Ms.
Roe”) in the underlying civil case against Dr. Allen.
Mary Roe v. George S. Allen, et. al., Circuit Court
of Oregon for Multnomah County, No. 18CV23757, Second Amended
Complaint for Sexual Assault and Battery; Medical Negligence;
Medical Battery; and Negligence. Dkts. 1; 12-6; and 16. There
is also an underlying criminal case pending against Dr.
Allen. State of Oregon v. George Solomon Allen,
Circuit Court of Oregon for Washington County, No. 18CR40525;
instant case, on November 28, 2018, Commerce West filed a
motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 11. On December 17, 2018,
Dr. Allen filed a motion to stay proceedings until resolution
of the underlying civil and criminal cases. Dkt. 15.
Court granted, in part, and denied, in part, Dr. Allen's
motion to stay proceedings. Dkt. 32. The Court held that a
stay until judgment is entered in the underlying criminal
case should be granted, and that a stay until resolution of
the underlying civil case should not be granted. Dkt. 32.
Additionally, the Court held that Commerce West's motion
for summary judgment should be stricken, to be renoted, if
appropriate, after the stay is lifted. Dkt. 32.
March 28, 2019, Commerce West filed the Motion to Lift Stay.
Dkt. 33. Commerce West argues that the stay should be lifted
because of three changes in circumstances:
1. The court in the underlying criminal case granted a motion
to continue filed by Dr. Allen, rescheduling the trial date
from April 23, 2019, to July 9, 2019; the order also notes
that “NO FURTHER CONTINUANCES”
are permitted. Dkt. 34-3 (emphasis in original).
2. On February 14, counsel for Ms. Roe mailed an allegedly
time-limited demand letter to Commerce West “mak[ing] a
clear and unequivocal demand for [a redacted amount of money]
under Dr. Allen's Commerce West homeowner's insurance
policy” “in connection with injuries she
sustained as the result of an incident involving Dr. George
Allen on July 21, 2016.” Dkt. 34-4.
3. Two additional civil lawsuits have been filed against Dr.
Allen, for which Commerce West is now, under a reservation of
rights, defending Dr. Allen. Dkt. 33, at 2-3; Gregory v.
Allen and NU U Laser Centers, PLLC, Circuit Court of
Oregon for Multnomah County, No. 18CV45179, First Amended
Complaint (alleging Negligence, Medical Negligence, and
Assault & Battery) (Dkt. 34-5); Okel v. Allen; NU U
Laser Centers, PLLC; Northwest Asthma Allergy Center, P.C.;
and George Allen Living Trust, Circuit Court of Oregon
for Multnomah County, No. 19CV04712, Complaint (alleging
Abuse of a Vulnerable Person, Battery, Assault, Negligence,
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Fraudulent
Conveyance) (Dkt. 34-6).
West maintains that Dr. Allen's homeowners insurance
policy “in no way covers the alleged sexual assaults or
his alleged medical malpractice.” Dkt. 33, at 3.
Commerce West argues that “Defendants Allen and Roe are
taking advantage of this Court's issuance of a stay
…. The Continued stay in the instant matter should be
lifted because the stay is prejudicing Commerce West.”
Dkt. 33, at 1. Commerce West also reiterates that the Court
should have applied the Pipeline factors in its
Order on Motion to Stay and Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt.
argue that the changes in circumstances described above do
not warrant lifting the stay and that the Motion to Lift Stay
amounts to a belated and untimely motion for reconsideration
that should be denied. Dkts. 36; and 37.
this opinion discusses Defendants' argument that the
Motion to Lift Stay amounts to an untimely motion for
reconsideration. Second, it discusses the Motion to Lift Stay
on the merits. Third, the Court briefly discusses the
applicability of the Pipeline factors. Finally, the
Court presents its conclusions and issues its order on the
Motion to Lift Stay.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION?
[LCR 7](h) Motions for Reconsideration
(1) Standard. Motions for reconsideration are
disfavored. The court will ordinarily deny such motions in
the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior
ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which
could not have been brought to its attention earlier with
(2) Procedure and Timing. A motion for
reconsideration shall be plainly labeled as such. The motion
shall be filed within fourteen days after the order to which
it relates is filed. The motion shall be noted for
consideration for the day it is filed. The motion shall point
out with specificity the matters which the movant believes
were overlooked or misapprehended by the court, any new
matters being brought to the court's attention for the
first time, and the particular modifications being sought in
the court's prior ruling. Failure to comply with this