United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT WINAKOR’S MOTION FOR
PROTECTIVE ORDER [Doc. #51]
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is a motion by defendant Lee Winakor
(“Winakor”) seeking the entry of “a
protective order from the continued taking of his deposition
by counsel or the co-defendant, Vincent Savalle to the extent
any such questions exceed the scope of the notice of claim to
the Plaintiff by the Defendant, Vincent Savalle or the
allegations set forth in the complaint in an action entitled
Lee Winakor vs. Vincent Savalle[.]” Doc. #51 at 1
(sic). Alternatively, Winakor moves for an order terminating
his deposition pursuant to Rule 30(d)(3)(B). See Id.
Defendant Vincent Savalle (“Savalle”) has filed a
memorandum in opposition to Winakor’s motion. [Doc.
#55]. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS,
in part, and DENIES, in part,
Winakor’s Motion for a Protective Order [Doc.
#51]. The motion is GRANTED as to
Winakor’s request for a protective order, and
DENIED as to Winakor’s request for an
order terminating his deposition.
Main Street America Assurance Company (“Main
Street”) brings this action seeking a declaration of
its rights and obligations under a “Businessowners
Policy” issued to Savalle. See generally Doc. #19,
Amended Complaint. Specifically, Main Street seeks a
declaration that it is not obligated to defend or pay the
claims Winakor, Savalle’s co-defendant here, brought
against Savalle in state court. See generally Id.
Winakor obtained a judgment in the state court against
defendant Savalle as a result of Savalle’s alleged
faulty workmanship at Winakor’s property. See
Id. at ¶5, ¶¶12-16. That judgment is
currently being appealed. See Doc. #27 at 6.
Street asserts that Savalle failed to provide notice of
Winakor’s lawsuit, and that the claims asserted against
Savalle by Winakor in the underlying state court litigation
are not covered by the policy at issue. See Id. at
¶¶17-19, ¶¶23-26, ¶¶31-35,
¶¶40-45. Savalle has filed a counterclaim against
Main Street alleging, inter alia, that his office manager
telephoned plaintiff’s agent, Marcus Insurance,
“to advise it of the Winakor lawsuit ... on July 22,
2015, at the defendant Savalle’s direction[.]”
Doc. #20 at 5. As stated in the parties’ Rule 26(f)
report, Savalle contends that Main Street “breached its
duty to defend him, to his substantial cost, and that [Main
Street’s] breach bars it from the protection of the
terms of the policy[.]” Doc. #25 at 2-3.
represents that he has been named as a defendant in this
lawsuit because “to the extent [Main Street] may have
to make a payment to Savalle, Winakor has an interest in the
outcome of the litigation.” Doc. #51 at 2.
for Main Street deposed Winakor on August 26, 2019, for
approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. See Id. Winakor
represents that during his direct examination, counsel for
Main Street focused on “when Winakor gave notice to
Savalle of the claims, if he ever notified Savalle’s
carrier of the claim and what the nature of the claims
were.” Id. The Court’s review of
Winakor’s deposition transcript generally confirms that
representation. See generally Doc. #51-2, August 26, 2019,
Deposition of Lee Winakor (hereinafter the “Winakor
after Main Street’s deposition of Winakor concluded,
counsel for Savalle began his cross-examination of Winakor.
See Doc. #51 at 3. Counsel for Winakor represents that at the
outset of that cross-examination, he advised Savalle’s
attorney that “if he was going to try and re-litigate
the underlying action that [counsel] would advise his client
not to answer the questions and would terminate the exam and
move for a protective order.” Id. Although
counsel for Savalle began the cross-examination with
questions “appropriate for the subject matter of the
litigation[, ]” Winakor asserts that Savalle’s
attorney then “began asking questions which had no
bearing on the claims presented by this case and moreover
were not even remotely calculated to lead to admissible
evidence.” Id. Winakor asserts that Savalle
“is attempting to re-litigate the underlying cause of
action” and “should not be allowed the
opportunity to correct what he now sees as the failing of his
original trial attorney.” Id. at 4. Winakor
accordingly requests that the Court terminate his deposition
pursuant to Rule 30(d)(3), or enter a protective order
“limiting the scope of the deposition to questions
related to notice and the allegations contained in the
original complaint but not facts or evidence adduced at
trial.” Id. at 4-5.
generally responds that “Winakor’s narrow
construction of the scope of discovery is not warranted
either by an applicable rule, or by the course of discovery
in this case.” Doc. #55 at 1. Savalle also appears to
assert that counsel for Winakor improperly terminated the
deposition. See Id. at 2-3.
Motion for Protective Order
Court first considers Winakor’s request for a
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth
the scope and ...