United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
VAN MEERVELD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion to Compel filed by plaintiff Gary
Robin (Rec. Doc. 24). The only issues remaining at this time
are whether Weeks Marine is obligated to produce an
unredacted copy of its insurance policy, whether Weeks
Marine's response to Request for Production Number 5 is
sufficient, and whether sanctions are warranted in light of
the delay in production of discovery responses by Weeks
Marine. For the following reasons, the Motion to Compel is
GRANTED in part. Within seven days, Weeks Marine shall
produce an unredacted copy of its insurance policy and within
14 days, Weeks Marine shall supplement its response to
Request for Production No. 5. Sanctions are not warranted at
Robin alleges that he suffered injuries when his recreational
boat struck a submerged stationary pipeline owned and/or
installed by Weeks Marine. He filed this lawsuit in Louisiana
state court on January 17, 2017, and contemporaneously served
two sets of discovery requests. Weeks Marine removed the
matter to this court on February 23, 2017. Around the same
time, it appears that Weeks Marine agreed to provide
responses to the discovery requests by March 20, 2017.
According to Mr. Robin, Weeks Marine then insisted that it
would not respond to the discovery requests until after the
case management conference under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 26(f). Nonetheless, Weeks Marine responded to Mr.
Robin's first discovery requests on April 3, 2017. This
production included a copy of insurance policies, however,
these policies contained redactions. The case management
conference was held on May 19, 2017.
Robin filed the present motion to compel on July 3, 2017,
because Weeks Marine had still not provided responses to his
second set of discovery requests and because Weeks Marine
refused to provide unredacted copies of its insurance
policies. Weeks Marine filed its opposition memorandum on
July 25, 2017, and represented that it had provided responses
to Mr. Robin's second set of discovery requests and had
not received any complaint from Mr. Robin regarding their
sufficiency. However, Weeks Marine still had not produced
unredacted copies of the insurance policies and insists that
it is not obligated to do so. Additionally, Weeks Marine
insists that sanctions are not appropriate here because its
refusal to disclose its insurance policy limits is justified
and its delay in answering to Mr. Robin's discovery
requests has not impeded the progress of the case.
to the Scheduling Order issued May 24, 2017, trial in this
matter is scheduled for March 25, 2018, and the parties have
until January 16, 2018, to complete discovery.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that “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.” Fed. R. Civ.
Proc. 26(b)(1). In determining proportionality, the parties
(and the Court if called to weigh in) should consider:
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. Proc. 26(b)(1). “Information within this
scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
addition to their obligation to respond to discovery
requests, the parties must make initial disclosures pursuant
to Rule 26. This obligation includes the requirement that
each party must provide “for inspection and copying . .
. any insurance agreement under which an insurance business
may be liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment
in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made
to satisfy the judgment.” Fed. R. Civ. Proc.
may move for an order compelling initial disclosures,
responses to requests for production, and responses to
interrogatories pursuant to Rule 37. If the motion is
granted, the Court must “after giving an opportunity to
be heard, require the party or deponent whose conduct
necessitated the motion, the party or attorney advising that
conduct, or both to pay the movant's reasonable expenses
incurred in making the motion, including attorney's
fees.” Id. R. 37(a)(5)(A). However, fees are
not to be awarded where: ” (i) the movant filed the
motion before attempting in good faith to obtain the
disclosure or discovery without court ...