United States District Court, D. Alaska
Russel Holland United States District Judge
to exclude “evidence regarding the actual
evaluation” of plaintiff's claim in the liability
claim file. This motion is opposed. Oral argument was
not requested and is not deemed necessary.
Abraham Allen was injured in a motor vehicle accident that
occurred on October 17, 2012. At the time of the accident,
plaintiff was driving a vehicle owned by his employer,
Alaska's Best Water Product. The vehicle was insured by
defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.
State Farm opened Claim Number 02-3H19-495 in connection with
the claims made against Alaska's Best's
driver of the other vehicle, Kris Brandon, was also insured
by State Farm. State Farm opened Claim Number 02-13F0-822 in
connection with the claims made against Brandon's policy,
including a liability claim made by plaintiff. Steve McKitrick
was the claim representative who primarily handled
plaintiff's liability claim.
was determined to be one-hundred percent responsible for the
accident, and plaintiff settled his liability claim against
Brandon for policy limits of $100, 000. Plaintiff also
received $143, 817.21 in Worker's Comp benefits for his
injuries arising out of the accident. Plaintiff, however,
contended that his damages caused by the accident exceeded
these amounts and thus he made a UIM claim under the
Alaska's Best policy. Defendant Michael Yount was the
claim representative who handled plaintiff's UIM claim.
Farm denied plaintiff's UIM claim, and on October 28,
2014, plaintiff commenced this action. In his complaint,
plaintiff asserted a UIM claim and bad faith claims.
bad faith claims were severed pending the outcome of his UIM
claim, which he tried to a jury. On September 2, 2016, the
jury awarded plaintiff $354, 480.23 for damages caused by the
October 17, 2012 motor vehicle collision.
of his discovery on his bad faith claims, plaintiff requested
and State Farm produced the claim file for Claim Number
02-13F0-822 (the liability claim file). In its opening
brief, State Farm claimed that Yount did not have access to
the information in the liability claim file. However, Yount
avers in his declaration offered in support of the instant
motion that while he did not “recall reviewing the
claim evaluation” in the liability claim file, he
believed that he “accessed” the liability claim
file “to get the name and contact information of the
adjuster assigned to the liability claim so I could contact
[him] with questions I had.”
now move to exclude plaintiff from offering “all
evidence regarding State Farm's handling and evaluation
of the claim against Ms. Brandon contained in Claim Number
02-13F0-822. . . .” Defendants contend that this evidence
is not relevant or if it is relevant, its probative value is
outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.
401, Federal Rules of Evidence, provides: Evidence is
(a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable
than it would be ...