United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
TOM GLASPIE, an individual; and SK1, LLC, a Washington limited liability company, Plaintiffs,
AMERICAN MODERN SELECT INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign insurer, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT AMERICAN MODERN SELECT
INSURANCE COMPANY'S MOTION SEEKING BIFURCATION AND STAY
OF BAD FAITH AND EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL DISCOVERY
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant American Modern
Select Insurance Company's (“American
Modern”) Motion Seeking Bifurcation and Stay of Bad
Faith and Extra-Contractual Discovery (“Motion to
Bifurcate”). Dkt. 25. The court is fully apprised and
has considered the motion, documents filed in support and
opposition thereto, and the remaining record herein.
reasons set forth below, the Court should deny American
Modern's Motion to Bifurcate (Dkt. 25).
case is an insurance coverage dispute. Dkt. 1 Plaintiffs have
also brought a claim under the Washington Insurance Fair
Conduct Act (“IFCA”), which allows an insured who
has been unreasonably denied a claim for coverage or payment
due under an insurance policy to recover additional damages
and fees. Dkt. 1; RCW 48.30.015.
Modern issued a policy insuring Plaintiff's duplex. Dkt.
14-3. Apparently, wind damaged the roof, allowing rain to
enter and damage the duplex. Plaintiffs allege that they
“incurred an expense of $25, 947.43 to protect [the]
property against further loss, $98.457.73 to repair the rain
damage to the property, and $26, 229.46 to install
improvements to undamaged portions of the duplex in order to
bring the property up to current code[, and] $21, 850.00 in
lost rental income ” Dkt. 30, at 2.
Modern apparently agreed that the loss was covered by the
policy, but that it was subject to a $20, 000.00 water damage
sublimit under the policy. Dkt. 14-35. American Modern paid
Plaintiffs $20, 000.00. Plaintiffs believe coverage is not
limited by the $20, 000.00 sublimit and argue additional
coverage under the policy is owed by American Modern.
filed this lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court, removed
by American Modern to this Court. Dkt. 1.
16, 2019, American Modern filed the instant Motion to
Bifurcate. Dkt. 25. On June 17, 2019, Plaintiffs responded in
opposition to the instant Motion to Bifurcate. Dkt. 30. On
June 21, 2019, American Modern replied in support of its
instant Motion to Bifurcate. Dkt. 32.
REQUEST TO BIFURCATE
Modern “requests that this court bifurcate the
insurance contract coverage issues in this lawsuit from the
Washington Insurance Fair Conduct (‘IFCA') claim
brought by Plaintiffs Tom Glaspie and SKI, LLC, and that it
stay discovery and trial on the IFCA claim until resolution
of the coverage issues.” Dkt. 25, 1.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide, in part:
Separate Trials. For convenience, to avoid
prejudice, or to expedite and economize, the court may order
a separate trial of one or more separate issues, claims,
crossclaims, counterclaims, or third-party claims. When
ordering a separate trial, the ...