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11-cv-00006

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Case Summary: Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company v. Asoyia, Inc. et al, 11-cv-00006 (S.D. Iowa)

In this action for declaratory judgment, Plaintiff Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company (Michigan Millers) seeks a determination of the parties’ rights and obligations under insurance policies it issued to Asoyia. Michigan Millers contends there is no coverage for Asoyia and its manager Jennings, which are being sued in an underlying state negligence suit for a fire at a country club by United Fire and Casualty Co. (United Fire). Michigan Millers asserts it was prejudiced when it received delayed notice of the fire.

On March 28, 2011, the clerk of court entered default judgment against Asoyia for failure to plead or defend. (Asoyia is no longer in business.) The remaining parties consented to jury trial before a United States Magistrate. That trial established, among other things, that Asoyia was entitled to coverage under the Michigan Millers policies. The magistrate judge nonetheless filed a report and recommendation that default judgment be entered against Asoyia.

In this video, Judge Wolle considers United Fire’s objection to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation. The court subsequently agreed with United Fire, holding that the trial verdict and ruling exonerating Asoyia prevents Michigan Millers from obtaining default judgment against Asoyia simply because it was not a participant at trial.

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Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 1/13/2011 (Doc #1)
  • Parties consent to proceed before a Magistrate Judge 5/02/2013 (Doc #77)
  • Michigan Millers files Motion for Default Judgment against Asoyia 12/10/2013 (Doc #142)
  • Jury trial held 12/17-12/20/2013 (Doc #154-169)
  • Magistrate Judge issues Report and Recommendations 4/09/2014 (Doc #195)
  • United Fire objects to Report and Recommendations 4/28/2014 (Doc #200)
  • Court holds hearing on United Fire’s objection 5/12/2014 (Doc #205)
  • Order rejecting Report and Recommendations and denying Motion for Default Judgment 5/14/2014 (Doc #206)

 

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit Pacer.gov.