Williams v. Jackson Nat’l Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., Index No. 2008/6666, 04/22/16 (Rosenbaum, J.)

Motion to Compel; Discovery; Personal Knowledge                             

By: Amanda Tersigni | Staff Writer

Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank (“Defendant JP Morgan”) is an acquirer of assets and liabilities of Washington Mutual Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Plaintiff is an account holder with JP Morgan Chase Bank. At the request of Defendant JP Morgan, Defendant Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York and National Life Insurance Company (“Jackson Defendants”) produced two witnesses for deposition to testify to matters related to the security procedures of Jackson Defendants. However, both witnesses could not attest to the security procedures. Defendant JP Morgan therefore requested that Jackson Defendants produce a witness with the requisite knowledge, or else Defendant JP Morgan would file a motion to compel.

Defendant JP Morgan then served a Notice of Examination Before Trial on Defendant JP Morgan, inquiring about dates of availability for the requested deposition. Defendant JP however, failed to response. Defendant JP Morgan made multiple requests for a more substantial witness to testify on Jackson Defendants behalf. Therefore, pursuant to CPLR § 3124, Defendant JP Morgan moved to compel Jackson Defendants to produce a witness for deposition who is competent enough to answer questions that concern the relevant issues such as how the audio recordings were made.

In opposition, Jackson Defendants claimed that substantial documentary evidence was already provided to the parties in the form of 794 pages of interrogatory responses and attached documents coupled with the testimonies from both witnesses. Thus, Jackson Defendants argued that the policies, rules, and regulations have been provided in writing and contend that there is nothing any other witness could provide through testimony that the documents do not already provide. Jackson Defendants further argued the requested information was not material to the determined guidelines for the case. In essence, Jackson Defendants argued that they have disclosed the guidelines as the ones used by them at the relevant time and it does not matter who composed them, or the rationale therefore.

Ultimately, the Court denied Defendant JP Morgan’s Motion to Compel without prejudice on the basis that Jackson Defendants produced substantial documentary evidence to resolve the issues. The substantial documentary evidence included the 794 pages of interrogatory responses and attached documents, coupled with the two witnesses that were already produced for the depositions. Further, the Court encouraged Defendant JP Morgan to seek the necessary information from the provided interrogatories. In the event that Defendant JP Morgan deem the responses to its interrogatories insufficient, the parties would then be free to contact the court for a conference. Accordingly, Defendant JP Morgan’s Motion to Compel was denied.

Williams v. Jackson Nat’l Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., Index No. 2008/6666, 04/22/16 (Rosenbaum, J.).

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