In a ruling issued on Friday, February 5, 2010, Judge William Smith of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island ruled that the long-standing Rhode Island practice of automatically stopping discovery in insurance “bad faith” cases until after the underlying “contract” claims are resolved should no longer be the practice in cases brought before the federal court. His thoughtful ruling sets forth guidelines for determining how this issue should be handled in the future and makes reference to the many federal courts throughout the country that have adopted this new approach to one extent or another. We will post a copy of this important ruling on our blog and continue fighting for the rights of our clients to be free from unsavory conduct by insurers. The decision was issued in the matter of Carol Wolf v. GEICO General Insurance Company which is filed under case or docket number 1:08-cv-00436-S-DLM.
Read the full text (PDF) of the order. Adobe Acrobat Reader required (free download).