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Probuilders Specialty Insurance Co., Rrg v. Valley

May 14, 2012

PROBUILDERS SPECIALTY INSURANCE CO., RRG, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VALLEY CORP.; ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Howard R. Lloyd United States Magistrate Judge

** E-filed May 14, 2012 **

NOT FOR CITATION

ORDER RE: DISCOVERY DISPUTE JOINT REPORTS 1-5 [Re: Docket No. 87, 89, 92, 93, 94]

This action for declaratory relief and restitution arises out of a construction defect action in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Plaintiff Probuilders Specialty Insurance Co. ("Probuilders") 19 issued an insurance policy to defendant Valley Corp., fka R.J. Haas Corp., and its president R.J. 20

Haas ("Haas")*fn1 for the construction of a single family home for defendants Ty and Karen Levine. 21

According to the Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), the Levines sued Haas for shoddy and 22 incomplete work. Haas blamed the subcontractors. See Dkt. No. 48. Probuilders contends that Haas 23 made material misrepresentations with respect to verifying that the subcontractors had insurance and 24 that they contractually agreed to indemnify Haas. In this action, Probuilders seeks to rescind the 25 policy and to recover the costs of providing a "courtesy" defense to Haas in the Levine action. 26

To that end, plaintiff has attempted to obtain discovery from Haas through requests for 27 admissions, requests for production of documents, and interrogatories, and by seeking to depose 28 Haas. Haas, acting through counsel until his attorney withdrew in November 2011, submitted 2 responses to plaintiff's requests for admission, which plaintiff contends were deficient. Dkt. No. 87. 3

Haas has not provided any documents in response to plaintiff's three sets of requests for production 4 of documents. Dkt. Nos. 89, 92, 94. Haas has not responded to plaintiff's second set of 5 interrogatories, and plaintiff contends that his responses to the first set of interrogatories are 6 deficient. Dkt. Nos. 87, 94. Finally, plaintiff contends that Haas has refused to make himself 7 available for deposition. Dkt. No. 93. 8

Plaintiff has filed five Discovery Dispute Joint Reports ("DDJRs"), pursuant to the 9 undersigned's Standing Order re Civil Discovery Disputes, all of which address Haas's alleged 10 failures to respond adequately to discovery requests. Dkt. Nos. 87, 89, 92, 93, 94. It would appear that Haas has failed to participate in any of these five DDJRs: first, he has failed to engage in meaningful, in-person meet and confer sessions, as required by this court's standing order;*fn2 and 13 second, he has not participated in the preparation of the DDJRs. Plaintiff seeks an order requiring 14 Haas to (1) supplement those responses that plaintiff deems deficient; (2) respond to those requests 15 that he has ignored thus far; and (3) make himself available for deposition without further delay. 16

LEGAL STANDARD

The Federal Rules generally allow for broad discovery regarding "any non-privileged matter 19 that is relevant to any party's claim or defense . . . . For good cause, the court may order discovery 20 on any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). 21

This DDJR concerns Probuilders' Request for Admissions ("RFAs"), Set 1, and Interrogatories, Set 1. Plaintiff contends it served RFAs, Set 1 and Interrogatories, Set 1 on may 4, 24

However, Probuilders contends that the responses to Requests for Admissions Nos. 12, 29, 30, 33, 26

Upon consideration of the DDJRs and the documents provided, the court rules as follows. 2011. Dkt. No. 87, p. 2. Haas, acting through counsel, did respond to these discovery requests. Id. 25 34, 37, 38, 41-44, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74, 78, 82, 86, 90, 94, 102, 106, 110, 114, 118, 122, 2

125, 129, 131, 135, 139, 143, and 147 are deficient. Id. In addition, plaintiff contends that Haas's 3 responses to Interrogatories 1-6 are deficient. Id. According to plaintiff, Haas's former counsel 4 agreed to supplement Haas's responses to some of the RFAs and Interrogatory #6 before 5 withdrawing, but Haas has since told plaintiff's counsel that he does not know whether he is willing 6 to supplement his responses. Id. at 3. According to the DDJR #1, Probuilders served its RFAs, Set 1 7 and Interrogatories, Set 1 on May 4, ...


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