333 F.R.D. 60 (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 17 Civ. 7417 (VM), Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc.

Docket Nº:17 Civ. 7417 (VM)
Citation:333 F.R.D. 60, 105 Fed.R.Serv.3d 75
Opinion Judge:VICTOR MARRERO, United States District Judge.
Party Name:COVENTRY CAPITAL U.S. LLC, Plaintiff, v. EEA LIFE SETTLEMENTS INC., et al., Defendants.
Attorney:Kenneth Jerome Brown, Benjamin Hazelwood, Tanya Marie Abrams, William Pruitt Ashworth, Michelle Chen, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC, Matthew H. Blumenstein, Williams & Connolly LLP, New York, NY, for Plaintiff. Karl Geercken, Steven Lawrence Penaro, Karl Geercken, Alston & Bird, LLP, Ne...
Case Date:November 01, 2019
Court:United States District Courts, 2nd Circuit, Southern District of New York

Page 60

333 F.R.D. 60 (S.D.N.Y. 2019)

105 Fed.R.Serv.3d 75

COVENTRY CAPITAL U.S. LLC, Plaintiff,

v.

EEA LIFE SETTLEMENTS INC., et al., Defendants.

No. 17 Civ. 7417 (VM)

United States District Court, S.D. New York

November 1, 2019

Page 61

Kenneth Jerome Brown, Benjamin Hazelwood, Tanya Marie Abrams, William Pruitt Ashworth, Michelle Chen, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC, Matthew H. Blumenstein, Williams & Connolly LLP, New York, NY, for Plaintiff.

Karl Geercken, Steven Lawrence Penaro, Karl Geercken, Alston & Bird, LLP, New York, NY, Mark Joseph Hyland, Laura Elizabeth Miller, Paul Benjamin Koepp, Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, NY, for Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

VICTOR MARRERO, United States District Judge.

Page 62

Plaintiff Coventry Capital U.S. LLC ("Coventry") brought this diversity action against defendants EEA Life Settlements, Inc. ("EEA"), Vincent Piscaer ("Piscaer"), and Hiren Patel ("Patel," and together with Piscaer, "the Individual Defendants," and, collectively, "Defendants"), alleging that Defendants engaged in a pattern of fraudulent conduct aimed at undermining the negotiation of a contract to sell a portfolio of life insurance policies to Coventry. (See "Complaint," Dkt. No. 31.) The Complaint brings claims of (1) breach of contract (against EEA), (2) fraud/intentional misrepresentation (against all Defendants), and (3) aiding and abetting fraud/intentional misrepresentation (against the Individual Defendants). On March 9, 2018, the Court declined to dismiss any of Coventry’s claims. See Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements, Inc., No. 17 Civ. 7417, 2018 WL 3231718 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 9, 2018). On December 17, 2018, the Court denied Coventry’s motion for a preliminary injunction. See Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements, Inc., No. 17 Civ. 7417, 2018 WL 7080327 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 17, 2018).

On January 24, 2019, Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman denied Coventry’s motion to compel production of certain documents and to impose sanctions on the Individual Defendants.

(See "MJ Pitman Decision," Dkt. No. 111.) On February 7, 2019, Coventry timely objected to Judge Pitman’s ruling pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72 (a) ("Rule 72"). (See "Objection," Dkt. No. 122.) Now before the Court are the Objection, the respective responses of EEA and the Individual Defendants, and Coventry’s reply. (See "Indiv. Defs.’ Response," Dkt. No. 125; "EEA Response," Dkt. No. 126; "Reply," Dkt. No. 128.) For the reasons set forth below, the Objection is SUSTAINED, and the M.J. Pitman Decision is SET ASIDE.

I. BACKGROUND

A. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

EEA is a Delaware corporation wholly owned by EEA Life Settlement Master Fund II Limited, which is itself wholly owned by EEA Life Settlements Holdings Limited ("EEA Holdings"). (MJ Pitman Decision at 3.) EEA Holdings is in turn wholly owned by EEA Life Settlements Fund PC Limited (the "Fund"). (Id. ) Pursuant to an investment management agreement (the "Management Agreement") between the Fund and EEA Fund Management (Guernsey) Limited (the "Guernsey Manager"), the Guernsey Manager manages the Fund, EEA Holdings, EEA Life Settlement Master Fund II Limited, and EEA. (Id. ) Pursuant to a marketing agreement between the Guernsey Manager and EEA Fund Management Limited ("EEA UK"), EEA UK acts as marketing agent for the Fund. (Id. ) Both the Guernsey Manager and EEA UK are wholly owned by Anath Capital Group Limited ("Anath"). (Id. at 3-4.)

Defendant Patel is one of two directors of EEA UK, the Managing Director of EEA UK, and one of two directors of Anath. (See Dkt. Nos. 52; 66-4.) Defendant Piscaer is a director of the Guernsey Manager and Head of Alternative Investments for EEA UK. (See Dkt. No. 53.)

B. THE DISCOVERY DISPUTE

The present dispute arises from requests for production Coventry served on the Defendants seeking documents regarding EEA’s business dealings with Coventry that are in the actual possession of non-parties, particularly the Guernsey Manager and EEA UK.

Coventry moved to compel production; Judge Pitman denied the motion by Order dated March 29, 2018 on the basis of Defendants representation that they are unable to access documents in the possession of the Guernsey Manager and EEA UK. (Dkt. No. 47.) At Judge Pitmans direction, Defendants filed declarations confirming that...

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3 practice notes
  • Raymond v. The City of New York, 030520 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS) (SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 5 de Março de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “'possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's contr......
  • Raymond v. City of New York, 041320 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS) (SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 13 de Abril de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “‘possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's contr......
  • Raymond v. The City of New York, 120220 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS)(SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 2 de Dezembro de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “‘possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's control wh......
3 cases
  • Raymond v. The City of New York, 030520 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS) (SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 5 de Março de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “'possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's contr......
  • Raymond v. City of New York, 041320 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS) (SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 13 de Abril de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “‘possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's contr......
  • Raymond v. The City of New York, 120220 NYSDC, C. A. 15 Civ. 6885 (LTS)(SLC)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit Southern District of New York
    • 2 de Dezembro de 2020
    ...objects within the party's “‘possession, custody, or control.'” Coventry Capital U.S. LLC v. EEA Life Settlements Inc., 333 F.R.D. 60, 64 (S.D.N.Y. 2019) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)). Documents and tangible objects “are considered to be under a party's control wh......