In this matter, the carrier produced redacted documents from the claims file along with a privilege log. The Plaintiff filed a motion seeking an Order requiring that certain redacted portions of State Farm's privilege log to be revealed. The Plaintiff claimed, in part, that could not confirm whether the portions redacted by the carrier did constitute privileged information.
|Judge Robert D. Mariani|
In ruling that the redacted portions need not be disclosed, the court noted that a hypothetical suggestion that representations made by a duly licensed attorney and officer of this court could be found to be utter fabrications is insufficient to carry plaintiff's burden in overcoming the privilege,.
The court also rejected the Plaintiff’s request for an in camera review of the redacted portions by the court to confirm the propriety of the redactions by defense counsel.
Judge Mariani otherwise provided instruction in his decision on the extent to which the post-Complaint mental impressions of a claims representative may be discoverable in a bad faith claim. Concisely, Judge Mariani held that the mere existence of a bad faith claim in a Complaint “does not make otherwise privileged information per se discoverable.”
Rather, a party seeking such discovery must meet its burden of persuading the court that such documents are not protected from discovery under the particular facts of the case.
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