United States District Court, D. Nevada
WEKSLER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the court are Defendant's Motion to Stay Discovery
(ECF No. 36), Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's
Motion to Stay Discovery (ECF No. 41), and Defendant's
Reply In Support Of Its Motion to Stay Discovery (ECF No.
42), filed on May 8, 2019, May 21, 2019, and May 28, 2019,
respectively. Defendant seeks to stay discovery because it
currently has a motion for summary judgment pending. (ECF No.
34.) In addition to opposing this motion to stay, Plaintiff
filed Plaintiff's Individual Discovery Plan and
Scheduling Order on May 8, 2019 (ECF No. 37), which is also
presently before the court.
was in a car accident with Anthony Aiello in 2013. (ECF No.
34 at 3.) At the time of the accident, Plaintiff had an
insurance policy with Defendant, which provided uninsured
motor vehicle coverage. (Id. at 3-4.) This policy
provided Plaintiff coverage for bodily injury if she was
involved in an accident with an uninsured (or underinsured)
motor vehicle and she established (1) fault by the
uninsured/underinsured tortfeasor (Mr. Aiello) and (2) the
extent of Plaintiff's damages resulting from the car
accident. (ECF Nos. 34 at 3-4, 38 at 7.)
initiated two lawsuits after her car accident: one in state
court against Mr. Aiello and one (now in federal court)
against Defendant to recover her insurance benefits. (ECF No.
34 at 3, 5.)
state court action alleged that Mr. Aiello was at fault for
the 2013 car accident involving Plaintiff. (ECF No. 41 at 3.)
At trial, Mr. Aiello apparently admitted he was at fault on
the record. (ECF No. 38 at 10; Ex. 3.) However, the jury
found for Mr. Aiello and did not award Plaintiff any damages.
(ECF No. 34; Ex. E.)
action originated in state court and the Defendant
subsequently removed it to federal court. (ECF No. 1.) In
this case, Plaintiff alleges two causes of action against
Defendant: (1) breach of contract and (2) breach of the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (ECF No. 7.)
Essentially, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant breached the
parties' insurance contract and acted in bad faith by
failing to pay Plaintiff the benefits to which she is
allegedly entitled under her insurance contract.
(Id. at 4-5.)
of the pending and related state court case, this case was
stayed on April 30, 2018. (ECF No. 30.) On March 29, 2019,
Plaintiff moved to lift the stay because the jury reached a
verdict in the state court action. (ECF No. 32.) The court
granted Plaintiff's motion and lifted the stay on April
8, 2019. (ECF No. 33.)
immediately moved for summary judgment on the grounds that
the jury's verdict in the state court action prevents
Plaintiff from recovering from Defendant in this case. (ECF
No. 34). Defendant also now seeks to stay discovery until its
motion for summary judgment is decided. (ECF No. 36.)
after the court lifted the stay in this case, Plaintiff filed
a motion for a new trial in the state court action. (ECF No.
38 at 4; Ex. 4.) A hearing on Plaintiff's motion for a
new trial is currently set for July 31, 2019.
have broad discretionary power to control discovery. See
Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir.
1988). When deciding whether to grant a stay of discovery,
the court is guided by the objectives of Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 1
that ensures a “just, speedy, and inexpensive
determination of every action.” Kor Media Group,
LLC v. Green, 294 F.R.D. 579, 581 (D. Nev. 2013).
Accordingly, considerations of judicial economy and
preserving the parties' resources may warrant a stay in
some cases. U.S. for Use & Benefit of Newton v.
Neumann Caribbean Int'l, Ltd., 750 F.2d 1422,
1426-27 (9th Cir. 1985).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not, however, provide for
automatic or blanket stays of discovery just because a
potentially dispositive motion is pending. See Skellerup
Indus. Ltd. v. City of L.A., 163 F.R.D. 598, 600-01
(C.D. Cal. 1995). In fact, a dispositive motion ordinarily
does not warrant a stay of discovery. See Twin City Fire
Ins. v. Employers of Wausau, 124 F.R.D. 652, 653 (D.
Nev. 1989); Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Tracinda
Corp., 175 F.R.D. 554, 556 (D. Nev. 1997). However, when
a party moves for a stay because a dispositive motion is
pending, the court may grant the stay when “(1) the
pending motion is potentially dispositive; (2) the
potentially dispositive motion can be decided without
additional discovery; and (3) the court has taken a
‘preliminary peek' at the merits of the potentially
dispositive motion and is convinced that the plaintiff will
be unable to state a claim for relief.” Kor Media
Group, 294 F.R.D. at 581.
Defendant requested a stay of discovery because it has a
motion for summary judgment pending. After conducting its
“preliminary peek” at Defendant's motion for
summary judgment, the court finds that a stay of discovery is
inappropriate under the Kor Media factors, because
it is not convinced that Defendant will prevail on its motion
for summary judgment, as discussed in more detail below.
However, the court will nonetheless stay discovery in this
case based on its inherent authority and to prevent
unnecessary waste of the parties' and the court's
resources. See Little, 863 F.2d at 685; U.S. for
Use & Benefit of Newton, 750 F.2d at 1426-27
(staying case pending conclusion of related arbitration not
an abuse of discretion, as it was supported by considerations
of economy and ...