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St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Lexington Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 8, 2014

St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, and Travelers Indemnity Company of America, Plaintiffs,
v.
Lexington Insurance Company, American Home Insurance Company, Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Defendants. Zurich American Insurance Company, Cross-Claimant,
v.
Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, American Safety Indemnity Company, Lexington Insurance Company, American Home Insurance Company, Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Cross-Defendants. American Home Insurance Company and Commerce & Industry Insurance Company, Counter/Cross-Claimants,
v.
St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, Travelers Indemnity Company of America, Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, Maryland Casualty Company, Zurich American Insurance Company, and American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Company, Counter/Cross-Defendants. Lexington Insurance Company, Counter/Cross-Claimant,
v.
St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, Travelers Indemnity Company of America, Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, Maryland Casualty Company, Zurich American Insurance Company, and American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Company, Counter/Cross-Defendants.

ORDER

STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, Senior District Judge.

Before the Court is an unopposed motion for leave to file an amicus brief submitted by Del Webb Corporation, Del Webb Communities, Inc., Del Webb's Home Construction, Inc., and Pulte Homes, Inc. n/k/a PulteGroup, Inc. (collectively "Del Webb"). (Doc. 389.) Having reviewed the motion, the Court will grant Del Webb the opportunity to file a brief as amicus curiae.

Standard of Review

As noted by Del Webb, a district court has broad discretion to permit individuals or entities to participate in a case as amici curiae. Hoptowit v. Ray , 682 F.2d 1237, 1260 (9th Cir.1982), abrogated on other grounds by Sandin v. Conner , 515 U.S. 472, 115 S.Ct. 2293, 132 L.Ed.2d 418 (1995). Though not a party to the case, an amicus curiae serves to provide assistance in a case of general interest, supplement the efforts of counsel in the case, and draw the court's attention to legal arguments that have escaped consideration. Miller-Wohl Co. v. Comm'r of Labor and Indus. , 694 F.2d 203, 204 (9th Cir.1982); See Funbus Sys., Inc. v. Cal. Pub. Utils. Comm'n , 801 F.2d 1120, 1125 (9th Cir.1986).

Discussion

Del Webb contends that it has spent "significant time and energy working with its additional insurers to develop a mutually agreeable allocation of unreimbursed... defense costs" to no avail and thus moves the Court to allow Del Webb to file an amicus brief. (Doc. 389 at 3.) Indeed, the parties have forced the Court to expend vast resources to decide each party's duty to defend-a relatively simple legal issue. On August 15, 2014, almost three years from the Plaintiff's original complaint (Doc. 1), the Court declared that all parties remaining in the action had a duty to defend Del Webb in proportion to their respective policy limits quotients as described by that Order. (Doc. 381 at 13.) In two separate motions, the parties now move to vacate the Court's ruling. (Docs. 384; 386.) The parties also submit a tentative settlement agreement to the Court to which all but one of the parties have agreed. (Doc 386-1.) Thus, despite the Court's Order and, evidently, the parties' subsequent settlement talks, (Docs. 381; 368) the parties continue to dispute their liability. Meanwhile, Del Webb continues to cover costs it believes one or more of the providers in this action should pay. Good cause showing,

Accordingly,

IT IS HEARBY ORDERED GRANTING Del Webb's Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief Opposing Efforts to Vacate this Court's Order Dated August 15, 2014. (Doc. 389). Del Webb is granted 21 days from the Order to file its brief. All relevant local rules shall apply.


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