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Banks v. Meier

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

October 30, 2017

LEONARDO BANKS, ET AL.
v.
REAH RUSSELL MEIER, ET AL.

          ORDER

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendants Reah Russell Meier; Turo, Inc.; and Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers, LLC's (“Movants”) Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 17) filed on October 2, 2017. The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 20).

         I. Background

         On January 20, 2016, Leonardo Banks and Maya Banks, individually and on behalf of their minor child (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), initiated this action in state court, alleging that Mr. Banks and the defendant Reah Russel Meier were involved in an automobile accident on July 24, 2015. (R. Doc. 1-1 at 1-4). Plaintiffs named as a defendant GEICO Casualty Company (“GEICO”) in light of their uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) insurance policy numbered 4321665624. (R. Doc. 1-1 at 3). Plaintiffs seek recovery for medical and related expenses; physical injury; physical pain and suffering; mental anguish and distress; loss of earnings/loss of earning capacity; loss of enjoyment of life; and other damages to be shown at trial. (R. Doc. 1-1 at 2).

         On December 7, 2016, Plaintiffs initiated another action in state court alleging that Mr. Banks was involved in a subsequent accident on January 19, 2016. (R. Doc. 17-3). Plaintiffs named GEICO as a defendant in the subsequent action in light of the same UM insurance policy. (R. Doc. 17-3 at 3).

         On January 9, 2017, the defendants RelayRides, Inc., SuperKarma, Inc. and Nautilus Insurance Company removed the instant action to this Court alleging that the Court has diversity jurisdiction over the action. (R. Doc. 1).

         On January 17, 2017, Nautilus Insurance Company filed an Answer. (R. Doc. 5). Among other things, it raises the affirmative defense that the injuries and/or damages sustained by Plaintiffs resulted from “intervening or superseding causes” for which it cannot be held responsible. (R. Doc. 5 at 4).

         On January 31, 2017, GEICO filed an Answer. (R. Doc. 7). Among other things, it raises the affirmative defense that the damages sustained by Plaintiffs “were caused in whole or in part by a superseding or intervening cause or accident” for which it cannot be held responsible. (R. Doc. 7 at 4).

         On July 24, 2017, Movants served a subpoena duces tecum on GEICO, seeking production of the following documents:

A certified and complete copy of the claims file including all notes correspondence, emails, reports, settlement demands, photographs, repair estimates, appraisals, police reports, receipts, medical records, pleadings, statements and other documentation maintained and/or in the possession of Geico Casualty Company with regard to LEONARDO BANKS . . . . This request specifically includes, but is not limited to, the complete file for Case No. 653622 filed in the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge and captioned “Leonardo M. Banks, Sr., et al vs. Geico Casualty Company”, policy number 4321665624.

(R. Doc. 17-4; R. Doc. 17-5).

         On July 25, 2017, GEICO's counsel sent an e-mail to Movants' counsel objecting to the subpoena on the following bases: “overbroad, irrelevant, and may seek privileged information created in anticipation of litigation, work product, and attorney client communications.” (R. Doc. 17-6). Movants and GEICO then discussed compliance with the subpoena over the course of two months. (R. Docs. 17-7, 17-8, 17-9).

         On September 27, 2017, GEICO provided a formal objection and response, reiterating its objections of overbreadth, irrelevance, and privilege. (R. Doc. 17-10). Notwithstanding these objections, GEICO produced (1) “Adjuster log notes from first notice of loss (1/28/16) to receipt of lawsuit (1/13/17) (pp. 41-57)” and (2) “[Plaintiffs' counsel's] correspondence to GEICO dated 1/4/17.” (R. Doc. 17-11 at 2).

         On September 30, 2017, Movants' counsel sent an e-mail to GEICO's counsel responding to the objections and requested that GEICO supplement its response to the subpoena and provide a privilege ...


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