United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
FERNANDO J. GAITAN, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
parties have contacted the Court regarding disagreements
related to discovery issues. The Court requested that the
parties brief these issues and after reviewing the briefs,
the Court hereby rules as follows.
Interrogatory No. 2: Describe the damage which you claim was
sustained by each Property by reason of the event set forth
in the Complaint and indicate when the damage ended and the
date said damage ended.
Each of the Subject Properties referenced in Plaintiffs'
Complaint sustained damage from the wind and hail events on
the date of the Subject Storm referenced in Plaintiffs'
Complaint. In addition, for detail of each of the Subject
Properties, please see documents produced in Plaintiffs'
Rule 26 disclosures, bates labeled Brighton 000208-000559 and
Family states that most of the documents referenced comprise
plaintiff's expert report, but this does not specify the
type of damage sustained by each property. Plaintiffs state
that their expert report documents damage requiring
replacement of all siding and all roofing in order to repair
the damage and match materials. Plaintiffs also state that
defendant is scheduled to inspect the properties on September
8 and defendant may document every damaged piece of siding
and every damaged roof shingle if they wish. American Family
acknowledges that Rule 33(d) permits production of documents
in lieu of providing a response, but states that it cannot be
used as a procedural device to avoid the duty to give
information by shifting the obligation to find out whether
information is ascertainable from the records. American
Family states that plaintiffs' answer to Interrogatory
No. 2 does not describe the type of damage suffered by each
building. The Court agrees with American Family and finds
that plaintiffs must supplement their response to this
interrogatory. The expert report which plaintiffs refer to in
their response simply lists line items broken down by each
unit of what it would cost to replace the roofs, gutters,
siding and various other items. There are also photos of the
various buildings and other items such as downspouts, air
conditioners, etc. but there is no narrative description as
to what the damage is to these items. As the Court stated
in Handi-Craft Co. v. Action Trading, S.A., No.
4:02CV1731LMB, 2004 WL 6043510 (E.D.Mo. May 21, 2004):
Regarding the specificity of the documents identified,
“[t]he option afforded by Rule 33(d) is not a
procedural device for avoiding the duty to give
information.” In Re G-I Holdings, Inc., 218 F.R.D. 428,
438 (D.N.J. 2003). Further, “[t]he responding party may
not avoid answers by imposing on the interrogating party a
mass of business records from which the answers cannot be
ascertained by a person unfamiliar with them.” R.W.
Thomas Construction Management Co., Inc., 1995 WL 592539 at
*1; see also T.N. Taube Corp., 136 F.R.D. , at 455
(“[D]irecting the opposing party to an undifferentiated
mass of records is not a suitable response to a legitimate
request for discovery”)(quotation omitted) . . .Thus,
the interrogated party must specify the records from which
the answers may be gleaned. “Otherwise, [the
interrogated party] must completely answer the
interrogatories without referring to the documents.”
Pulsecard, Inc. v. Discover Card Services, Inc., 168
F.R.D. 295, 305 (D.Kan.1996).
Id. at * 5-6.
No. 3: State the names and address of all general contractors
who have treated, examined or inspected the properties, since
the event in question and who provided repair services for
any damages you referred to in your Complaint and for each
listed state: the name and address, dates of treatment,
examinations or inspections, nature of any and all
treatments, examinations or inspections; amount of expenses
and provide copies of bills.
K2 Consulting & Services, LLC - inspected in December
2014; TASK Construction - inspected July 2014 and have
performed various repairs while this matter is pending; DOTec
Corp. - inspected July 2014; Foundation Engineering
Specialists, LLC - inspected August 2014. In addition see
documents produced in plaintiffs Rule 26 disclosures,
defendant's employees and retained consultants inspected
Family states that this answer does not breakdown the
services according to each building and also fails to supply
information about the nature of the work completed, the costs
of the work provided and copies of bills or invoices
verifying the work done.
state that they the documents they identified in their
response reflect further details in the engineering reports,
estimates, etc. Plaintiffs assert that their original answer
is complete and also state that TASK Construction is a
retained non-testifying consultant and their contact with
plaintiffs is not discoverable.
same reasons as stated above, plaintiffs are hereby directed
to supplement their response to this interrogatory with the
nature of the work completed, costs of work and copies of
bills or invoices verifying the work done. As discussed
below, plaintiffs are not required to provide this
information with regard to TASK Construction, as they are a
retained non-testifying expert.
No. 10: Describe in detail and give a complete list of any
and all financial losses, of any nature which you claim to
have sustained by reason of the occurrence set forth in the
Plaintiff have incurred financial losses including the cost
of storm damage repairs which are insured by Defendant, costs
of mitigation repairs in the amount of approximately $10, 000
to $15, 000 in labor and materials, costs of litigation,
costs for legal ...