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Fountain v. Farmers Insurance Exchange

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Eastern Division

December 3, 2014

REGINALD M. FOUNTAIN, JR., d/b/a Eastbrook Apartments, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE and MARYLAND CASUALTY COMPANY, a Maryland corporation, Defendants.

ORDER

KIMBERLY A. SWANK, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the court on the following motions:

1. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery Responses [DE #32];
2. Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order from Plaintiff's Request for Additional Depositions [DE #52];
3. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (re: Plaintiff's Multiple Discovery Requests) [DE #73 and #110];
4. Plaintiff's Motion to Extend Discovery [DE #75];
5. Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order from Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Notices Regarding Responses to Requests for Admission [DE #81];
6. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendant to Provide Better Responses to First Request for Admissions [DE #89]; and
7. Defendants' Motion to Extend Expert Disclosures and Subsequent Deadlines Pending Ruling on Pending Discovery Motions [DE #106].

The parties have fully briefed the issues. A hearing was held on December 1, 2014, at which the court heard the arguments of counsel and announced its rulings on the aforesaid motions. For the reasons stated in open court, which are incorporated herein by reference, the court enters the orders set forth herein.

BACKGROUND

Following Hurricane Irene in August 2011, Plaintiff filed an insurance claim for damages to commercial property covered under his policy with Defendant Maryland Casualty Company ("Maryland Casualty"). Following resolution of Plaintiff's claim, Plaintiff filed this action in state court asserting claims for unfair claims handling and bad faith adjustment of Plaintiff's claim. Defendants subsequently removed the action to this court.

DISCUSSION

A. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel [DE #32]

This motion was previously the subject of a hearing held on September 19, 2014. As a result of that hearing, the court entered a temporary, non-prejudicial protective order and ordered Defendants to review their discovery responses and to make such further or supplemental response as may be appropriate. ( See Order at DE #104.) Defendants have since made additional disclosures, but Plaintiff seeks to compel further response to the following requests contained in Plaintiff's First Request for Production of Documents: #35 (seeking Maryland Casualty's "claims files relating to every reported hurricane in the State of North Carolina" from 2011 through 2012); #36 (for certain personnel records and information concerning "claims' handling personnel, adjusters and supervisors involved with [Plaintiff's] claim"); and #37 (requesting copies of personnel or Human Resources manuals for Maryland Casualty's "first party real property and/or hurricane claims' handling personnel, adjusters and supervisors for the State of North Carolina from 2009 through 2012").

With respect to this motion, the court hereby ORDERS Defendants to produce the following to Plaintiff within twenty-one (21) days:

1. With regard to request #35, Defendants shall provide claims summaries or such other documentation indicating the following as to each commercial hurricane catastrophe claim made from 2011 through 2012:
a. Date of loss;
b. The amount claimed, if applicable;
c. The amount(s) and date(s) of any payments made on the claim;
d. How the claim was resolved ( e.g., settlement, litigation);
e. Whether any experts were retained to assist in resolution of the claim; and
f. The loss ratio, if tracked by Defendants.
2. In response to request #36, Defendants shall produce documentation of the following information with respect to Nathaniel Brown ...

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