Welcome back to the Washington State federal court. For those who regularly read this blog you will remember the case where the court granted a motion to compel arbitration against one reinsurer and not the other. That arbitration concluded, which allowed the litigation to continue against the remaining reinsurer. The cedent moved to amend the complaint and the reinsurer move for judgment on the pleadings.
In Washington Schools Risk Management Pool v. American Re-Insurance Co., No. 21-CV-00874-LK (W.D. Wash. Aug. 8, 2023), a school risk pool sought coverage from its reinsurer for settlement of sexual abuse claims. After one reinsurer’s motion to compel arbitration was granted, the matter was stayed. Following the conclusion of the arbitration, the risk pool moved to amend the complaint and the reinsurer opposed and moved for judgment on the pleadings.
The court granted the motion to amend the complaint and denied the reinsurer’s motion as moot as it only addressed the existing complaint.
In granting the motion, the court went through a detailed analysis of the rules for amending a complaint and found that all criteria was in favor of the amendment except for one element (undue delay), but the because the balance was in favor the motion was granted. The court noted that prejudice was the most compelling factor. Here, the court found that the reinsurer was not prejudiced by the amendment and, in fact, did not present any arguments for the prejudice factor.
Notably, the court did not rule out another motion by the reinsurer after the amended complaint (here the second amended complaint) is filed so stay tuned.