An interesting privilege issue arose in the State of Washington—whether a plaintiff–insured may obtain her uninsured motorist carrier’s (UIM) post-litigation file in a bad-faith case.
Distinguishing between a general insurer’s claims file—which is discoverable—and a UIM file, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled that the attorney–client privilege and work-product doctrine protect a UIM carrier’s post-litigation file. Richardson v. Gov’t Employees Ins. Co., 2017 WL 4367701 (Wash. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2017). You may read the decision here.
Access to Attorney’s Post-Litigation File?
GEICO provided Christine Richardson with personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and UIM coverage. After suffering injuries in a car accident, Richardson received a coverage-limits payment from the at-fault driver and money from GEICO’s PIP coverage, but that was not enough. So, she filed a UIM claim and later a bad-faith lawsuit after GEICO denied UIM coverage.