Marks One Car Rental, Inc. v. Auto Club Group Insurance Company et al
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE FARMERS' MOTION TO COMPEL THE DEPOSITION OF STEVEN A. HANEY [DOC. 267]. Signed by District Judge Avern Cohn. (MVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MARKS ONE CAR RENTAL, INC., MARKS
ONE LLC, d/b/a/ MARKS ONE COLLISION,
and MAHER WAAD,
Case No. 13-14610
FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE,
HON. AVERN COHN
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE FARMERS’ MOTION TO COMPEL THE
DEPOSITION OF STEVEN A. HANEY (Doc. 267) 1
This is a business tort case. Plaintiffs Marks One Car Rental, Inc., Marks One,
LLC, Marks One Collision (collectively Marks One) and Maher Waad (Waad) are suing
Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers).2 Plaintiffs make the following claims:
Count I - Tortious Interference with Business Expectancy
Count II - Defamation
Count IV - Civil Conspiracy
Count V - Unlawful Discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Broadly stated, plaintiffs allege that Farmers has defamed plaintiffs to customers
and potential customers in their respective fraud investigations of plaintiffs’ repair and
Although originally scheduled for hearing, upon review of the parties’ papers, the
Court deems these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 78(b); E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2).
Plaintiffs initially sued several insurance companies. Following motion practice
and stipulations, only Farmers remains as a defendant.
rental activity. Plaintiffs contend defendants’ investigations were unfounded and caused
a loss of business. They further contend that certain employees of Farmers used racial
slurs and have a racial bias against Waad, an Arab-American.3
Before the Court is Farmers’ motion to compel the deposition of Steven Haney.
For the reasons that follow, the motion will be denied without prejudice.
The background of Haney’s representation of plaintiffs and his relationship with
Farmers is set forth in Farmer’s motion to disqualify Haney (Doc. 159) and will not be
repeated in detail here. Briefly, Haney initially represented plaintiffs when the complaint
was filed.4 Farmers moved to disqualify Haney based upon Haney’s prior representation
of Farmers in a 2010 insurance investigation involving Waad in which Haney generated a
report critical of Waad. Farmers anticipated Haney would be a witness and therefore
maintained his representation of plaintiffs was improper. Haney subsequently withdrew
from representing plaintiffs before the Court ruled on the motion. (Doc. 174).
Farmers noticed Haney for deposition. Haney objected. The parties then
exchanged correspondence which in part discussed whether Farmers had properly and
fully waived the attorney client privilege. Eventually, Farmers filed the instant motion to
In addition to the instant case, plaintiffs filed a second lawsuit against Farmers, a
Farmers employee, and various police officers and other public officials claiming civil
rights violations. Haney represents plaintiffs in the civil rights case which is pending
before the undersigned. Waad v. Farmers, et al., 16-13362. Farmers filed a motion to
disqualify in the civil rights case Haney which was rendered moot when the Court
dismissed Farmers and its employee from the case. See Doc. 33 in case no. 16-13362.
Since the filing of the complaint, plaintiffs have had multiple counsel appear and
later withdraw, which has contributed in part to the slow progress of the case. Plaintiffs’
current counsel appeared in June of this year.
compel. (Doc. 267). Both Haney and plaintiffs’ counsel have filed responses. (Docs.
269, 271). Farmers filed a reply. (Doc. 271).
Meanwhile, on September 8, 2017, Farmers filed a motion for summary judgment
on all of plaintiffs’ claims. (Doc. 273). The parties have stipulated that plaintiffs’
response to the motion is due October 11, 2017. (Doc. 276).
Under the circumstances, the better course is to deny Farmers’ motion without
prejudice in light of Farmers’ pending summary judgment motion. By moving for
summary judgment, it appears that Farmers believes the case can be resolved without a
need for Haney’s testimony.5
Accordingly, Farmers’ motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The Court will
consider the issue, if necessary, after ruling on Farmers’ summary judgment motion.
Further, Haney’s request, which is not memorialized in a separate motion, to be
reinstated as counsel for plaintiff is DENIED.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: October 5, 2017
Indeed, in its reply brief Farmers asks that the Court defer ruling on the motion to
compel until the summary judgment motion is resolved.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?