The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W. Caldwell United States District Judge
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3), Harleysville Insurance Company, a nonparty to this action, has filed a motion to quash the third-party subpoena served upon it by the defendant, Allstate Insurance Company.
In this diversity action, the plaintiffs, Rita Blaylock and Lonnie Blaylock, are suing their insurer, Allstate, under Pennsylvania law for bad-faith handling of an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim. That claim went to arbitration between Plaintiffs and Allstate. The issue was whether a signature on a form waiving UIM coverage was genuine. (Under state law, 75 Pa. C.S. § 1731(c), the insured's signature on such a form is required for a valid waiver of UIM coverage.) Plaintiffs prevailed.
For this lawsuit, they have retained Sallyanne Donovan as an expert. Donovan used to work for Harleysville, having spent twenty-three years there, with her last position as vice-president of field claim operations. She has opined that Allstate's handling of the UIM claim was in bad faith. The contested subpoena focuses on discovery related to Donovan.
The subpoena seeks the following information, which Allstate asserts is needed to test the soundness of Donovan's opinion and her competence to make it:
1. The complete personnel file for Sallyanne Donovan;
2. All performance evaluations or other documents discussing Sallyanne Donovan's performance prepared by Robert Lockwood;*fn1
3. All documents relating to any claim for insurance benefits that was handled or supervised, in whole or in part, by Sallyanne Donovan and involved forgery or suspicion of forgery on any policy-related or claim-related document;
4. All documents relating to any claim for insurance benefits that was handled or supervised, in whole or in part, by Sallyanne Donovan and involved an uninsured motorist (UM) and/or underinsured motorist (UIM) signdown or rejection form;
5. All manuals, procedures, policies, guidelines, or instructions relating to the handling of claims involving forgery or suspected forgery on any policy-related or claim-related document;
6. All manuals, procedures, guidelines, or instructions relating to the handling of claims involving an uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) signdown or rejection form. (Doc. 17-3, Harleysville's Mot. to Quash; Ex. A, Def.'s subpoena pages 3-4).
Allstate and Harleysville discussed limiting the material to be produced, and Allstate indicated it would accept the following. As to Donovan's personnel file, Allstate offered to limit it to: (1) all documents that described, or related to, her positions, job duties and/or job performance; and (2) all performance evaluations and other documents discussing her performance prepared by Robert Lockwood. As to documents relating to claims, Allstate would accept all documents relating to a UIM claim made by John Hayes stemming from an October 1995 accident, a claim litigated in ...