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Potamkin Cadillac Corp. v. B.R.I. Coverage Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
38 F.3d 627 (1994)


Potamkin Cadillac Corporation (Potamkin) (plaintiff) sued its insurance broker, B.R.I. Coverage Corporation (BRI) (defendant), for alleged fraudulent practices. BRI counterclaimed for expenses it allegedly prepaid on Potamkin's behalf. Using its computer database, and in support of its counterclaim, BRI prepared a "history" of the alleged prepayments. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York appointed a special master to hear the case. BRI withheld its history document from production during discovery, saying it was exempt from discovery as a BRI attorney's work product. BRI also refused Potamkin's requests that it produce the computer tapes from which the history was purportedly compiled. After the special master proceedings commenced, BRI attempted to introduce the history into evidence, claiming it fell under the business records exception to the hearsay rule. BRI admitted that in some instances the history contained keypunch errors, misapplied cash or billings among policies, and mislabeled policies. The master ruled that the history was ineligible for the business records exception, but that portions of the history contained admissions that could be used against BRI and support of Potamkin. The district court adopted these rulings, and based on the master's recommendations, the court found for Potamkin and rejected BRI's counterclaim. BRI appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing the history should have been admitted as a business record.

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