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Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co.

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

July 2, 2015

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

ORDER ON MOTION TO RECONSIDER

TIM A. BAKER, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Travelers' motion to correct, clarify, or reconsider the April 7, 2015, order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff IAA's motion to compel.[1] Travelers takes issue with the Court's order that Travelers produce its Best Practices Manual and portions of its underwriting guidelines. For the reasons set forth below, Travelers' motion to reconsider [Filing No. 145] is granted in part and denied in part.

A motion to reconsider serves a limited function. It is not a vehicle to again advance arguments already rejected by the Court or an occasion to tender new legal theories for the first time. In re August, 1993 Regular Grand Jury (Medical Corp. Subpoena I), 854 F.Supp. 1403, 1407 (S.D. Ind. 1994). Rather, it may be used for instances where the Court has patently misunderstood a party; has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties; or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension. Davis v. Carmel Clay Schools, 286 F.R.D. 411, 412 (S.D. Ind. 2012) (citing Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990)). A motion to reconsider enables the Court "to correct its own error, sparing the parties and the appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate procedures." Demos v. City of Indianapolis, 139 F.Supp.2d 1026, 1027 (S.D. Ind. 2011). With that in mind, the Court takes this opportunity to look at Travelers' new submissions and to alter its earlier decision.

Travelers' seeks to clarify whether it must produce reserves information discussed in its Best Practices Manual. This is due in large part to that fact that the Court previously found reserves information irrelevant. On December 23, 2014, the Court ordered Travelers' loss reserve information be excluded from discovery because IAA failed to assert a bad faith claim against Travelers and such information was not probative of Travelers' opinion on true coverage. [Filing No. 88, at ECF p. 11-12.] Since December 23, 2014, IAA has not amended its complaint to include a bad faith claim nor have the facts of this case otherwise changed such that the Court's reasoning on the issue of reserves would be in error. Thus, consistent with the December 23, 2014, order, any reserves information contained in the Best Practices Manual or underwriting guidelines are excluded from production.

Travelers also requests that the Court reconsider its decision that Travelers produce its Best Practices Manual in its entirety. Travelers asserts that its Best Practices Manual includes information that is not relevant to IAA's insurance policy or litigation. In support of its argument, Travelers submitted in camera its Best Practices Manual from 2007, 2010, and 2013 and also submitted a privilege log including descriptions for each subject it contests. The Court has reviewed the privilege log and in camera manuals. See Crissen v. Gupta, No. 2:12-cv-00355-JMS-WGH, 2014 WL 1414562, at *6 (S.D. Ind. Apr. 14, 2014) ("The Court finds it was clearly erroneous for the Magistrate Judge not to review the documents at issue in camera to assist in analyzing the discovery-related motions."). These documents show that certain subjects are irrelevant to the case at hand, would not lead to discovery of admissible evidence, and thus, are excluded from production.[2]

However, Travelers' privilege log and manuals also include subjects that satisfy the broad discovery standard set forth under Rule 26 and must be produced. This includes subjects identified in Travelers' privilege log as: litigation, appeals, [3] subrogation, sensitive claims, underwriting contacts, certified policy requests, deductibles, claim file analysis, additional resources for notice of loss and assignment, and additional resources for coverage. As the Court reasoned in its April 7 order, relevancy is broadly construed for discovery purposes, and this information may be relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Davis v. Carmel Clay Schools, 286 F.R.D. 411, 412 (S.D. Ind. 2012) (finding motions to reconsider appropriate for errors of apprehension, not of reasoning). Thus, Travelers shall produce Best Practices Manual provisions related to these ten subjects.

Travelers further requests the Court reconsider its decision regarding Travelers' underwriting guidelines. In the April 7 decision, the Court ordered Travelers to produce eighteen provisions that appeared relevant to the matter at issue. [Filing No. 138, at ECF p. 6.] The Court reasoned that it had no way of knowing whether these eighteen provisions contained relevant information because Travelers failed to provide relevant descriptions. Of those eighteen provisions, Travelers contests the production of the coinsurance, reporting, and pricing provisions because these three provisions are not relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. According to Travelers, the coinsurance provision discusses the application of the coinsurance clause and calculation of the coinsurance penalty. The reporting provision refers to a specific modifier that can be added to a Builder's Risk policy related to residential properties, apartments, offices, mercantile, condominium complexes, or other multiple building risks at multiple locations. [Filing No. 146, at ECF p. 11.] Travelers contends that IAA's policy does not include the reporting modifier and there is no coinsurance penalty at issue. A review of these two provisions in camera show that they are irrelevant to the matter at hand and are not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Accordingly, the reporting and coinsurance provisions are excluded from production.

Nevertheless, Travelers' pricing provision must be produced. The pricing provision discusses the determination of the policy premium by use of specified proprietary rate and various deductible credit factors. [Filing No. 146, at ECF p. 10.] Travelers argues that it includes confidential information that if revealed would place it at a competitive disadvantage with its customers. As IAA points out, the parties signed an agreed protective order that would maintain Travelers' pricing provision as confidential and that would only permit IAA to use that information for prosecution, defense, mediation, settlement, trial, or appeal of this case. [Filing No. 161, at ECF p. 9.] Moreover, Travelers' concerns that producing its pricing provision will result in a competitive disadvantage is unfounded. An insurance company does not compete with its customers. Rather, it competes with other insurance agencies. IAA is a former customer, not a competitive agency. Thus, the agreed protective order will sufficiently protect Travelers' interest. Travelers must produce its underwriting pricing provision.

For the foregoing reasons, Travelers' motion to reconsider [Filing No. 145] is granted in part and denied in part. Of the contested provisions contained in its Best Practices Manual privilege log, Travelers shall produce provisions relating to litigation, appeals, subrogation, deductibles, claim file analysis, sensitive claims, underwriting contacts, certified policy requests, additional resources for notice of loss and assignment, and additional resources for coverage. Travelers shall also produce its pricing provision from its underwriting guidelines.


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