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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The relator, Dana Corp., filed a petition for writ of mandamus to challenge the trial court’s discovery ruling in the underlying asbestos litigation. The real parties in this proceeding, who consist of approximately 1,260 plaintiffs in the underlying case, sought production of Dana’s insurance policies since 1930 and also sought to learn the amount of insurance remaining under those policies. The trial court ordered Dana, the defendant in the underlying proceeding, to produce “exact duplicates of any and all commercial general liability insurance policies . . . from 1930 to the present.” The trial court also ordered Dana “to produce a knowledgeable witness for deposition to testify regarding such insurance policies.” Dana argues that the trial court abused its discretion in two ways: first, by ordering the production of insurance policies that were not shown to be applicable to the underlying litigation; and second, by compelling Dana to produce insurance information beyond the applicable insurance agreements’ existence and contents. HOLDING:Conditionally granted. While the court does not agree that the plaintiffs’ request for production should be delayed until each plaintiff has necessarily identified a particular product and a particular period of exposure, the court does agree that the insurance policies need not be produced until they are shown to be applicable to a potential judgment. The plaintiffs have identified 13 products at issue in the suit; of these products, each is identified by at least one of the 49 affiants as a product to which he or she was exposed. Furthermore, Dana admits that its policies “are general products liability claims policies and provide coverage for all products-based claims asserted against Dana.” The court concludes that these affidavits sufficiently identify the products at issue, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering production of Dana’s general insurance policies before receiving affidavits of exposure from each plaintiff. While the court concludes that the affidavits sufficiently identified the relevant products, the court also concludes that they do not adequately support the time period covered by the trial court’s order. The trial court ordered the production of all policies from 1930 to the present. The plaintiffs argue that “with a thousand plaintiffs,” the range of potential insurance would “probably” go back to “1930 or”35.” The affidavits of exposure, however, reveal that the earliest reported exposure occurred in 1945. Consequently, the court holds that plaintiffs have not established the potential applicability of policies covering exposure from 1930 to 1944. Accordingly, the discovery request at issue here is overly broad. The court holds that a party may discover information beyond an insurance agreement’s existence and contents only if the information is otherwise discoverable under the scope-of-discovery rule. The court concludes that, to determine whether information beyond that identified in Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 192.3(f) is discoverable in a particular case, courts must ascertain if the information is discoverable under Rule 192.3(a)’s general scope-of-discovery test. The court rejects the plaintiffs’ argument that Rule 192.3(f)’s purpose � to facilitate settlement negotiations � supports broadly reading the rule to allow the discovery requested here. The court holds that such discovery is warranted only if the information sought meets the general scope-of-discovery relevance standard under Rule 192.3(a) � i.e., that it “relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery.” In this case, the trial court’s order does not specifically address policy erosion; rather, it merely orders Dana “to produce a knowledgeable witness for deposition to testify regarding such insurance policies.” Because the witness may be needed to prove up the contents of the policies, and because the plaintiffs are entitled to ask questions relevant to the subject matter of the litigation, the court concludes that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Dana to produce a witness for deposition. At that deposition, Dana is of course free to object to any question regarding policy erosion that does not meet the relevancy standard announced in this opinion. OPINION:Per curiam.

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