American Economy Insurance Company, a Safeco subsidiary, takes different positions on appraisal and litigation in Texas. While American Economy refused to abate discovery in a matter I am litigating, it unsuccessfully argued to abate formal litigation discovery in another case, Tran v. Am. Econ. Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66283 (S.D. Tex. July 2, 2010).
Last week, the federal District Court ruled that discovery would continue in the litigation and while the appraisal was still pending:
The abatement sought here would be contrary to the cardinal principle of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that cases be administered "to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." FED. R. CIV. P. 1; see 5C, WRIGHT & MILLER, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 1360, at 78 (3d ed. 2004) ("[A]lthough a given motion might raise a valid point, unless its determination would have the effect of promoting ‘the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination’ of the action as mandated by Rule 1, the district court should probably deny the application and thereby avoid any delay."). Because the parties have until March 1, 2011 to complete discovery, this case need not be held hostage while the parties engage in the appraisal process.. (emphasis added)
You can bet that the policyholder attorneys in Tran will have the benefit of internal Safeco claims directives we obtained as a result of my large case against Safeco.