IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
March 22, 2010
AMITIE ONE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF
NATIONWIDE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner
AND NOW, this 22nd day of March, 2010, upon consideration of defendant's motion (Doc. 31) for severance and stay of plaintiff's bad faith claim, wherein defendant claims that it will be prejudiced and that judicial resources will be wasted if all claims are litigated simultaneously,*fn1 and it appearing that defendant contends that, if it were to prevail on the contract claim, then plaintiff would have no viable bad faith claim,*fn2 and it further appearing that defendant argues that staying discovery on plaintiff's bad faith claim would moot or put aside certain discovery disputes,*fn3 and that defendant also asserts that allowing discovery to proceed on plaintiff's bad faith claim at the same time that the parties are litigating plaintiff's contract claim "is tantamount to letting the Plaintiff have a copy of the Defendant's 'playbook[,]'" (Doc. 37 at 3),*fn4 and the court concluding that the relevant considerations*fn5 in this case call for a resolution of plaintiff's claim for declaratory judgment prior to trial on the remaining issues,*fn6 but that it would be inappropriate to sever and stay discovery on plaintiff's bad faith claim,*fn7 see FED. R. CIV. P. 21 ("The court may... sever any claim against a party."); FED. R. CIV. P. 42(b) ("For convenience, to avoid prejudice, or to expedite and economize, the court may order a separate trial of one or more separate issues [or] claims...."), it is hereby
ORDERED that the motion (Doc. 31) for severance and stay of plaintiff's bad faith claim is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as follows:
1. The motion (Doc. 31) is GRANTED insofar as defendant asks the court to hear the declaratory judgment action*fn8 prior to proceeding with the other issues.
2. The motion (Doc. 31) is DENIED in all other respects.
CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge