Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Estate of Her v. Sadownikow

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 25, 2018

ESTATE OF SWANNIE HER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
KRAIG SADOWNIKOW, et al., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER AND PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL

          NANCY JOSEPH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This action arises from the drowning death of Swannie Her on June 11, 2016 at the City of West Bend's Regner Park. The plaintiffs are the estate of Swannie Her, her parents, and her nine siblings (collectively “the plaintiffs”). The defendants are the City of West Bend (“the City”), the City's insurer, Parks and Recreation Director Craig Hoeppner, and the lifeguards working the day of the incident (collectively “the defendants”). The plaintiffs allege federal and state law causes of action against the defendants, including a “Fourteenth Amendment Deprivation, ” negligence, violation of Wisconsin's Safe Place Statute, and wrongful death. (Amended Complaint, Docket # 17.)

         Currently before me is the defendants' motion for a protective order quashing the plaintiffs' Fourth Request for Production to the extent that it seeks materials contained within a claim adjustor's file and quashing the deposition notice of James Pohlman, an outside claims adjustor hired by the City's insurer to investigate the incident. (Docket # 31.) The plaintiffs have filed a “counter motion to compel, ” requesting production of the documents at issue and the deposition of Pohlman. (Docket # 46.) For the reasons explained in this decision, the defendants' motion for a protective order is granted in part and denied in part and the plaintiffs' motion to compel is granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         The plaintiffs allege that six-year-old Swannie Her was attending her cousin's birthday party on June 11, 2016 at Regner Park, a municipally owned and operated park located in the City of West Bend. Swannie Her drowned in the Regner Park swimming pool. The plaintiffs served a Notice of Claim on the City of West Bend on October 5, 2016. However, prior to the filing of a notice of claim, James Pohlman, an outside claims adjustor who was retained by the City's insurer to investigate the incident at issue in this lawsuit, provided documents to the City's insurer in conjunction with the investigation. (Defs.' Br. in Supp. of Protective Order at 7, Docket # 32.) The plaintiffs served its Fourth Request for Production, requesting the following documents:

• “All post-incident investigation notes, records, email, and/or documents prior to October 5, 2016, relative to the drowning death of Swannie Her. (This request is propounded on the City of West Bend's insurers, and its insurers' agents, only; Plaintiff is not seeking any portion of the claims file that postdates the Notice of Claim served on the City of West Bend).”
• The “complete claims file reflecting its investigation into the death of Swannie Her through the date of October 5, 2016.”
• “All communications and/or investigative reports exchanged between any City of West Bend employee with [the City's municipal liability insurers] as it relates to the drowning death of Swannie Her prior to October 5, 2016.”

         (Affidavit of Matteo Reginato (“Reginato Aff.”) ¶ 4, Exh. 2, Docket # 35.) The defendants claimed the documents sought were protected by the work product doctrine and produced a privilege log. (Id.) The privilege log indicated that the following documents were being withheld pursuant to the work product doctrine:

• First Summary Report of Investigation, which included recorded conversations of witnesses, 48 photographs of the Regner Park Pond, a map showing measurements of the pond, a map showing the location of the lifeguards, Swannie Her's GoFundMe page (obtained online), and a letter dated June 16, 2016 to the West Bend P.D. requesting a copy of its report. These documents are dated June 27, 2016.
• Second Summary Report of Investigation, dated June 28, 2016.
• Third Summary Report of Investigation, dated July 12, 2016.
• Fourth Summary Report of Investigation, dated July 26, 2016.
• Fifth Summary Report of Investigation, dated August ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.