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Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

March 9, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS AIRPORT AUTHORITY, Plaintiff,
v.
TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA, Defendant.

ORDER

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

Presently pending before the Court is Defendant Travelers Property Casualty Company of America's ("Travelers") Objection to the Magistrate Judge's December 23, 2014 Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff Indianapolis Airport Authority's ("IAA") Motion to Compel, [Filing No. 90], and IAA's Motion for Leave to File a Surreply, [Filing No. 114]. For the reasons explained, Travelers' objection is OVERRULED and IAA's motion is DENIED.

I.

BACKGROUND

This suit involves a dispute regarding insurance coverage. IAA, the insured party, brought this suit against its insurer, Travelers, for coverage of its claim relating to the collapse of temporary shoring towers used in the construction of IAA's new midfield terminal project. IAA alleges that Travelers breached the insurance contract and seeks a declaratory judgment regarding its coverage under the insurance policy. Further background facts are detailed only to the extent necessary to rule on the parties' objection and motion.

IAA filed a Motion to Compel on September 9, 2014. [Filing No. 67.] It sought to compel Travelers to produce several categories of documents listed on Travelers' August 2, 2014 Second Amended Privilege Log ("Second Privilege Log"). Specifically, IAA sought the following categories of documents: (1) those withheld on the basis of work product; (2) those withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege for discussion of "coverage issues"; (3) those withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege, but where Travelers' in-house counsel was not acting as an attorney; (4) subrogation documents; and (5) those reflecting the reserve amounts. [Filing No. 67.]

The Magistrate Judge granted in part and denied in part IAA's Motion to Compel. [Filing No. 88.] As to the documents withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege, the Magistrate Judge determined that there was insufficient information on Travelers' Second Privilege Log to determine whether the withholding of those documents was proper. [Filing No. 88 at 2-5.] Travelers was therefore ordered to supplement its Second Privilege Log to more thoroughly describe the documents deemed privileged, and the parties were ordered to "meet and confer in an effort to resolve these outstanding discovery requests." [Filing No. 88 at 5.] The Magistrate Judge ordered production of the subrogation documents, [Filing No. 88 at 5-6], but denied IAA's motion with respect to the documents reflecting reserve amounts, [Filing No. 88 at 11-14]. Finally, with respect to the documents withheld as work product, the Magistrate Judge determined that Travelers anticipated litigation only from August 17, 2012 onward, and thus documents before this date could not be withheld as work product. [Filing No. 88 at 7-11.]

Travelers filed the instant objection to the Magistrate Judge's Order. [Filing No. 90.] As discussed below, Travelers objects to two portions of the Magistrate Judge's Order.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a) provides that the Court must consider timely objections to a magistrate judge's decision on a nondispositive motion, and modify or set aside any part of a magistrate judge's order "found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law." See also 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(A) (providing that the district court can reconsider any pretrial matter decided by a magistrate judge where it has been shown that a magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law). "The clear error standard means that the district court can overturn the magistrate judge's ruling only if [it] is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made." Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., Ltd., 126 F.3d 926, 943 (7th Cir. 1997). A magistrate judge's decision regarding whether to compel discovery is considered nondispositive, so the clear error standard applies. See Crouse Cartage Co. v. Nat'l Warehouse Inv. Co., 2003 WL 21254617, *1 (S.D. Ind. 2003) (entry on motion to compel discovery is a nondispositive matter).

III.

DISCUSSION

A. IAA's Motion for Leave to ...


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