United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
April 1, 2003
RUBY REED, SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF J. C. REED, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,
CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, TIMOTHY GOULD, BRUCE YOUNG, BRIAN PEMBERTON, SUSAN MADISON, EDWARDS MEDICAL SUPPLY, INC., CYPRESS MEDICAL PRODUCTS, LTD., CYPRESS MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC. AND MEDLINE INDUSTRIES, INC., DEFENDANTS
The opinion of the court was delivered by: James B. Moran, Senior Judge, United States District Court
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. C. Reed hanged himself with a yellow isolation gown on November 12, 2000, while in a police lockup. Determining who manufactured and who sold that gown to the City has indeed proved to be elusive. One of the defendants, Medline Industries, Inc. (Medline), is one of the possible sellers. Its gown manufacturer, Thai Hospital Products, Ltd., has also been named as a defendant but, at last report, that company has not yet appeared.
Medline now moves for summary judgment. Plaintiff seeks, by a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f) motion, for time to respond, during which it can pursue discovery. Medline has no objection to some discovery, although it believes any such discovery should be limited to discovery relating to it and should be completed within 60 days. It does not want to become involved in discovery relating to other defendants.
We grant the Rule 56(f) motion and leave until the next status, May 28, 2003, of what additional discovery is then appropriate (after discovery in the interim), and how long it should take. We are mindful of Medline's concerns about becoming involved in wideranging discovery before the question of who manufactured and who sold the gown has been determined. We think, though, that even though that question has priority, plaintiff should be able to pursue it by discovery from Medline, its Thai manufacturer, and other possible sellers and manufacturers. Since plaintiff is obviously interested in coming up with a correct answer, we are not at all sure Medline has a compelling interest in being involved in discovery relating to other possible candidates. If any is a possibility, plaintiff has demonstrated a willingness to pursue it. It may be that the disclosure of a sample of the gown sold by Medline — either by Medline or the Thai manufacturer — will permit a conclusive comparison, but that we leave to another day.
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