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Stewart v. Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

September 8, 2017

LUKE STEWART, et al, Plaintiffs,
v.
BROTHERHOOD MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Frank H. McCarthy United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff's Second Motion to Compel Discovery, [Dkt. 52], is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for decision. The matter has been fully briefed, [Dkt. 52, 59, 67], and is ripe for decision.

         Plaintiffs were injured in a roll over accident in a church van. Defendant insured the van for liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM), and medical payments (med-pay). Plaintiffs were insureds under the UM and med-pay coverages. Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant violated its duty of good faith and fair dealing toward them with respect to the handling of their claims for UM coverage under the applicable policy.

         Plaintiffs seek an order compelling answers to the following discovery requests:

INTERROGATORY NO. 11: Describe your procedures for communicating the information on your website - particularly the safety related information - to your insureds
INTERROGATORY NO. 12: Identify all individuals and/or entities that write the material on your website, including but not limited to the Deacon's Bench publication.
INTERROGATORY NO. 13: Describe the procedure for selecting the topics for inclusion on your website.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 22: Produce all claim files handled by Terri Christner in which either Rodney Stewart or the law firm of Durbin Larimore & Bialick has been retained. This request includes but is not limited to the cases referenced by Mrs. Christner during her deposition. For purposes of this Request for Production, personal identification of the claimants/insureds may be redacted.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 24: Produce the complete liability claim file for each of the Plaintiffs' claims.

[Dkt. 52, pp. 10-12].

         Interrogatory Nos. 11, 12, and 13

         Defendant objects to the interrogatories on the basis that the requested information and material concerning its website is not relevant to any matter at issue. Plaintiffs argue that the website materials warn and educate Defendant's insureds about various safety topics and risk management issues related to church ministries, including dangers of 15 passenger vans like the one involved in this case and dry rot in old tires on infrequently driven vehicles. According to Plaintiffs, these materials demonstrate Defendant's knowledge of the topic and provide a template for what Defendant should have considered in investigating their claim which involved a fifteen passenger van with old tires.

         Plaintiffs' discovery requests do not concern the content of the website. Instead, the requests seek information about procedures for communicating the information on the website, the identity of the authors of the content, and how the content is selected. None of these topics is relevant to Plaintiffs' claims. The motion to compel is denied as to Interrogatories Nos. 11, 12, and 13.

         Request For ...


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