Fish, LLC v. Harbor Marine Maintenance & Supply, Inc.

Filing 26

MINUTE ORDER. Defendant is DIRECTED to provide the Court no later than Monday, November 27, 2017 an unredacted copy of LodeStar Marine's May 24, 2016 Survey and Consulting Report prepared by Lynne Reister for purposes of in camera review. The Clerk is DIRECTED to renote Plaintiff's motion to compel (Dkt. No. 18 ) to November 27, 2017. Authorized by U.S. District Judge John C Coughenour. (TH)

Download PDF
THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 FISH LLC, et al., 10 11 12 CASE NO. C17-0245-JCC Plaintiffs, MINUTE ORDER v. HARBOR MARINE MAINTENANCE & SUPPLY INC, 13 14 Defendant. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 The following Minute Order is made by direction of the Court, the Honorable John C. Coughenour, United States District Judge: This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs’ motion to compel (Dkt. No. 18). Plaintiffs seek production of an unredacted version of a vessel survey report prepared by Lynne Reister on behalf of Defendant’s insurer, SwissRe. (See Dkt. No. 19-13) (redacted version). If necessary, Plaintiffs request this Court review an unredacted version of the report in camera before ruling on the motion to compel. (Dkt. No. 18 at 1.) Defendant claims Ms. Reister’s report is a dual purpose document that would have been prepared differently if not for the threat of litigation and, as a result, it is privileged work product. (Dkt. No. 21 at 7–9); (see Dkt. No. 19-5) (Defendant’s privilege log); see also United States v. Richey, 632 F.3d 559, 568 (9th Cir. 2011) (the Court must ask “whether the document was created because of anticipated litigation, and MINUTE ORDER C17-0245-JCC PAGE - 1 1 would not have been created in substantially similar form but for the prospect of litigation.”). 2 Defendant further asserts that Plaintiff fails to make the requisite factual showing for in camera 3 review. (Dkt. No. 21 at 9–10.) 4 According to Cheryl Moore, SwissRe’s claims specialist, she had litigation in mind when 5 she engaged Ms. Reister to prepare the survey. (Dkt. No. 22.) She notes that she instructed Ms. 6 Reister to “include in her report an analysis of the liability theory advanced by [the vessel’s 7 insurer] and the vessel owner(s), as well as an analysis of certain evidentiary issues that could 8 arise in litigation.” (Id. at 4.) But the unredacted portions of the report contradict, or at least cast 9 doubt on, Ms. Moore’s assertions. For example, according to Ms. Reister, the purpose of the 10 report was to confirm “the vessel identity, determin[e] the probable cause of the damage, and 11 gather[] information to prepare a report per your assignment . . . .” (Dkt. No. 19-13 at 1.) Had 12 Ms. Reister intended to address potential litigation issues, the Court expects she would have 13 indicated as much. Furthermore, some of the redactions are in the middle of a list of factual 14 observations, which seems like a curious place for protected opinion information. (See Dkt. No. 15 19-13 at 3, 4.) 16 In order to support a request for in camera review, Plaintiff need “only show a factual 17 basis sufficient to support a reasonable, good faith belief that in camera inspection may reveal 18 evidence that information in the materials is not privileged.” In re Grand Jury Investigation, 974 19 F.2d 1068, 1074 (9th Cir.1992). Given the information contained in the redacted report, Plaintiffs 20 meet this burden. 21 Defendant is DIRECTED to provide the Court no later than Monday, November 27, 2017 22 an unredacted copy of LodeStar Marine’s May 24, 2016 Survey and Consulting Report prepared 23 by Lynne Reister for purposes of in camera review. The Clerk is DIRECTED to renote 24 Plaintiff’s motion to compel (Dkt. No. 18) to November 27, 2017. 25 // 26 // MINUTE ORDER C17-0245-JCC PAGE - 2 1 DATED this 20th day of November 2017. 2 William M. McCool Clerk of Court 3 s/Tomas Hernandez Deputy Clerk 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 MINUTE ORDER C17-0245-JCC PAGE - 3

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?