Jenner & Block

Insurance Team Succeeds in Limiting Scope of Discovery by Insurer in Indemnification Action

Jenner & Block secured a significant victory for the firm’s client ProBuild Holdings, Inc., in an indemnification dispute with its excess insurer Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) over settlements of defective Chinese drywall claims against ProBuild.  At issue was whether FFIC would be permitted to conduct open-ended discovery beyond what had already been conducted in the underlying lawsuits.  The firm sought to limit FFIC to litigating the reasonableness of the settlements, as determined by facts and discovery learned in the previous litigation.  On June 5, 2013, the Boulder County, Colorado District Court ruled in ProBuild’s favor, limiting the discovery that FFIC can undertake.

The firm team representing ProBuild includes Partners Matthew L. Jacobs and Brian S. Scarbrough and Associate Jan A. Larson.

Matt was quoted in a Law360 article about the decision, entitled “Insurer Can’t Investigate Merits of Chinese Drywall Claims.” Discussing the significance of the court’s ruling, he told the publication, “This makes clear that an insurer cannot stand on the sideline while a policyholder settles an underlying claim and then much later seek to relitigate the merits of that underlying claim, as opposed to merely the reasonableness of the settlement.”