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Maxum Casualty Insurance Co. v. Taylor

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 10, 2019

MAXUM CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiffs,
v.
STEVEN T. TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Robert J. Kilroy's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff Maxum Casualty Insurance Company (“Maxum”) filed a response (ECF No. 14), to which Kilroy replied (ECF No. 18).

         Also before the court is defendants Mary A. Taylor (“Mrs. Taylor”) and Steven T. Taylor's (Mr. Taylor”) (collectively “the Taylors”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 12). Maxum filed a response (ECF No. 15), to which the Taylors replied (ECF No. 16).

         I. Facts

         This is a declaratory action in which Maxum requests that the court declare its legal rights and obligations with respect to an insurance policy. The record before the court establishes the following events:

         On or about June 4, 2008, Mr. Taylor and Kilroy's vehicles collided into each other, causing significant injury to Kilroy. (ECF Nos. 10, 13, 15, 16). At the time of the collision, Mr. Taylor had an insurance policy with Maxum. Id. The policy provided a $1, 000, 0000 limit for bodily and property damages, per accident. Id.

         On January 23, 2009, the Taylors commenced an action in Nevada state court for personal injuries against Kilroy. Id. After four years of litigation, Kilroy's counterclaims against Mr. Taylor were the only issues remaining in the case. Id. The matter went to trial and the jury found that Mr. Taylor and Kilroy were equally liable for the collision. Id. The jury awarded $35, 000 to Mr. Taylor and $75, 000 to Kilroy. (ECF No. 1).

         Following the jury verdict, the Taylors and Kilroy filed motions for new trial. (ECF Nos. 10, 12, 15). The state court granted the motions, holding that the jury's liability determination was supported by adequate evidence, but that the jury failed to follow instructions when calculating damages. Id. The Taylors appealed and the Nevada Court of Appeals affirmed the state court's order. Id.

         After the Nevada Court of Appeals remanded the case, the parties stipulated to a binding arbitration. Id. The arbitration agreement provided that the scope of arbitration was limited to the issue of damages and that Kilroy would subsequently be able to file a motion for interest, costs, and attorney's fees. Id. The arbitrators ultimately found total damages in the amount of $6, 758, 293.76, for which Mr. Taylor was 50% liable. Id. In July 2017, the state court entered judgment consistent with the results of the arbitration. Id.

         On July 12, 2017, Maxum filed a motion to interplead funds in the amount of $1, 000, 000. (ECF No. 10-3). The Taylors and Kilroy filed a countermotion requesting that the court adjudicate Maxum's duties under the insurance policy. (ECF Nos. 10-4, 10-5). On September 28, 2017, the state court issued an order (1) dismissing Maxum's motion as being procedurally defective, (2) exercising general jurisdiction over Maxum, and (3) holding that the insurance policy requires Maxum to pay the $1, 000, 000 limit, interest on the entire judgment, costs, and attorney's fees. (ECF No. 10-7).

         Maxum moved for reconsideration of the state court's September 28, 2017, order. (ECF No. 10-8). The state court denied the motion for reconsideration. (ECF No. 10-9). Maxum represents that the state court matter is currently pending before the Nevada Supreme Court. (ECF No. 14).

         On October 2, 2018, Maxum initiated this declaratory action seeking the court to declare its rights and duties in connection with the insurance policy. (ECF No. 1). Specifically, Maxum requests that the court hold that it complied with all duties in connection with the policy by (1) paying to Kilroy the policy limit; (2) tendering interest on the judgment, which Kilroy rejected; and (3) tendering $117, 465.76 in costs, which Kilroy also rejected. Id.

         Now the Taylors and Kilroy move to dismiss this action. (ECF Nos. 10, 12).

         II. Discussion

         The Taylors and Kilroy argue that the court should dismiss this declaratory action because it would be inappropriate to ...


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