Monday, December 7, 2020

Deposition of Corporate Designee of Insurance Company Allowed; But Scope of Deposition Limited by Court

In the case of Evanina v. The First Liberty Ins. Corp., No. 3:20-CV-00751 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2020 Saporito, M.J.), the court granted in part and denied in part a Motion for a Protective Order field by the Defendant, The First Liberty Insurance Corporation, relative to the Plaintiff’s desire to complete a deposition of a corporate designee of the insurance company on issues related to the regular use exclusion. 

After reviewing the rules of discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, which also covers the standards for a Motion for a Protective Order, Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr., narrowed the scope of the requested corporate designee deposition to only cover those issues set forth in the Plaintiff’s Complaint.

The court also noted that the deposition of the corporate designee was allowed in a breach of contract claim that did not include a statutory bad faith claim given that there is also a duty of good faith and fair dealing imposed under an insurance contract which could be a part of a breach of contract action.

Given that the regular use exclusion was being relied upon by the carrier as a potential defense, the court ordered that this area of inquiry under the corporate designee deposition would be allowed.

However, other requested areas to be reviewed, as noted in the deposition notice, such as questions pertaining to the household exclusion, the family car exclusion, and the unlisted driver exclusion were precluded as irrelevant to the issues presented in this particular case.

In its decision, the court also rejected the carrier’s contention that the requested deposition was disproportionate to the needs of discovery in the case. After reviewing the factors pertinent to this inquiry, the court agreed with the Plaintiff’s arguments on this part of the issue.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this Order and Decision by the United States Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr., may click this LINK.

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