No ruling on insurer’s bid to block inquiry information

Sep 4, 2008

St. Petersburg Times–September 3, 2008

By Times Staff Writer

The Connecticut Supreme Court has declined to rule on a Florida company’s efforts to block Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal from disclosing information he obtained while investigating the insurance industry. The lawsuit by Brown & Brown Insurance Inc., which is still pending in Hartford Superior Court, could determine whether Blumenthal can share data with other states’ attorneys general who also are reviewing antitrust allegations in the industry. The case stemmed from Blumenthal’s 2006 subpoena of Brown & Brown, a general insurance broker based in Tampa and Daytona Beach. The company initially provided documents, but stopped and sued under state antitrust laws when it could not get ironclad assurances from Blumenthal to keep the information confidential. Brown & Brown had asked the trial court for summary judgment, which would have ended the case in its favor. The court rejected its request in 2007, and the company appealed. In a 4-1 decision released Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and said it did not have jurisdiction because the case is still pending in the lower court.