Case of the Day: Symons International Group v. Continental Casualty

The case of the day is Symons International Group, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co. (S.D. Ind. 2015). Continental Casualty, the third party plaintiff, won a $34.2 million judgment against the third party defendant, Robert Symons, the successor in interest (maybe the heir, or executor—the decision doesn’t make it clear) of G. Gordon Symons. Symons resided in Canada, and it appears that G. Gordon Symons lived in Canada at the time of his death. Symons appealed, but he did not seek a stay or provide a supersedas bond, which means, in federal practice, that Continental was free to try to execute on the judgment pending the appeal. Continental sought discovery in aid of execution from Symons, but Symons did not respond. Meanwhile, Continental brought an action in Ontario, seeking recognition and enforcement of the US judgment, and it sought an order in Canada requiring the probate of G. Gordon Symons’s will. A Canadian court agreed, though Symons objected on the grounds that probate was premature. Symons moved for a protective order in Indiana on the grounds that “it is improper for [Continental] to simultaneously attempt to enforce its judgment in both the United States and Canada.”

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