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Rhives v. Progressive Advanced Insurance Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

December 26, 2019

TYLER RHIVES, Plaintiff,
v.
PROGRESSIVE ADVANCED INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          JOHN A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Tyler Rhives's motion to compel responses to his requests for admissions (Doc. No. 25) and second motion to compel responses to his requests for production (Doc. No. 29). For the reasons set forth below, the motion to compel responses to requests for admissions will be denied and the second motion to compel responses to requests for production will be granted in part.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 16, 2017, Plaintiff, who was operating a motor scooter, was injured in a car accident with Nora Cole, who Plaintiff claims is an uninsured or underinsured motorist. At the time, Plaintiff was covered by a policy of insurance issued by Defendant Progressive Advanced Insurance Company ("Progressive"), and that policy included uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the accident, he incurred medical expenses totaling $15, 000 and lost wages.

         On July 27, 2017, Plaintiff, through his attorney, initiated a claim related to the accident with Progressive. (Doc. No. 30-2). The record reflects that Progressive paid $50, 000 to Plaintiff and made an additional offer of $100, 772 to resolve Plaintiffs claim. (Id.). On August 9, 2018, Plaintiffs counsel submitted an independent medical examination report and photographs in support of Plaintiff s claim and made a demand for the uninsured policy limits of $300, 000. (Id.). On May 2, 2019, Progressive's claims specialist increased its offer to $125, 000 to resolve Plaintiffs claim, and the correspondence reflects that if additional documentation supporting the need for a hip replacement surgery was provided, Progressive would reconsider its offer. (Id.).

         Plaintiff filed his lawsuit against Progressive in Missouri state court on May 17, 2019, alleging breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay. (Doc. No. 10). Progressive removed the case to federal court on June 28, 2019. (Doc. No. 1). The parties then engaged in written discovery, at which time Plaintiff requested the production of Progressive's claim file. Progressive objected on the basis that it was protected under the work product and attorney-client privileges.

         Plaintiff also sent the following requests for admissions, which are the subject of Plaintiff s motion to compel:

8. The vehicle operated by Nora Cole was an uninsured motor vehicle within the meaning of defendant's policy.
9. The vehicle operated by Nora Cole was an uninsured motor vehicle also under the provisions of section 379.203 R.S.MO.
10. Plaintiff Tyler Rhives was an insured person within the meaning of defendant Progressive's policy of insurance.
11. Plaintiff Tyler Rhives was an insured person within the meaning of defendant Progressive's policy of insurance and was eligible for uninsured motor vehicle coverages and benefits.
12. On June 21, 2017 Nora Cole was indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury pursuant to Section 577.010 (DWI with serious physical injury) for the collision with Tyler Rhives.
13. A true and accurate copy of the grand jury indictment charging Nora Cole for the June 21, 2017 collision is attached hereto ...

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