Rossv.State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

United States District Court, D. NebraskaFeb 1, 2000
No. 8:99CV272 (D. Neb. Feb. 1, 2000)

No. 8:99CV272.

February 2000.


JOSEPH F. BATAILLON, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion for stay pending appeal of the magistrate's order (Filing No. 21) and defendant's appeal of the magistrate's order (Filing No. 25). I have thoroughly reviewed the pleadings, briefs and the record in this case and affirm the magistrate.

This matter arises out of an automobile accident. Defendant, on behalf of an insured, settled the claim with the plaintiff. Plaintiff filed this lawsuit alleging that his settlement amount was substantially less than he should have received and that such amount was based on his race.

The parties filed a request for clarification (Filing No. 14) with regard to time, geography and scope of disclosures of certain information. The magistrate conducted a hearing with the parties. I have reviewed the magistrate's order (Filing No. 20) and find that she has carefully considered the time, geography and scope of disclosures in this case. She had limited the discovery initially, but allowed the plaintiff to request expansion of discovery if appropriate.

I have reviewed her findings with regard to the relevant time period for requests from Kenneth Legg, the individual who settled plaintiff's claim. I have also reviewed her order with regard to the scope of the disclosures concerning race and underwriting claims, and with regard to a geographical limitation in the greater Omaha metropolitan area. With regard to the geographical limitation, defendant contends that Council Bluffs should not be included. Defendant states that Council Bluffs is not in the "rate" area, but defendant does not clearly articulate an appropriate rate area. The magistrate stated that the Omaha metropolitan area, at a minimum, should be considered with regard to these disclosures. She further stated that "However, should the defendant not use this limited area for rate setting, then the next largest geographical area from which data is compiled to set rates is the appropriate geographical area for the purposes of discovery." Thus, if the defendant does not use the greater Omaha metropolitan area for rate-making, it is free to compile data from the next largest area.

I find that the magistrate's order is well-reasoned and appropriate in view of the allegations in this case. I, therefore, affirm the order of the magistrate.


That defendant's motion for stay pending appeal of the magistrate's order (Filing No. 21) is denied;

That defendant's appeal of the magistrate's order (Filing No. 25) is hereby overruled; and

That the magistrate's order (Filing No. 20) is hereby adopted in its entirety and is affirmed.