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Arnold v. Miller

October 10, 2008

ARTHUR ARNOLD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MILLER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Clifford J. Proud U. S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER

PROUD, Magistrate Judge

Before the Court is defendant Elk River's motion to compel co-defendant PenSafe to fully respond to written discovery requests. (Doc. 73). Although PenSafe did respond to Elk River's July 9, 2008, discovery requests, Elk River takes issue with PenSafe's specific objections, and Elk River further contends it has found omissions and inconsistencies in PenSafe's responses. In response, PenSafe generally defends its objections and notes that additional responsive information has been turned over to Elk River. (Doc. 75). In reply, Elk River essentially argues that discovery should be permitted so that the Court can determine whether the cumulative evidence establishes jurisdiction. (Doc. 76). As a preliminary matter, the Court must agree that it appears that PenSafe does not appreciate the scope of discovery. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) permits the discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter of the pending action, so long as the sought after information is not privileged, even if inadmissible at trial, if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The Supreme Court has interpreted relevance broadly to include any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case. Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978). Although at this juncture discovery is limited to that which relates to personal jurisdiction, the same broad reach applies. Chief Judge David R. Herndon will be deciding the jurisdictional issue, therefore this Court is loathe to analyze whether any particular item of evidence is insufficient to establish jurisdiction.

This Court is guided by the aforementioned broad interpretation of discovery.

For inexplicable reasons Elk River has elected to make arguments without clear reference to the numerical designation assigned to its discovery requests. Elk River has made it difficult to discern which specific discovery requests are at issue. Because time is of the essence, the Court will not strike Elk River's motion; rather, the Court will review what appear to be the outstanding objections*fn1 . For ease of reference, the numbering scheme utilized by the Court mirrors the designation in the original discovery requests.

Requests for Production

1. The request for production of materials used to advertise Huan Drop Forge Company, Peninsula Safety Components and/or PenSafe's manufacturing, sales and distribution of snap hook model number 5394 and/or model number 6650 for the period between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2005, is appropriate. Provision of a product catalogue is a sufficient response.

3. The request for production of a list of all products manufactured by Huan Drop Forge Company, Peninsula Safety Components and/or PenSafe during the period between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2005, and a list of the names and addresses to whom those products were distributed is appropriate. Therefore, merely providing a product catalogue is not wholly responsive, and a supplemental response must be submitted.

4. The request for a list of all products into which the snap hooks at issue were incorporated and the names and addresses of those who manufactured and/or assembled those products is appropriate. The response is also adequate, in that it indicates the snap hooks may have been incorporated into harnesses, but the identities of those who manufactured or assembled those items is unknown. Of course, if additional information comes to light, the response must be supplemented.

Requests 5, 7, 9 and 11 are all beyond the scope of limited discovery. The objections are sustained.

12. The response to this request regarding the number of products sold in Illinois is adequate; it succinctly indicates that zero products were sold in Illinois, and it further references Keith Smith's deposition answer. A motion to compel is not the proper means of challenging the truthfulness of this response-- that will be for Chief Judge Herndon to decide.*fn2

13. The objection to Requests 13 is sustained for the same reasons stated relative to the Request No. 12.

Requests 15, 17, 18 and 19 are all beyond the scope of limited discovery. The objections are sustained.

21. The objection to producing all documentation memorializing calls between Huan Drop Forge Company, Peninsula Safety Components and/or PenSafe, and any individual or entity in Illinois is overruled. However, insofar as the response also ...


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