Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Cooley

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

January 6, 2017

GRAIN DEALERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLAINTIFF
v.
TAMMY COOLEY, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          MICHAEL T. PARKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Amend Scheduling Order [38], Defendants' Motion to Compel [43], and Plaintiff's Motion to Strike [51]. Having considered the parties' submissions, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that Defendants' Motion to Amend Scheduling Order [38] should be granted in part and denied in part, Defendants' Motion to Compel [43] should be granted in part and denied in part, and that Plaintiff's Motion to Strike [51] should be denied.

         In this declaratory judgment action, Plaintiff Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Company seeks a declaration that its policy with the Defendants precludes coverage for third-party claims relating to a gasoline leak that occurred at the Defendants' gas station. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that the policy's pollution exclusion precludes coverage for claims relating to the leeching of gasoline into the soil and/or water on neighboring landowners' properties.

         Motion to Compel [43]

         On November 9, 2016, Defendants served interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions on Plaintiff. See Notices [25] [26] [27]. On December 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed their discovery responses. See Notice [34]. The parties had disagreements over several discovery requests and responses, and on December 21, 2016, the Court conducted a discovery conference with the parties to discuss their disagreements. The parties were unable to resolve their disputes, and the Court set an expedited briefing schedule for any discovery motions. See Order [42].

         On December 27, 2016, Defendants filed their Motion to Compel [43]. According to the Motion, the parties were disputing more than twenty discovery requests. After the Motion was filed, however, the parties were able to resolve many of their disputes. See Response [48]; Rebuttal [50]. Currently, six discovery requests remain in dispute.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) provides that:

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweights it likely benefits.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). This Rule also specifies that “[i]nformation within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.” Id. The discovery rules are accorded a broad and liberal treatment to achieve their purpose of adequately informing litigants in civil trials. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979). “It is well established that the scope of discovery is within the sound discretion of the trial court.” Freeman v. United States, 566 F.3d 326, 341 (5th Cir. 2009).

         In each of the discovery requests which remain in dispute, Defendants are attempting to gather information concerning how Plaintiff has previously handled claims involving gasoline leaks and whether Plaintiff has consistently characterized gasoline as a pollutant.

Interrogatory No. 4: Have you ever been party to any other similar lawsuit or declaratory actions where the subject of the lawsuit was coverage related to a gasoline leak at an insured's property? If so, please state the style, cause number, and place of filing of any such lawsuit, or other applicable claim.
Interrogatory No. 5: Identify all claims, lawsuits, or other actions where Grain Dealers has taken the position that a claim is excluded from coverage under its policy because the claim arises from a gas leak at a service station.
Interrogatory No. 8: With respect to each person who had any role whatsoever in working on or adjusting insurance claims for damages sustained to property as a ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.