United States District Court, S.D. New York
January 23, 2004.
In re: REZULIN PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION, This Document Relates to: 03-Civ-6382
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge
PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 223
(Motion for Emergency Stay)
Defendant Dr. Willie B. Lucas seeks an emergency stay of this action
because his insurer, which allegedly is obliged to assume and pay for Dr.
Lucas's defense, is insolvent and barred, by the order of a Mississippi
state court, from defending Dr. Lucas in this Rezulin action. Absent a
stay, Dr. Lucas claims, he will suffer the "severe prejudice" of paying
his own defense costs. He argues also that a stay is required to grant
"proper full faith and credit to the Tennessee order."
The pertinent facts alleged in the motion are that in January 2003 the
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance placed Doctors Insurance
Reciprocal (DIR) into receivership and issued an Order of
Administrative Supervision preventing DIR, among other things, from
withdrawing or spending any funds. A Tennessee state court then issued an
order, presumably at the request of the Tennessee Insurance
Department,*fn1 entering a 90-day stay against all litigation in
Tennessee that was either pending against, or being defended by, DIR. The
Tennessee injunction then was made applicable to Mississippi litigation
against DIR by the Chancery Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, which
allegedly issued an order "granting full faith and credit and comity to
[the State of Tennessee's] order of rehabilitation and injunction."
Even assuming the accuracy and legal sufficiency of Dr. Lucas's
allegations,*fn2 the motion is denied as moot. The State of Tennessee's
original 90-day injunction (and the related Mississippi court order)
would have expired on or about April 30, 2003 several months ago
and Dr. Lucas has presented no evidence that the injunction was
extended. In so ruling, the Court expresses no view on the merits of this
application, although it is far from clear, were a state injunction
currently in effect, that Dr. Lucas would prevail. See Royal &
Sunalliance Ins. Co. of America v. Settlement Health & Med. Serv.,
Inc., 2000 WL 679788 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).