United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. (R. Doc. 22).
The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 27). Plaintiff has filed a
Reply. (R. Doc. 30).
October 12, 2017, Garrett Matthew Dickey
(“Plaintiff”) initiated this action in the 19th
Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana,
naming Apache Industrial Services, Inc.
(“Defendant” or “Apache”) as the sole
defendant. (R. Doc. 1-2). On October 24, 2013, Mr. Scott A.
Thibodeaux, the Executive Vice President of Apache, made
Plaintiff an employment offer for the position of Account
Manager with a $100, 000 annual salary and a bonus of
“1% of revenue for all new business
opportunities” delivered by Plaintiff, with the bonus
being reduced to 3/4% for “routine maintenance
contracts” after the third year of employment. (R. Doc.
1-2 at 6-7). Plaintiff is now seeking, in addition to certain
wages, fees, and costs, an award of the 1% revenue bonus or
an alternative award based on detrimental reliance. (R. Doc.
1-2 at 3-4).
removed the action on May 23, 2018. (R. Doc. 1). Apache
contends that the employment letter was extended to Plaintiff
by mistake and without authority, the offer was never
accepted by Plaintiff because he applied for and took
employment with Apache Painting, Inc. in November of 2013,
and Plaintiff is not otherwise entitled to a bonus because he
did not deliver a single new business opportunity. (R. Doc.
27 at 1).
August 16, 2018, Apache provided its initial disclosures. (R.
Doc. 27-1 at 1-9). The documents produced by Apache with its
initial disclosures include the employment letter and related
emails, Plaintiff's wage information, Plaintiff's
personnel file, written discovery requests and responses in
this matter, and deposition transcripts and exhibits. (R.
Doc. 27-1 at 7). Prior to providing its written initial
disclosures, Apache produced flash drives containing the
following categories of documents: “Dickey Emails,
” “Dickey Data, ” and “Dickey
Customer/Projects.”(R. Doc. 27-1 at 7).
September 21, 2018, Apache supplemented its written initial
disclosures. (R. Doc. 27-1 at 14-15). The day before
providing its supplemental written disclosures, Apache
produced documents categorized as “Job Setup
Sheets” on a “Sharefile.” (R. Doc. 27-1 at
November 20, 2018, Plaintiff served his First Set of
Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and Requests for
Production on Apache. (R. Doc. 22-2). Apache provided
responses on February 12, 2019. (R. Doc. 22-3). Prior to the
filing of the instant Motion to Compel, Plaintiff's
counsel attempted to resolve the parties' dispute with
respect to the sufficiency of Apache's responses without
court intervention, including discussing with opposing
counsel “the nature, timing and content of Apache's
discovery responses.” (R. Doc. 22-1 at 33-34;
see R. Doc. 22 at 4).
March 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel
arguing that Apache's responses were untimely and
insufficient. Plaintiff seeks an order (1) requiring Apache
to identify specific documents responsive to Interrogatory
Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and Requests for Production Nos. 1,
2, 4, 5, 12, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 37, and 38; (2)
requiring Apache to provide responses without objections to
Interrogatory Nos. 8 and 10, and Requests for Production Nos.
6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 17, 20, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, and
37; and (3) striking Apache's denials to Requests for
Admission Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 18; and
(4) awarding attorney's fees and costs.
Law and Analysis
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).
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1).
26(c)'s “good cause” requirement indicates
that the party seeking a protective order has the burden
“to show the necessity of its issuance, which
contemplates a particular and specific demonstration of fact
as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory
statements.” In re Terra Int'l, Inc., 134
F.3d 302, 306 (5th Cir. 1998) (quoting United States v.
Garrett, 571 F.2d 1323, 1326 n.3 (5th Cir. 1978)).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the
service of written interrogatories. A party seeking discovery
under Rule 33 may serve interrogatories on any other party
and the interrogatory “may relate to any matter that
may be inquired into under Rule 26(b).” Fed.R.Civ.P.
33(a)(2). “If the answer to an interrogatory may be
determined by examining . . . a party's business records
(including electronically stored information), and if the
burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer will be
substantially the same for either party, the responding party
may answer by: (1) specifying the records that must be
reviewed, in sufficient detail to enable the interrogating
party to locate and identify them as readily as the