counsel were primarily engaged in claims handling [CPLR 3126]

CPLR 3126

National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 19 AD3d 492 [1st Dept. 2014]

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. Further, the record shows that counsel were primarily engaged in claims handling—an ordinary business activity for an insurance company. 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]).

We need not reach the question of whether the common interest exception to the attorney client privilege applies, because the documents at issue are not privileged.

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