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Whitleyr v. General Motors LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 24, 2018

JAMES WHITLEY, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
GENERAL MOTORS LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. Reona J. Daly United States Magistrate Judge

         This is a products liability action in which Plaintiff, James Whitley, Jr., alleges he was severely burned by the electronically operated seat warmers in his 2011 GMC Sierra truck. This matter is now before the Court on the Motion to Compel filed by Plaintiff on March 20, 2018 (Doc. 31). Defendant timely responded on April 9, 2018 (Doc. 35). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         Background

         Plaintiff moves, pursuant to Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for an order compelling Defendant to produce all materials responsive to certain requests for production of documents and interrogatories. Plaintiff's requests, and Defendant's responses thereto, are set forth below:

Request for Production No. 14: A copy of all documents relating to any claims of defects or unsafe conditions in the product, or reported burns allegedly caused by the product, or similar products.
Response: GM will search for and produce, if located, the following documents:
1. A list of lawsuits, if any, involving a claim of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heated system in the scope vehicle.
2. A list of claims handled as Not-In-Suit Matters (NISMS), if any, involving a claim of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive font heated seat system in the scope vehicles.
3. GM has a group known as Customer and Relationship Services (CARS) (formerly Customer Assistance Center or “CAC”), which takes calls from customers and attempts to answer questions or accept complaints relating to GM vehicles. GM also has a Product Assistance Claims (PAC) group, formerly known as the Product Allegation Resolution Center (PAR), which takes calls from customers who claim to have a problem with their vehicle and attempts to arrange for an inspection of the customer's vehicle. GM has a number of databases that store CAC and PAC data. GM will search for and product, if found and subject to a protective order, CAC and PAC data relating to claims of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heater seat system in the scope vehicles.
4. Recall bulletins and/or technical service bulletins, if any, pertaining to the risk of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heated seat system in the scope vehicles.
5. Subject to a protective order, materials presented to, generated or retained by the North American Safety and Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA), SFADA Field Action Investigation Team, Open Investigation Review (OIR) committee, Potential Investigation Review (PIR) committee, Safety Categorization and Compliance Team (SCCT), or the Global Investigation Review (GIR) committee, if any, involving or relating to claims of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heated system in the scope vehicles.
6. Subject to a protective order, materials presented to, generated or retained by the Vehicle and Process Integration Review (VAPIR) committee, Current Production Improvement Team (CPIT), or Executive Field Action Decision Committee (EFADC) related to a claim of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heated seat system in the scope vehicles.
7. Subject to a protective order, Technical Assistance Center inquiries involving the allegation of burn injury due to an alleged overheated driver's resistive front heated seat system in the scope vehicles.
8. NHTSA Information Requests (IRs), if any, involving allegations of burn injury due to an allegedly overheated driver's resistive front heated seat system in the scope vehicle. (GM will produce the confidential portions of its responses to ...

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