United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on plaintiff's motion to
compel defendant to provide unredacted responses to its first
and second sets of requests for production of documents.
Defendant has filed a response in opposition and the issues
are fully briefed.
Prime Aid Pharmacy Corp. is a New Jersey-based specialty
pharmacy. Defendant Express Scripts, Inc., operates as a
pharmacy benefits manager and provides mail order delivery of
drugs through its own specialty pharmacy, Accredo Health
Group, Inc. On June 25, 2011, plaintiff entered into a
provider agreement with defendant. Defendant terminated the
provider agreement in August 2014, purportedly because of
plaintiff's handling of seven reimbursement claims in
which patients did not timely pickup medications and a $750
fine plaintiff paid to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy
in 2012. Plaintiff alleges that the true reason for the
termination was to eliminate plaintiff as a competitor to
Accredo. In the complaint plaintiff asserts various claims
against the defendant, including breach of contract and
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
January 31, 2017, defendant produced documents to plaintiff.
Counsel for defendant informed plaintiff that
“confidential and sensitive information relating to
other pharmacies' financial information” had been
redacted. [Docs. # 88-1, # 88-3]. Plaintiff moves to compel
production of the unredacted documents.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), litigants may
discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant
to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the
needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues
at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the
parties' relative access to relevant information, the
parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in
resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of
the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “Information within this
scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Id. Relevancy in this context
“has been construed broadly to encompass any matter
that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter
that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the
case.” Jo Ann Howard & Assocs., P.C.
v. Cassity, 303 F.R.D. 539, 542 (E.D. Mo. 2014)
(citation and quotation omitted). Despite the broad
definition of relevance and the policy of favoring liberal
discovery, district courts are empowered to limit the scope
of allowable discovery if “the discovery sought is
unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from
some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome,
or less expensive.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
“Fraud, Waste and Abuse Activity
before plaintiff filed its motion, defendant produced an
unredacted copy of this document in full. See Doc. #
94-1. Plaintiff's request to compel production of this
document is moot.
Email Correspondence Regarding Internal
document consists of an email request from a nonparty auditor
for information regarding certain pharmacies, including
plaintiff. Defendant redacted the portions relating to the
other pharmacies, based on “the existence of ongoing
governmental agency investigations of other
pharmacies.” [Doc. # 94 at p.4].
argues that this document is relevant to its claim for breach
of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The
Court previously ruled that documents relating to
defendant's decision-making regarding the termination of
other network pharmacies was relevant to that claim. See Doc.
# 59 at pp. 4-5. The Court does not agree with plaintiff that
the same reasoning extends to these documents.
Plaintiff's general assertion that the identities of
other pharmacies and their ...