Quashing a Discovery Order Which Compelled Production of Insurer's Legal File

In Manhattan National Life Insurance Co. v. Kujawa, 522 So. 2d 1078 (Fla. 4th DCA 1988), approved, 541 So. 2d 1168 (Fla. 1989), an insured initiated a first-party bad faith action against an insurer for failure to settle a claim under a life insurance policy. In quashing a discovery order that had compelled the production of the insurer's legal file, the district court held, in pertinent part, that "an insurer which is not in a fiduciary relationship to its insured and against which a cause of action is brought under section 624.155 is entitled to protection against production of its legal department file (and its claim file by whatever name)." Id. at 1080. In affirming that decision, the court, with a very brief analysis, accepted the notion that the district court was correct in concluding that an adversarial relationship continued to exist between the parties in a statutory first-party bad faith action and that in creating the statutory cause of action, the Florida Legislature did not alter this relationship whatsoever. See: Kujawa v. Manhattan Nat'l Life Ins. Co., 541 So. 2d 1168, 1169 (Fla. 1989); See also: Vesta Fire Ins. v. Figueroa, 821 So. 2d 1233, 1236 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002) ("The Supreme Court of Florida in Kujawa held that in spite of the shift in focus of the 'bad faith' statute, the creation of the statutory remedy for insurer misconduct in adjusting a first-party claim did not strip the insurer of its right to work product immunity.").