Unisys Corp. v. Royal Indemnity Co
In Unisys Corp. v Royal Indemnity Co., No. CIVA99C08055JOH, 2001 Del. Super. 3 [Del Super Ct, May 25, 2001] the plaintiff requested "all documents that identify the date that you first became aware of the [computer] problem".
The insurer refused to produce the discovery (Unisys Corp., at 3). Plaintiff argued that the request was addressed to the defense of fraud and misrepresentation, among other things.
Plaintiff in Unisys Corp. argued that its request to learn the date each insurer became aware of the computer problem addressed the justifiable reliance element of a fraud claim (id.). The court acknowledged that "there is a potential issue, if the insurers knew there was a computer problem, why would they not have specifically excluded coverage or sought more information from plaintiff before providing coverage" (id.).
The court, while noting that the broadly worded requests had some fragment of an issue to be discussed, held that "the potentially minimal relevance of this and [plaintiff's] other broad requests is outweighed by the possible burdensome nature of [plaintiff's] requests" [sustaining the decision of the special discovery master who denied plaintiff s motion to compel]). The court suggested that a "more focused discovery approach may obviate many of the problems raised by [plaintiff's] discovery broadside currently under review" (id.).