Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve than Assigned Judge
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Answers to Their Second Request for the Production of Documents  is granted. Defendants are to produce responsive documents and information to Plaintiffs' Second Request for the Production of Documents by 8/23/10.
O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.
Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Answers to Their Second Request for the Production of Documents. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiffs' motion.
Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendants Resurrection Health Care Corporation, et al. ("Defendants") pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. Plaintiffs, non-exempt staff nurses employed by Defendants, allege that Defendants failed to compensate them for all hours worked. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that although Defendants regularly required Plaintiffs to work through all or part of their meal breaks, Defendants subjected Plaintiffs to automatic deductions for their scheduled meal breaks. In addition to their FLSA claims, Plaintiffs also seek to recover unpaid wages under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, 820 ILCS 105/1 et seq., the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS 115/1 et seq., and Illinois common law.
In their motion to compel, Plaintiffs seek information and documents from Defendants relating to Defendants' participation in the National Database of Nurse Quality Indications ("NDNQI"), a program operated by the American Nurses Association. The NDNQI is a comprehensive database consisting of information compiled from various hospitals. The database includes data compiled from a RN Satisfaction Survey, which includes questions regarding nurses' meal breaks, shifts and hours. Hospitals participate in the NDNQI in order to improve patient care and nursing practices. The NDNQI provides assurances of anonymity and confidentiality to the nurses who participate in the program.
"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party . . . . Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). In the context of motions to compel, the Seventh Circuit instructs that a "district court may grant or deny the motion in whole or in part, and similar to ruling on a request for a protective order under Rule 26(c), the district court may fashion a ruling appropriate for the circumstances of the case." Gile v. United Air Lines, Inc., 95 F.3d 492, 496 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(4)(B), (C)). "Thus, a district court is not limited to either compelling or not compelling a discovery request; in making its ruling, a district court should independently determine the proper course of discovery based upon the arguments of the parties." Id. As with all discovery matters, district courts have broad discretion in determining motions to compel. See id.; see also Reynolds v. Jamison, 488 F.3d 756, 761 (7th Cir. 2007).
Defendants contend that the self-evaluation privilege protects the reports and documents sought by Plaintiffs from discovery. "The self-critical analysis privilege is intended to encourage companies to engage in candid and often times critical internal investigations of their own possible wrong doings." Ludwig v. Pilkington N. Am., Inc., 2004 WL 1898238, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16049 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 13, 2004). "Despite the benefits of encouraging such investigations, courts have been somewhat hesitant to embrace the self-critical analysis privilege and have often qualified their uses of the privilege with phrases like 'assuming that the self-critical analysis privilege exists' or have noted that other courts have questioned the existence of such a privilege altogether." Id. at *4. Significantly, the Seventh Circuit has "never recognized" the "self-critical analysis privilege." Burden-Meeks v. Welch, 319 F.3d 897, 899 (7th Cir. 2003); see also Gardner v. Johnson, 2008 WL 3823713, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61707 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 13, 2008) ("The self-critical analysis privilege has never been adopted as federal common law by the Seventh Circuit."). Indeed, when noting that the court has not recognized ...