Plaintiff does not have carte blanche in the discovery process (and Plaintiff’s thoroughness in the pursuit of information may not equate to discoverability), but at the same time Defendant should not unilaterally determine that certain material is restricted.
Judge Senter’s Order granted the Bossier’s motion in part and modified Magistrate Judge Walker’s order in part. However, what he means by, “The issues in this case appear to be no different from those in other typical Hurricane Katrina lawsuits” is very different from what a good many others would mean by those same words – and that part confounds the total impact of the Order.
For example, when Judge Senter repeats and expands on this position again later, he states:
In light of the Court’s observation that this case is no different from other Hurricane Katrina insurance litigation, the remainder of Plaintiff’s discovery requests are overly broad…
Yet, what he sees as “overly broad,” others might see as merely scratching the surface :
“meetings [and other events] of any description”; documents (and other items) “of any sort whatsoever” related, inter alia, to handling “Hurricane Katrina claims” and “wind vs. water claims”; and the handling of NFIP claims (when there was no flood insurance in this case)…
Likewise, what he sees as unreasonable, some would say is the only reasonable way to discover why the typical Hurricane Katrina insurance lawsuit includes property near the water with no flood insurance:
…the Magistrate Judge required State Farm “to produce those documents containing [Defendant’s] directives, guidelines, policies and procedures for handling Hurricane Katrina claims in general or Plaintiff’s claim specifically.” Anything beyond, including the formulation of those directives, guidelines, policies, and procedures, is unreasonable.
However, the modification Judge Senter made was to a portion of Walker’s Order that was in dire need of correction: Continue reading “Judge Senter modifies Magistrate’s Order in part – Bossier v State Farm”