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Providence Health and Services v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London

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

November 1, 2019

PROVIDENCE HEALTH AND SERVICES, a Washington non-profit corporation; and SWEDISH HEALTH SERVICES, a Washington non-profit corporation, Plaintiffs,




         Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 16(b)(5)(ii), Plaintiffs Providence Health and Services and Swedish Health Services (“Providence”) and Defendants Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, Syndicate 2623/623 (Beazley) and Federal Insurance Company (collectively “Insurers”) respectfully submit this second Stipulated Motion to Modify the Case Schedule and Continue the Trial Date. The case is currently set for trial on April 6, 2020, and has been previously continued once. The parties seek a 70-day continuance to set a new trial date on or after June 15, 2020.

         A. The Underlying Action

         This is an insurance coverage dispute arising from an underlying action brought against Providence by Dr. David W. Newell, alleging age discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract. The matter proceeded to arbitration. The arbitrator issued an award against Providence on August 18, 2017 in excess of $17 million and subsequently awarded attorneys' fees that raised the award above $18 million.

         The award was appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, Division I. In June 2019, the Court of Appeals affirmed the award. Newell v. Providence Health & Servs., 2019 WL 2578679 (Wash. App. June 24, 2019) (unpublished). The Underlying Action has now concluded, with a satisfaction of judgment entered in the trial court and a mandate issued by the Court of Appeals.

         B. The Present Matter

         Providence purchased insurance policies from the Insurers. Providence contends there is coverage for the underlying claims. The Insurers contend that there is no coverage for the underlying claims.

         Providence filed this action on March 1, 2018 in King County Superior Court. Dkt. No. 1-2. The Insurers removed the case to this Court on April 4, 2018. Dkt. No. 1. The parties submitted a joint status report and discovery plan, in which they proposed different methods to efficiently resolve this case. Dkt. No. 31. Per the parties' suggestions, and the Court's approval of a stipulated schedule, the parties completed briefing of early cross-motions for summary judgment on August 28, 2018. Dkt. No. 55.

         While the cross-motions were pending, the parties participated in mediation, but they were unable to resolve the dispute. Dkt. No. 56. Thereafter, in January 2019, the Court ruled on the cross-motions, granted Providence's motion and denying defendants' motions. Dkt. No. 61.

         The parties have engaged in written discovery and document production, which has involved a substantial volume of documents, including ESI. The parties issued expert reports under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2) on October 9, 2019. The current deadline for rebuttal reports is November 8, 2019. Dkt. No. 65.

         Many of the RFPs addressed to Providence seek documents generated by Providence in the course of defending itself in the underlying arbitration. In part due to the pending appeal, Providence invoked the attorney-client privilege, work-product doctrine, or both, as to a large portion of the responsive documents. Through the meet-and-confer process, the parties have reached agreement as to the production of such documents, and Providence is in the process of preparing them for production. This resolution was made possible in large part by the final conclusion of the Underlying Action (discussed above), which did not come until August 2019. The parties are agreed that they will require additional time to review the forthcoming substantial production of additional documents. Further, the parties refrained from conducting fact depositions until the privilege issues were resolved, and accordingly no depositions yet have occurred. Finally, although the parties have exchanged opening expert reports, their experts too will need to review and consider the use of the formerly withheld documents.[1]

         As a result of the foregoing events, the parties agree that, although they have diligently pursued discovery in this case, the remaining discovery cannot reasonably be completed before the existing discovery cutoff of December 9. The parties therefore join in seeking a modest continuance of the trial ...

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