Ohio Security Insurance Company v. Axis Insurance Company
ORDER by Judge Benjamin H. Settle renoting 22 MOTION for Summary Judgment and 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment to 11/3/2017, and requesting proposed questions for certification by 6/16/2017. (TG)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
OHIO SECURITY INSURANCE
AXIS INSURANCE COMPANY,
CASE NO. C15-5698 BHS
ORDER RENOTING AND
RESERVING RULING ON THE
PARTIES’ CROSS-MOTIONS FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
This matter comes before the Court on the cross-motions for summary judgment
of Plaintiff Ohio Security Insurance Company (“Ohio Security”) and Defendant Axis
Insurance Company (“Axis”). Dkts. 19, 22. The procedural history and factual
background of this case are set forth in large part in the Court’s previous order on the
present cross-motions for summary judgment. See Dkt. 35.
On June 1, 2017, the Court held oral argument on the outstanding issues of the
“selective tender” rule and the statute of limitations. Dkt. 43. Pursuant to that hearing the
Court will reserve ruling on the selective tender issue for five (5) months to allow the
parties to pursue settlement negotiations.
However, the Court has also concluded that the statute of limitations question
should be certified to the Washington Supreme Court. For the reasons stated in its
previous order, the Court is inclined to find that under RCW 4.28.080(7)(a) and RCW
48.05.200(1) service on an authorized foreign insurer may only be had through service on
ORDER - 1
Washington State’s Insurance Commissioner. See Dkt. 35. However, such a ruling would
appear to contradict the holdings of two on-point decisions from the Washington State
Courts of Appeals, regardless of the fact that those decisions do not appear to address the
exclusivity clause of RCW 48.05.200. Such circumstances are exactly the type which call
for certification under RCW 2.60.020. The Court sees no reason why the certification
should not be made now, as the certification process takes time and will not prejudice the
parties’ positions for settlement negotiations in the meantime. As it stands, the Court sees
the question for certification as follows:
Do RCW 4.28.080(7)(a), RCW 48.02.200, and RCW 48.05.200 establish service
through the Washington State Insurance Commissioner as a uniform and exclusive means
of service for authorized foreign or alien insurers in Washington State?
Before certifying the question, the Court will afford the parties the opportunity to
address whether the question for certification should be otherwise stated. The parties may
submit simultaneous briefing that includes their proposed questions for certification no
later than June 16, 2017. The briefing shall not exceed five (5) pages.
The Clerk shall RENOTE the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment
(Dkts. 19, 22) for consideration on November 3, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 7th day of June, 2017.
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE
United States District Judge
ORDER - 2
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