United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
B. ATKINS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff's (the Judes) Renewed Motions
for Sanctions pursuant to Rule 37. [DE #73 (Motion)]. At the
heart of this motion, the Judes argue they have been unfairly
prejudiced by Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's (AGLIC)
failure to “timely produce or supplement its discovery
responses to include… Swiss RE documents, ”
which they argue “formed the basis” of their
decision to rescind Chad Jude's $1, 500, 000 life
insurance policy. [Id. at 1; Id. at 8].
Accordingly, the Judes request: 1) these Swiss Re documents
be excluded; 2) the jury be informed of AGLIC's failure
to produce these documents; and 3) expenses and fees
associated with bringing this motion. [Id. at 14].
In opposing this motion, AGLIC raises several arguments. [DE
#75 Response]. Most importantly, AGLIC argues that
“[t]here is no controversy here, ” since they
“fully complied” with the Court's order
resolving this discovery dispute long ago. [Id. at
evaluated the briefing and the full record under the
applicable standard, the Court finds there is no just cause
that would warrant sanctions to AGLIC under Rule 37, and
therefore, DENIES the Judes' requests outlined in the
Renewed Motion for Sanctions [DE #73].
Facts and Procedural History
civil action, AGLIC seeks a declaratory judgment rendering
Chad Jude's life insurance policy null and void due to
alleged fraudulent and material misrepresentations made by
Mr. Jude in his application, policy amendment to his
application, and medical history. [DE. #1 (Complaint)].
October 30, 2017, Ms. Laura Stout, an AGLIC underwriter and a
deponent in this case, sent a letter to Mr. Jude disclosing
AGLIC's decision to rescind his life insurance policy [DE
#75-1 (Letter)] on the basis of his alleged failure to fully
disclose his medical history. [DE #75-9 at 1-2]. In this
letter, Stout makes reference to a condition known as Chiari
I malformation and Mr. Jude's “fail[ure] to
disclose an MRI performed due to symptoms of dysphagia[,
]” which demonstrated diagnosis of this condition.
[Id. at 2 ¶ 3]. Intending to render Mr.
Jude's coverage null and void, and thus rescind his
policy due to “incorrect and incomplete” answers
provided after issuance of the policy, Stout enclosed a
voluntary rescission agreement in the letter. [Id.;
Id. at 4]. This lawsuit commenced as a result of Mr.
Jude's decision not to sign and return the agreement.
[See DE #73 at 2; DE #75 at 7].
following outline represents the procedural history that
ensued relevant to the filing of this motion:
• December 20, 2017: Case deadlines were established in
the Court's Scheduling Order. [DE #19].
• February 5, 2018: By joint agreement [see DE #23], the
deadlines for Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures were extended from
January 18, 2018 to February 23, 2018. [DE #24].
• April 5, 2018: This Court accepted the parties'
Agreed Protective Order. See DE #32. [DE #33].
• April 26, 2018: The Judes filed a Motion to Compel
Discovery and Impose Sanctions. [DE #34].
• May 4, 2018: AGLIC filed a Response to DE #34. [DE
• May 9, 2018: The Court conducted the first telephonic
conference to address the discovery dispute which led to the
Judes' Motion to Compel and Impose Sanctions. [DE #40; DE
• During the call, the Court made several rulings as to
certain Requests for Interrogatories and Production of
Documents outlined in the Judes' motion to compel.
Additionally, AGLIC was given deadlines for which to revise
its privilege log, and to submit- for an in camera