In Collins v. Allstate Insurance Company, after the case was referred to arbitration, the insurer timely moved for partial summary judgment as to the insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith. Plaintiff claimed that summary judgment was premature because his attorneys had not had the opportunity to depose the insurer’s representatives. The insured did not submit any evidence that he had issued any notices for depositions before the insurer filed its motion for partial summary judgment. The court found that the insurer’s motion was not premature, but dismissed the motion without prejudice in order to provide the insured with more time for discovery. The court stated “Although plaintiff’s delay in seeking depositions of [the insurer’s] representatives is very troubling, it is well established that a court ‘is obliged to give a party opposing summary judgment an adequate opportunity to obtain discovery,’ especially when, as here, relevant facts are within the control of the moving party.” The court found that the fact-specific inquiries required in examining plaintiff’s claims and the short period of time for discovery in arbitration matters provided a sufficient basis to permit the additional discovery sought by the plaintiff. The court provided the plaintiff with 45 days to take depositions.
Date of Decision: December 10, 2009
Collins v. Allstate Ins. Co.
, Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-01824-WY, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115778 (E.D. Pa December 10, 2009) (Yohn, J.).