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Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Arena Group 2000

September 18, 2007

THE TRAVELERS INDEMNITY CO. ET. AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ARENA GROUP 2000, L.P., ET. AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Thomas J. Whelan United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DANIEL DOLL'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE TO REQUEST UNDERTAKING ON APPEAL [DOC. No. 213]

On March 8, 2007, this Court issued an order granting Crum & Forster's summary-judgment motion against Arena Group 2000, L.P. The order was based on the Court's finding that Arena Group, an additional insured under Crum & Forster's Retained Amount Policy, is responsible for a $500,000 retention.

On April 18, 2007, Arena Group appealed the Court's March 8, 2007 ruling. On June 27, 2007, Daniel Doll filed the pending motion for leave to intervene to request an undertaking on Arena Group's appeal.

The Court decides the matter on the papers submitted and without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d.1). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES Doll's motion.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 22, 2003, Daniel Doll and Shelby Olerich-Snow left the Black Angus restaurant near the San Diego Sports Arena and walked under a large marquee sign that collapsed on them without warning. Both Doll and Snow suffered severe personal injuries as a result and filed separate state-court actions against Arena Group and a host of other defendants.

Arena Group tendered the claim to its various insurers, including Crum & Forster, which had issued a Retained Amount Policy to American Restaurant Group, Inc. Arena Group is covered as an additional insured under the policy. The limit of liability is $1,000,000 per occurrence, subject to a $500,000 retention. Crum & Forster agreed to participate in Arena Group's defense. However, the two parties disagreed on whether Arena Group must satisfy the policy's $500,000 retention.

Eventually, the underlying personal-injury lawsuit settled for $11,000,000. Arena Group's primary and excess carriers, among others, contributed $10 million. Crum & Forster contributed $500,000. The Settlement Agreement between Doll, Arena Group and Crum & Forster addresses who is responsible for paying the remaining $500,000. Under Settlement Agreement's terms, Arena Group and Crum & Forster agreed to "litigate solely the issue of whether Arena Group is obligated . . . to pay the" $500,000 retention. (Doll's Ex. 1, ¶ 12.3.) "In the event of a final and non-appealable judgment determining that Arena Group is obligated to pay," Arena Group must pay Doll the remaining $500,000 in various installments. (Id.) If, on the other hand, Arena Group is found not to be obligated for the retention, Crum & Forster must pay the balance.

On November 28, 2005, Arena Group filed a Third-Party Complaint against Crum & Forster seeking a declaration regarding the parties' respective rights and obligations under the Retained Amount Policy. Thereafter, Arena Group and Crum & Forster filed cross-motions for summary judgment seeking a determination of whether Arena Group is responsible for the retention.

On March 8, 2007, this Court issued an order granting Crum & Forster's motion and finding that Arena Group is responsible for the retention. On April 18, 2007, Arena Group filed a Notice of Appeal. On June 27, 2007, Daniel Doll filed this motion. He requests that the Court grant him leave to intervene, and require Arena Group to provide a supersedeas bond safeguarding his interest in the underlying Settlement Agreement.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 24(a)(2) permits anyone to intervene who is "so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant's interest is adequately represented by existing parties." Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2). The Ninth Circuit applies a four-prong test when weighing a Rule 24(a)(2) intervention motion:

(1) the application for intervention must be timely; (2) the applicant must have a 'significant protectable' interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action; (3) the applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect that interest; and (4) the applicant's interest must not be adequately represented by the existing parties in the lawsuit.

Southwest Center for Biological Diversity v. Berg, 268 F.3d 810, 817-18 (9th Cir. 2001). In applying this standard, courts should broadly construe the rule in the proposed intervenor's favor. U.S. v. City of Los Angeles, 288 F.3d 391, 397-98 (9th Cir. 2002). However, the applicant "bears the burden of showing that all the requirements for intervention have ...


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