If you have been following Hurricane Sandy news, you may already be aware of Judge Brown’s recent November 7th order in Raimey v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company,1 in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) which requires defendants in all Hurricane Sandy cases to provide plaintiffs by December 12th:2
[C]opies of all reports described in CMO 1 not previously produced – plus any drafts, redlines, markups, reports, notes, measurements, photographs and written communications related thereto – prepared, collected or taken by any engineer, adjustor or other agent or contractor affiliated with any defendant, relating to the properties and damage at issue in each and every case, whether such documents are in the possession of defendant or any third party.
Many of the pending EDNY Hurricane Sandy cases are proceeding to mediation per the Court’s Case Management Plan. There are currently 95 mediators available to the parties, who attended Hurricane Sandy mediation training course in May. On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the EDNY entered Case Management Order No. 12 (CMO #12) where it ordered the following process for selecting mediators:
The parties shall request a mediator by sending an e-mail to NYED-SANDYMED@ nyed.uscourts.gov, indicating the period of time in which they wish to schedule a mediation. These emails will be distributed to the entire panel of mediators. Mediators who are available during the requested time period will then respond directly to the parties. The parties are expected to select one of the available mediators and work with that mediator to schedule the mediation at a date and time convenient to all. Failure to select a mediator will result in one being selected by the Court.
CMO #12 also serves as a reminder to plaintiffs and defendants of the requirements of the Raimey Order, and encouraged the parties not to delay the mediation process just because they are awaiting the production of documents pursuant to the Raimey Order:3
The Committee has been advised that parties have been cancelling previously scheduled mediations in anticipation of the production due by December 12. In light of all circumstances here, such further delays are unwarranted and unnecessary. Because it takes time to finalize resolutions reached at mediation (including, in many cases, obtaining FEMA waivers), the parties are directed to proceed with any scheduled mediations, aware that, should the production directed in Raimey affect the resolution reached, the parties will be free to renegotiate the settlement or withdraw prior finalization. Of course, nothing prevents defendants from accelerating the production in those cases in which mediation has been scheduled, thereby avoiding any further concerns.
As a reminder, the EDNY has set up a helpful page on its web site with links to all case management orders and other pertinent information: https://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/re-hurricane-sandy-cases-14mc41
Please stay tuned for future blogs containing updates on the latest developments in this litigation.