United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
diversity matter is before the Court on plaintiff Jeffrey
McMahon's Second Amended Motion to Compel production of
documents against defendant Robert Bosch Tool Corp.
(“Bosch”). Defendant Bosch opposes the motion.
Plaintiff did not file a reply in support and the time to do
so has passed, so the motion is fully briefed. The Court
normally rules on discovery motions only at its monthly
discovery motion docket, but reserves the right to issue a
written ruling at its discretion.
a products liability case in which plaintiff alleges he
suffered injuries on April 28, 2016 when the handle of a
RotoZip Model RZ20 hand-held saw he was using detached from
the body of the saw, causing plaintiff to drop the saw while
the blade was still in motion. Plaintiff asserts claims under
theories of negligent and strict products liability for
design defect, failure to warn, and negligent supply of a
dangerous instrumentality. See Amended Complaint,
motion asserts that some of Bosch's responses to his
Request for Production of documents served on or about
October 5, 2018 are incomplete and insufficient, as its
objections are improper or without merit. Plaintiff seeks to
compel further responses to Requests for Production Nos. 4,
10, 14, 18, 21, 26-28, 39, and 40-47. Plaintiff's motion
fails to offer any information or explanation as to why the
requested discovery is relevant, i.e., why it is important to
the issues in this case, or why Bosch's responses are
incomplete and insufficient. The motion to compel would be
subject to denial on that basis alone, but because discovery
has closed and the deadline for filing motions to compel has
passed, the Court will address the motion's merits.
Court is mindful that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b),
as amended December 1, 2015, imposes a proportionality
requirement on the scope of discovery:
(1) Scope in General. Unless
otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is
as follows: Parties may obtain 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. Information within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
26(b)(1), Fed.R.Civ.P. “The parties and the court have
a collective responsibility to consider the proportionality
of all discovery and consider it in resolving discovery
disputes.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 advisory committee's
notes to 2015 amendment).
standard of relevance in the context of discovery is broader
than in the context of admissibility” but “[s]ome
threshold showing of relevance must be made before parties
are required to open wide the doors of discovery and to
produce a variety of information which does not reasonably
bear upon the issues in the case.” Hofer v. Mack
Trucks, Inc., 981 F.2d 377, 380 (8th Cir. 1992).
“The party who served the discovery must show why the
information is important to the issues and the party opposing
. . . must quantifiably explain the burden of providing the
requested information.” Vallejo v. Amgen,
Inc., 903 F.3d 733, 740 (8th Cir. 2018) (quoting
magistrate judge's order).
Objections for Requests as to Confidential Proprietary
Information and Trade Secrets
states that it objected to Request Nos. 4, 10, 14, 21, 26,
27, and 46 in part because those Requests seek confidential
proprietary information and trade secrets. Bosch states that
after the parties agreed to a Protective Order (Doc. 30), it
produced 111 pages of Confidential documents to plaintiff on
January 4, 2019. Plaintiff's motion states that Bosch
failed to supplement its responses following an email
exchange between counsel that ended February 15, 2019, but
Bosch states it produced an additional 469 pages of
Confidential documents on March 4 and 5, 2019, and 54
photographs, two videos, and an eleven-page Bosch report
documenting additional testing of the saw handle on June 25,
2019, in response to plaintiff's Notice of Deposition for
a Peter Domeny.
did not reply to Bosch's representations as to production
and the Court therefore accepts them as true. Consequently,
the Court finds that plaintiff's motion to compel is moot
with respect to documents Bosch initially withheld in
response to plaintiff's Request Nos. 4, 10, 14, 21, 26,
27, and 46 on the basis that they sought confidential
proprietary information and trade secrets.
Objection to Definition of “the ...