Premier Harvest et al v. AXIS Surplus Insurance Company et al

Filing 95

ORDER granting parties' 93 Stipulated Motion for Issuance of Letter Rogatory to Court of British Columbia, Canada for Discovery from Non-Parties Robert Reierson and Tradex Food. Signed by U.S. District Judge John C Coughenour. (TH)

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THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 PREMIER HARVEST LLC, et al., 11 12 13 14 Plaintiffs, v. CASE NO. C17-0784-JCC REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE (LETTER ROGATORY) AXIS SURPLUS INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Defendants. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington presents its compliments to the appropriate judicial authority of British Columbia, Canada and requests international judicial assistance to obtain evidence to be used in a civil proceeding before this Court in the above-captioned matter. A trial on this matter is scheduled for January 14, 2019. This Court requests the assistance described herein as necessary in the interests of justice. The assistance requested is that the appropriate judicial authority of British Columbia, Canada compel the appearance of the following individual to testify in a deposition and provide documents in his own care, custody or control, or in the care, custody or control of his company, Tradex Corporation: Robert Reierson, President & CEO of Tradex Foods, 410-3960 Quadra Street, Victoria, B.C., Canada. REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE (LETTER ROGATORY) C17-0784-JCC PAGE - 1 1 FACTS 2 This lawsuit involves insurance coverage for damage at a fishing facility in Adak, Alaska, 3 which is a remote island in the far southwestern corner of the Aleutian Islands. The fishing facility 4 was leased and operated by Plaintiffs, operating under the name Premier Harvest. 5 experienced strong windstorms in December 2015, and Premier Harvest’s facility suffered 6 damage from the storms. Defendant AXIS Surplus Insurance Company (“AXIS”) issued a 7 commercial property policy covering the Adak facility. In the first three months following the 8 December storms, AXIS paid $3 million to cover the storm damage. In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs 9 allege that more funds are owed. AXIS disputes this allegation and alleges that much of the 10 Adak damage claimed as storm-caused loss actually pre-existed the storms. 11 In an examination under oath, one of Premier Harvest’s principals, Dustin Anderson, 12 testified that in 2015, prior to the storms, Tradex Foods (“Tradex”) discussed sub-leasing a portion 13 of the Adak facility from Premier Harvest for purposes of running a cod line. Anderson testified 14 that Tradex’s CEO, Rob Reierson, visited the Adak facility, inspected it, and observed Premier 15 Harvest’s operations. Therefore, Reierson and/or Tradex may possess significant evidence or 16 testimony regarding the condition of the property prior to the storm. Their due diligence or 17 negotiations with Premier Harvest may also be relevant to Plaintiffs’ claims for economic 18 consequential damages. 19 Plaintiffs acknowledged the relevance of Reierson’s information and invited AXIS to 20 reach out to Mr. Reierson and obtain documents and information regarding his observations of 21 the Adak facility. AXIS contacted Mr. Reierson, who admitted that he inspected the Adak facility 22 in 2015. 23 PRAYER FOR RELIEF 24 This case is set for trial on January 14, 2019. The testimony, under oath, of Mr. Robert 25 Reierson is desired for a just adjudication of the issues pending before this Court. The witness 26 should be presented oral questions during the requested depositions by the attorneys or agents of REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE (LETTER ROGATORY) C17-0784-JCC PAGE - 2 1 any party to this action present, including attorneys admitted to practice in the Courts of the State 2 of Washington, on matters related to the claims in the litigation, including the following: 3 4 5 6 7 8 1. The condition of the real and personal property leased by Premier Harvest in Adak, Alaska; 2. Business operations at the Adak property, including financial information and the nature and needs of those operations; and 3. Any and all communications with any representative or owner of any business operating under the name Premier Harvest, including its attorneys. 9 Said deposition is to take place, under oath, at an Official Court Reporter in the Province 10 of British Columbia at a mutually convenient time and location in Victoria, BC (or another mutual 11 agreeable location). 12 13 14 In addition, Mr. Reierson and Tradex should also be ordered to produce the following documents: 1. Any and all documents relating to any property or commercial operations in Adak, 15 Alaska, including but not limited to inspection reports, appraisals, photographs, contracts 16 (including drafts), text messages, emails, or financial records or analyses; and 17 18 19 2. Any and all communications with any representative or owner of any business operating under the name Premier Harvest, including its attorneys. DATED this 6th day of April 2018. A 20 21 22 John C. Coughenour UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 23 24 25 26 REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE (LETTER ROGATORY) C17-0784-JCC PAGE - 3

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