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Colorado Hospitality Service Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

United States District Court, District of Colorado

January 28, 2015

COLORADO HOSPITALITY SERVICE, INC., HOTEL GOLD CROWN, a Colorado company, Plaintiff,
v.
AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER

Boyd N. Boland United States Magistrate Judge

This matter arises on defendant’s Motion for Entry of Protective Order [Doc. # 24] (the “Motion for Protective Order”), which is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

This case concerns an insurance claim by the plaintiff for hail damage to its hotel property. In particular, the plaintiff alleges:

Plaintiff purchased a commercial property insurance (the “Policy”) from Auto-Owners to insure the hotel. This policy was in effect on the date of the hail storm June 6, 2012. Under the Policy, Auto-Owners agreed to pay for direct physical loss or damage to the hotel and other covered items caused by covered causes of loss, including loss from hail damage.
On or around June 6, 2012, the hotel was hit by a strong hailstorm. The hailstorm damaged the hotel and its outbuildings and related structures, including the roofs, skylights, windows, signs, and HVAC system.
Plaintiff submitted a claim to Auto-Owners for insurance benefits due under the Policy. Auto-Owners hired an adjuster to adjust the loss. The adjuster found hail damage to the hotel building and signs. The adjuster concluded that the replacement cost for those items was $180, 650.82. Auto Owners issued an initial check to Plaintiff for that amount minus depreciation (the “Actual Cash Value” or “ACV”). Plaintiff did not believe that Auto-Owners had correctly estimated the replacement cost for the damaged property. Plaintiff hired a public adjuster to value the covered loss. The public adjuster found that the replacement cost for the damaged property was $2, 423, 627.42.
As of this filing, Auto-Owners has not paid the claim in an amount reflecting all insurance benefits owed. Plaintiff has brought claims for relief for breach of contract, violation of Colorado Revised Statute § 10-3-1115 and §10-3-1116, and for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Scheduling Order [Doc. # 20] at pp. 2-3.

The Motion for Protective Order has two components. First, the defendant objects to producing certain documents without a blanket protective order to prevent the public dissemination of materials it asserts contain proprietary information and trade secrets. As to that, the Motion for Protective Order is granted, and I have entered separately a blanket protective order as requested.

Secondly, the defendant requests a protective order that the discovery not be had with respect to the following requests

9. All performance goals, plans, objectives, or directives related to claims handling, coverage determinations, leakage, combined ratio, and/or payment of insurance benefits for any adjuster(s), supervisor(s) and third-party representative(s), including but not limited to regional or company goals, involved in the Loss or the Claim from the years 2012 through the present.
10. All documents related to any claims handling or adjustment-based criteria for compensating, evaluating, promoting, retaining, terminating, or providing bonuses or financial incentives to all persons at Auto-Owners involved with the handling of the Claim and all such personnel with decision-making authority with respect to the Loss and the Claims.
13. All documents or programs created, developed, adopted, or modified by Auto-Owners, its affiliated company or companies, third-party contractors, or consultants, related to its evaluations or analyses of the impact of first party property insurance claims on Auto-Owners’ financial position, profit margins, leakage, leakage tracking, combine ratio, litigation exposure, liability exposure, extra-contractual or bad faith liability exposure, and regulatory compliance from the years 2012 through the present.
14. All documents related to the strategies, programs, plans, directives, goals, incentives, etc., related to reducing Auto-Owners’ combined ratio (the ratio of losses and expenses to premium income) and/or tracking and reducing “leakage”, i.e., the measurement of the amount of overpayments or ...

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