48.99.011  <<  48.99.017 >>   48.99.020

RCW 48.99.017

Confidentiality of documents, materials, or other information—Commissioner's capacity as a receiver.

(1) Documents, materials, or other information that the commissioner obtains under this chapter in the commissioner's capacity as a receiver, are records under the jurisdiction and control of the receivership court. These records are confidential by law and privileged, are not subject to chapter 42.56 or 40.14 RCW, and are not subject to subpoena directed to the commissioner or any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner. The commissioner is authorized to use such documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the commissioner's official duties. The confidentiality and privilege created by this section and RCW 42.56.400(17) is not waived if confidential and privileged information under this section is shared with any person acting under the authority of the commissioner, representatives of insurance guaranty associations that may have statutory obligations as a result of the insolvency of an insurer, the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, regulatory and law enforcement officials of other states and nations, the federal government, and international authorities.
(2) Neither the commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner as receiver is required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Any person who can demonstrate a legal interest in the receivership estate or a reasonable suspicion of negligence or malfeasance by the commissioner related to an insurer receivership may file a motion in the receivership matter to allow inspection of private company information or documents not subject to public disclosure under subsection (1) of this section. The court shall conduct an in-camera review after notifying the commissioner and every party that produced the information. The court may order the commissioner to allow the petitioner to have access to the information, provided the petitioner maintains the confidentiality of the information. The petitioner must not disclose the information to any other person, except upon further order of the court. After conducting a hearing, the court may order that the information can be disclosed if the court finds that there is a public interest in the disclosure of the information and the protection of the information from public disclosure is clearly unnecessary to protect any individual's right of privacy, or any company's proprietary information, and the commissioner has not demonstrated that the disclosure would impair any vital governmental function, the receivership estate, or the receiver's ability to manage the estate.
(4) The confidentiality and privilege of documents, materials or other information obtained by the receiver set forth in subsections (1) and (2) of this section does not apply to litigation to which the insurer in receivership is a party. In such instances, discovery is governed by the Washington rules of civil procedure.
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