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Toro v. Coastal Industries, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

May 7, 2018

OMAR TORO, ET AL.
v.
COASTAL INDUSTRIES, LLC, ET AL.

          ORDER

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 12) filed on January 31, 2018. The Defendants filed their Opposition (R. Doc. 17) on February 21, 2018. Plaintiffs filed a Reply (R. Doc. 21) on March 7, 2018.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs, Omar Toro and Elvin Antonio Cruz, instituted this action against Defendants, Coastal Industries, LLC and Kelly Sills with the filing of their Complaint (R. Doc. 1) on August 9, 2017. Plaintiffs bring claims against Defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., alleging that Defendants failed to properly pay them overtime wages, and seeking liquidated damages, attorney's fees, interest, and costs.

         Plaintiffs propounded their First Set of Requests for Production of Documents to Defendants on October 4, 2017. (R. Doc. 12 at ¶ 1). Request No. 1 therein sought the following:

Any and all documents reflecting the hours of work and compensation of the Plaintiffs, beginning the first week they worked for you, up to and including the date this lawsuit was filed, including but not limited to timecards, timesheets, work schedules, payroll records, and attendance logs.

(R. Doc. 12 at ¶ 2). Defendants responded and produced documents on December 14, 2017. (R. Doc. 12 at ¶¶ 2-4).

         Plaintiff seeks to compel Defendants to produce additional documents in response to Request No. 1 of their First Set of Requests for Production of Documents. Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that Defendants failed to produce certain payroll records from November of 2016 through the end of Plaintiff's employment with Defendants. (R. Doc. 12 at ¶ 12). Instead, these documents were produced only through November of 2016. (R. Docs. 12-5 and 12-6).

         In support of their position, Plaintiffs argues that the requested documents are relevant and within the permissible scope of production. (R. Doc. 12-2 at 4-5). Plaintiffs also argue that Defendants have waived their objection to Plaintiffs' Request No. 1 as a result of an untimely objection, and that Defendants failed to specify the portion of the documents being withheld and allow Plaintiffs to inspect the documents being withheld. (R. Doc. 12-2 at 6-7).

         Defendants respond that, on October 17, 2017, they produced to Plaintiffs the “AP Vendor Drilldown reports” for both Plaintiffs from January 2014 through the end of their respective employments, which reports allegedly reflect hours worked and associated pay, i.e., the “complete pay records for Plaintiffs” such that any additional production would be cumulative and overly burdensome. (R. Doc. 17-1 at 2). Defendants also contend that, because they began paying Plaintiffs overtime in November 2016, the pay records after that date are irrelevant. (R. Doc. 17-1 at 2).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Legal Standard

         “Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged 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 discoverable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it determines that: “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).

         Whether discovery is proportional depends on “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). ...


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