Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

NRCP Rule 16.1 Requires Disclosure Of All Responsive Liability Insurance Policies.

insurance policyIn Construction Defect (CD) cases, Plaintiff attorneys often bring big damage claims. Thus , Plaintiff CD attorneys instinctively look for as much liability insurance as they can find. Just as intuitively, CD Defense attorneys know that insurance policies should have nothing to do the amount of a demand.

In 2013, these differing viewpoints gave rise to a dispute between the CD attorneys for Defendant Vanguard Piping Systems, Inc. and the attorneys for Plaintiff Aventine-Tramonti Homeowners Association. The Defense attorneys felt that they had complied with NRCP 16.1(a)(1)(D) by disclosing some of their primary insurance policies, that production of additional policies was burdensome and that the amounts of some of the excess policies were just not relevant.

NRCP 16.1(a)(1)(D) is Nevada’s equivalent to FRCP 26(a)(1)(A)(iv). Just like the federal rule, Nevada’s rule requires disclosures of the insurance documents, without a request from the opposing party. However, Nevada’s disclosure rule is broader than the federal rule in that in addition to disclosure of the insurance agreement, it requires the disclosing party to also provide “any disclaimer or limitation of coverage or reservation of rights.”

At the time, Rule 16.1(a)(1)(D) provided:

any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment and any disclaimer or limitation of coverage or reservation of rights under any such insurance agreement.

However, the Plaintiff’s attorneys believed that the Defense had not made a full disclosure. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that Rule 16.1(a)(1)(D) required the Defendants to disclose every liability insurance policy held by the Defendants that could answer for any judgment. When the issue was brought before the special master, he decided in favor of Plaintiff. The Defense filed a writ to the Nevada Supreme Court challenging the ruling. Vanguard Piping Systems, Inc. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., 129 Nev. Adv. Op. 63, 309 P.3d 1017 (2013).

Like its federal equivalent, Nevada’s Rule 16.1(a)(1)(D) includes mandatory language saying that the defense “must” disclosure of “any” policies. The Nevada Supreme Court points out in its opinion that the defense cannot decide which policies are relevant and which are not. The court said that the Defendants must disclose all implicated liability policies. The court said that this interpretation of the rule was consistent with the interpretation given to the federal counterpart. Sierrapine v. Refiner Prods. Mfg., Inc., 275 F.R.D. 604, 613 (E.D. Cal. 2011), In re ML-Lee Acquisition Fund II, L.P., 151 F.R.D. 37, 41 (D. Del. 1993) and U.S. Fire Ins. Co. v. Bunge N. Am., Inc., 244 F.R.D. 638, 641 (D. Kan. 2007). .

It is interesting to note that before litigation begins, an insurance company does not have disclose any insurance coverage. See HERE. However, in sharp contrast, after litigation begins, the defense has an obligation to disclose all implicated policies. If you have questions about the discovery process in Nevada litigation, please feel free to contact Mike Mills at 702-240-6060 or send him an email at He will gladly respond.

About Michael Mills

Mr. Mills practices in the area of civil litigation and appeals, with particular experience in matters involving trucking liability, insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, products liability and defense of personal injury. Mr. Mills is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee and the Nevada Motor Transport Association. Mr. Mills is licensed to practice before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court. He is also licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Nevada and Utah, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Mills has created 3 Blogs for the benefit of the insurance industry. He serves as editor and publisher of the Nevada Insurance Law Blog, the Nevada Coverage and Bad Faith Blog and the Nevada Trucking Law Blog.

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