Summary of Holmgren v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
976 F.2d 573 (1992)
Facts: P was involved in an accident with a driver who was insured by D. D settled the claim with P for $12,500. P brought a claim against D for unfair claim settlement practices and sought to discover a handwritten memoranda prepared by D’s employee that estimated a range of liability for the unfair settlement claim. D claims that this memoranda is not discoverable because it was opinion work product.
Issue: Was the memoranda discoverable?
Rationale: The ruling of Hickman v. Taylor did not place and absolute bar on discovery of work product. But there is a case-by-case analysis that a court needs to do and here, the P has shown a compelling need for the discovery of the memoranda. Furthermore, the D’s mental opinions expressed in the memo are a principal issue in the case. Therefore, the memoranda is discoverable.