United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
JAMES R. KNAPP, Plaintiff,
WEST BEND MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY and AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Rodovich, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the court on the Motion to Reconsider [DE
27] filed by the plaintiff, James R. Knapp, on February 12,
2019. For the following reasons, the motion is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
plaintiff, James R. Knapp, initiated this matter against the
defendant, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, for
underinsured motorist benefits under a West Bend policy of
insurance. The claim was based on injuries he sustained in a
motor vehicle accident. Knapp has alleged breach of contract,
bad faith, and oppressive misconduct against the defendants.
propounded requests for production of documents on West Bend.
He requested “a complete copy of the insurance or
investigative claim file developed by agents of the defendant
including, but not limited to all claim files, notes
memoranda, and evaluations”; “all claims
management system documents generated by the defendant
relating to the claim”; and “all claims
management electronic files generated by the defendant
relating to this claim.” In response to the requests
for production, West Bend asserted the work-product
privilege, the attorney-client privilege, and the
insurer-insured privilege. West Bend provided a privilege log
for reference. However, the privilege log did not contain the
dates that the withheld documents were created.
filed a motion to compel on January 4, 2019, requesting that
the court order West Bend to identify the dates that the
documents contained in its privilege log were created, to
produce any such documents contained within the privilege log
that pre-dated the initiation of litigation, and to produce a
surveillance video. West Bend served an amended privilege log
on January 9, 2019. West Bend provided proof of service with
the court. Since Knapp did not file a reply, the court
construed West Bend's notice as an indication that it had
complied with Knapp's requests.
filed the instant motion requesting the court to reconsider
its order denying the motion to compel as moot. Knapp has
indicated that West Bend has not provided the documents that
were created prior to the initiation of this lawsuit or the
surveillance video that he requested in his motion to compel.
West Bend filed a response in opposition on February 22,
2019, and Knapp filed a reply on February 27, 2019.
they are frequently filed, the Court of Appeals has described
a motion for reconsideration as “a motion that,
strictly speaking, does not exist under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure.” Hope v. United States, 43
F.3d 1140, 1142 n.2 (7th Cir. 1994); see Talano v.
Northwestern Med. Faculty Found., Inc., 273 F.3d 757,
760 n.1 (7th Cir. 2001). This type of motion “is a
request that the [Court] reexamine its decision in light of
additional legal arguments, a change of law, or perhaps an
argument or aspect of the case which was overlooked.”
Ahmed v. Ashcroft, 388 F.3d 247, 249 (7th Cir. 2004)
(internal quotation omitted); see Seng-Tiong Ho v.
Taflove, 648 F.3d 489, 505 (7th Cir. 2011) (explaining
that a court can amend its judgment only if the petitioner
can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present newly
discovered evidence) (citing Obriecht v. Raemisch,
517 F.3d 489, 494 (7th Cir. 2008); United States v.
Ligas, 549 F.3d 497, 501 (7th Cir. 2008) (“A
district court may reconsider a prior decision when there has
been a significant change in the law or facts since the
parties presented the issue to the court, when the court
misunderstands a party's arguments, or when the court
overreaches by deciding an issue not properly before
it.”). In Frietsch v. Refco, Inc., 56 F.3d 825
(7th Cir. 1995), the Court of Appeals did not question the
availability of a motion to reconsider but stated:
It is not the purpose of allowing motions for reconsideration
to enable a party to complete presenting his case after the
court has ruled against him. Were such a procedure to be
countenanced, some lawsuits really might never end, rather
than just seeming endless.
56 F.3d at 828; see Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224
F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (“A party may not use a
motion for reconsideration to introduce new evidence that
could have been presented earlier.”); Divane v.
Krull Electric Co., 194 F.3d 845, 850 (7th Cir. 1999);
LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 49 F.3d
1263, 1267 (7th Cir. 1995). Ultimately, a motion for
reconsideration is an “extraordinary remedy to be
employed sparingly in the interests of finality and
conservation of scarce judicial resources.” Global
View Ltd. Venture Capital v. Great Central Basin
Exploration, 288 F.Supp.2d 482, 483 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)
(internal quotation omitted).
Bend has indicated that Knapp sustained injuries on June 6,
2012, while driving his employer's truck when another
vehicle pulled out of a gas station directly in front of him.
Knapp received $25, 000.00, the insurance policy limit, in an
action against the tortfeasor. Knapp filed a claim against
his employer for workers' compensation benefits on
November 27, 2012. Thereafter, on March 1, 2013 Knapp's
attorney at the time sent written notice indicating
Knapp's intention to make a claim for underinsured
motorist policy benefits under the West Bend policy.
Bend asserts that as of March 1, 2013, it was placed on
notice of an existing articulable claim likely to lead to
litigation. Thus, any documentation produced after that date
was protected under the work-product privilege. However,
Knapp contends that the documents withheld prior to the
initiation of litigation were prepared in the ordinary course
of West Bend's business of investigating and evaluating
his claim, and therefore are discoverable.
work product doctrine is codified in Federal Rule of