Cant’t hide investigation behind attorney client privilege

CPLR 3101

National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 2014 NY Slip Op 01283 [1st Dept. 2014] 

The motion court properly found that the majority of the documents sought to be withheld are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine or as materials prepared in anticipation of litigation. The record shows that the insurance companies retained counsel to provide a coverage opinion, i.e. an opinion as to whether the insurance companies should pay or deny the claims. Documents prepared in the ordinary course of an insurer's investigation of whether to pay or deny a claim are not privileged, and do not become so " merely because [the] investigation was conducted by an attorney'" (see Brooklyn Union Gas Co. v American Home Assur. Co., 23 AD3d 190, 191 [1st Dept 2005]).

 

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