In my prior blog post, I reported on a recent decision by Judge Gary R. Brown, a United States Magistrate Judge from the Eastern District of New York. In that decision, Raimey v. Wright National Flood Ins. Co., 14 CV 461 (JFB)(SIL)(GRB), 2014 WL 5801540 (E.D.N.Y. November 7, 2014), the court ordered all defendants/insurers in any Hurricane Sandy case pending in the Eastern District to provide plaintiffs with copies of all reports prepared by any engineer, adjustor, or other agent or contractor affiliated with the defendants/insurers, relating to the properties and damage at issue, including any drafts, redlines, markups, reports, notes, measurements, photographs, and written communications related thereto.
Counsel for a number of plaintiffs/insureds with cases pending in New Jersey have now asked the New Jersey District Court to issue a similar ruling. One attorney, William F. Merlin, Jr., a principal in the Merlin Law Group, PA, made such a request in a letter dated November 10, 2014, which was addressed to the judges on the Superstorm Sandy Litigation Committee. A copy of the letter is available here: Merlin Ltr to DNJ Magistrates re US Forensic (11 10 14)_1
The New Jersey District Court, like the Eastern District of New York, has issued a number of orders that apply to all Hurricane Sandy cases involving standard flood insurance policies sold and administered by Write Your Own (“WYO”) Program insurance companies in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program, in addition to direct claims against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”). The orders do not apply to non-WYO or non-FEMA flood insurance policies.