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Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division

May 8, 2017

ERIC LAFOLLETTE, CAMILLE LAFOLLETTE, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER

          NANETTE K. LAUGHREY United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is the Parties' Joint Motion to Appoint Special Master. Doc. 254. For good cause shown, and pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 53(a)(1)(A), the Court grants the Parties' Joint Motion, and appoints William Turley to serve as special master in this action and assist the Court by proposing factual findings concerning the identities of the class members, the deductibles associated with the class members, prejudgment interest (simple) on the deductibles associated with the class members, and related issues. Mr. Turley has both litigation and insurance expertise, has access to technical support, and has previously served as a Special Master concerning discovery issues in this case, making Mr. Turley an appropriate special master.

         Mr. Turley is ordered to proceed with all reasonable diligence to gather and review evidence, and make proposed factual findings to the Court, concerning the identities of the class members, the deductibles associated with the class members, prejudgment interest on the deductibles associated with the class members (calculated as simple interest, as agreed by the Parties), and related issues.[1] At a minimum, and as agreed by the Parties, Mr. Turley shall undertake the following tasks:

• Review electronic claims files for putative class members, identify which electronic claims files lack the information needed to make the findings outlined in this Order, request and review hard copy files as necessary, and engage with the Parties on questions as needed;
• Receive oral and/or written evidence from the Parties on the findings outlined in this Order, with such evidence to be submitted and received either formally (such as via an expert report) or informally (such as via a spreadsheet), at the request of Mr. Turley or at the request of either Party;
• Engage Matt Schwartz to assist as needed in the gathering and review of claims information;
• Make proposed findings of fact to be presented to the Court for approval, concerning:
o The number and identity of the class members as defined by the Court; o The amount of the deductibles for the class members as defined by the Court;
o The prejudgment interest, calculated on a simple basis, on the deductibles for the class members as defined by the Court;
o Of the class members as defined by the Court,
■ (1) Which claims contain evidence the insured's property was repaired or replaced, and the deductibles and prejudgment interest (simple) associated with those claims;
■ (2) Which claims contain evidence the insured sought recoverable depreciation that was denied because the ACV payment was sufficient to complete repairs, and the deductibles and prejudgment interest (simple) associated with those claims;
■ (3) Which claims contain no evidence concerning whether repairs were made, and the deductibles and prejudgment interest (simple) associated with those claims;
■ (4) Which claims did not include the Homeprotector Plus endorsement in the policy, and the deductibles and prejudgment interest ...

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