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American Steel & Stairways, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 16, 2014

AMERICAN STEEL & STAIRWAYS, INC.; MARTIN VOLLRATH, an individual; and THOMAS VOLLRATH, an individual, Plaintiffs,
LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY, a Delaware corporation; INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, a Pennsylvania corporation; CHARTIS CLAIMS, INC., a Delaware corporation; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.

Alexander F. Stuart, Ellyn E. Nesbit, Rebecca A. Applewhite, WILLOUGHBY, STUART & BENING. San Jose, California.

Alexander F. Stuart, Willoughby, Stuart & Bening. San Jose, CA, Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

Traci M. Ribeiro, ( pro hac vice ) Sedwick LLP, Chicago, IL, Attorneys for Defendants.


JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

Pursuant to Civil Local Rules 6-1 and 6-2 of the Northern District of California, Plaintiffs American Steel & Stairways, Inc. ("American Steel"), Martin Vollrath and Thomas Vollrath (collectively, "Plaintiffs") and Defendants Lexington Insurance Company ("Lexington") and Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania ("ISOP"), collectively, with Plaintiffs, the "Parties, " by their undersigned attorneys, hereby stipulate and agree as follows:

1. The Parties have been actively engaged in fact discovery for the past two months, during which time they have propounded and/or responded to requests for admission, written interrogatories and requests for production of documents. The Parties also have taken, and completed, oral depositions of American Steel owners Martin Vollrath and Thomas Vollrath, American Steel employee Nancy Vollrath, AIG Claims, Inc. employee Nancy Finberg, former AIG Claims, Inc. employee Jeff Hanson, American Steel's defense lawyer Alex Pevzner and Steadfast Insurance Company employee Doug Kaufman.

2. The Parties have met and conferred regarding American Steel's attempt to take Rule 30(b)(6) depositions of Lexington and ISOP, which Plaintiffs noticed on November 7, 2013. Lexington and ISOP have agreed to produce their person(s) most knowledgeable on all but a handful of subjects identified by Plaintiffs, and it is anticipated that the depositions will proceed in mid to late January 2014. The Parties have agreed to meet and confer further regarding the few subjects that remain in dispute as the date for the depositions approaches.

3. Fact discovery has been cutoff per the Court's existing case management order, with the exception of the following per Court order: (a) fact discovery has been extended for Lexington and ISOP to respond to written discovery requests propounded by Plaintiffs, and the Court has permitted American Steel to augment its expert witness reports based on those responses which currently are due, per stipulation, on January 15, 2014; (b) fact discovery has been extended for American Steel to take the depositions of Lexington and ISOP's Rule 30(b)(6) witness(es).

4. The matter currently is scheduled for a pretrial conference on June 6, 2014, and a jury trial commencing June 23, 2014. The other current deadlines are:

5. Given the probable impact of the testimony of Lexington and ISOP's 30(b)(6) witness(es) on the claims handling issues in dispute, and given the time needed to prepare the witness(es) so that he/she/they may submit to meaningful depositions, the Parties believe it is in the interests of justice that the date for disclosure of expert witnesses and expert reports be extended eight (8) weeks, so that all fact discovery is completed sufficiently in advance of the deadline for expert witness disclosures. At a minimum, American Steel will need additional time because of the close proximity between the date that Lexington and ISOP's 30(b)(6) witness(es) are likely to be produced and the date that expert witness disclosures and reports are now due.

7. Because of the impact of an extension of expert witness discovery on the pretrial conference and trial dates, the Parties further request that the court continue all remaining deadlines - i.e., dispositive motion cutoff, pretrial conference statement deadline, pretrial conference and trial - by the same eight (8) weeks.

8. The Parties are scheduled for a further mediation with mediator Anne Goyette on January 28, 2014. In addition to facilitating the interests of justice by extending the remaining deadlines to accommodate the completion of Lexington and ISOP's 30(b)(6) witness(es), it would facilitate the Parties' collective ability to focus on preparing for, and engaging in, settlement negotiations during January 2014, in addition to completing the written discovery and 30(b)(6) depositions permitted by the Court.

11. None of the Parties will be prejudiced by the modification of the case deadlines as requested by this stipulation. In fact, the Parties will benefit from a schedule that permits the Parties' respective experts to prepare expert reports a reasonable amount of time after all fact discovery has been completed.

12. If the Court is not inclined to grant the extension of the remaining case deadlines on this stipulation, counsel for the Parties respectfully request that the Court set the matter for a case management conference after January 10, 2014, so counsel may discuss with the Court the status of the case, the progress they have made toward preparation for trial, ...

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