US Bank v. PHL Variable Insurance

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge James Francis

PHL Variable Insurance Co. issued Phoenix Accumulator Universal Life (PAUL) policies—reinsured by Reinsurance Group of America (RGA)—to US Bank. US Bank's 2011 suit alleged PHL breached the policies by raising insurance rate costs on the PAUL policies in 2010 and 2011. It subpoenaed documents from five reinsurers, the American Council of Life Insurers, rating agencies evaluating PHL, and insurers issuing products similar to PHL's. PHL—and non-party reinsurers Transamerica Life Ins. Co. and SCOR Global Life Americas Reinsurance Co.—sought a protective order under FRCP Rule 26(a) or, an order under Rule 45(c)(3) quashing the subpoenas. In addition to denying PHL's motion to quash, or for a protective order, the court denied Transamerica's and SCOR's quash motions on condition that US Bank bear the costs of search, collection, and production associated with subpoena compliance. PHL lacked standing to challenge the subpoenas. In addition to lacking a proprietary interest in RGA's internal communications about PHL's purported insurance cost increase, PHL—which had represented that it would produce its communications with one of the non-parties—had no interest in preventing the subpoenaed entities from doing so.

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