Ohio Security Insurance Company v. Axis Insurance Company

Filing 44

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)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 2 3 4 OHIO SECURITY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, 5 6 7 v. AXIS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant. CASE NO. C15-5698 BHS ORDER RENOTING AND RESERVING RULING ON THE PARTIES’ CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND REQUESTING PROPOSED QUESTIONS FOR CERTIFICATION 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 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 22 ORDER - 1 1 Washington State’s Insurance Commissioner. See Dkt. 35. However, such a ruling would 2 appear to contradict the holdings of two on-point decisions from the Washington State 3 Courts of Appeals, regardless of the fact that those decisions do not appear to address the 4 exclusivity clause of RCW 48.05.200. Such circumstances are exactly the type which call 5 for certification under RCW 2.60.020. The Court sees no reason why the certification 6 should not be made now, as the certification process takes time and will not prejudice the 7 parties’ positions for settlement negotiations in the meantime. As it stands, the Court sees 8 the question for certification as follows: 9 Do RCW 4.28.080(7)(a), RCW 48.02.200, and RCW 48.05.200 establish service 10 through the Washington State Insurance Commissioner as a uniform and exclusive means 11 of service for authorized foreign or alien insurers in Washington State? 12 Before certifying the question, the Court will afford the parties the opportunity to 13 address whether the question for certification should be otherwise stated. The parties may 14 submit simultaneous briefing that includes their proposed questions for certification no 15 later than June 16, 2017. The briefing shall not exceed five (5) pages. 16 17 The Clerk shall RENOTE the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment (Dkts. 19, 22) for consideration on November 3, 2017. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated this 7th day of June, 2017. 20 21 A BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge 22 ORDER - 2

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