The flurry of motions in preparation for a November trial has continued in insurance giant Allstate’s federal litigation against Auto Glass America and its owner Charles Isaly (AGA).
The most recent back and forth involved Allstate’s filing of a Motion to Prevent the Filing of Confidential and Highly Confidential Documents, Request for Sanctions and Alternative Motion for Leave to File Under Seal with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
The parties to the case had entered into a Confidentiality Agreement in October 2019 under which each side could label certain documents as “Confidential” or “Highly Confidential/Attorney Eyes Only.” Many documents have been filed under this process, but disputes have ensued. Allstate maintains that AGA has falsely accused them of over-designating documents and is trying to circumvent the agreed upon process to have the designated documents made public.
As an example, Allstate is seeking to block AGA from filing documents to support their claim that Safelite Solutions, Allstate’s third-party administrator, steers AGA customers to Safelite Auto Glass. Allstate maintains that there is no admissible evidence to support that claim and the documents that AGA seeks to have entered in the case would not be probative to the claim but would be prejudicial to the insurance company.
Allstate wants the court to block the filing of the documents in question and impose sanctions on AGA for the costs involved in the filing of the motion to prevent filing. Allstate is asking that, if the court finds otherwise and allows the documents to be filed, they should be filed under seal, away from public view.
The documents in question include telephone recordings of calls between AGA and Safelite Solutions, agreements between Allstate and Safelite Solutions, and Allstate’s Glass Claims Express Business Rules and Settlement Agreements between Allstate and other glass companies.
AGA responded to Allstate’s request by stating that “Defendants do not oppose Allstate’s request for the Court to view these materials in camera or even to seal them, even though the materials do not appear to rise to the level of privacy that would warrant denying the public access to them.” AGA said that all they want is for the court to consider the documents when deciding upon Allstate’s underlying motion to preclude the “steering” accusation from being considered at trial.
AGA further argued that sanctions were not warranted because “Allstate opened the door to the Court’s consideration of these materials when it asked the Court to preclude evidence of steering, and its request for sanctions against Defendants because they walked through that door is disingenuous at best”.