United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (DOCKET NO. 16)
J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Denny's Inc.'s motion
to compel discovery. Docket No. 16. The Court has considered
Defendant's motion, Plaintiff's response, and
Defendant's reply. Docket Nos. 16, 18, 19. The Court
finds the motion properly resolved without a hearing.
See Local Rule 78-1. For the following reasons, the
Court GRANTS in part and
DENIES in part Defendant's motion to
compel discovery. Docket No. 16.
instant case alleges a slip and fall accident at
Defendant's restaurant. Docket No. 1 at 15-20. In March
2018, Defendant requested various releases from Plaintiff to
obtain documents regarding her employment, a prior car
accident in 2015, and records from medical providers. See
generally Docket Nos. 16-1 - 16-13. On March 21, 2018,
Plaintiff provided some of the requested releases. Docket No.
16-9 at 3. In April 2018, the parties met and conferred three
times regarding the outstanding releases, as well as
Plaintiff's responses to Defendant's amended second
set of requests for production of documents. Docket Nos. 16
at 4, 16-24. The parties were unable to resolve their
discovery disputes. Docket No. 16 at 4-5. Defendant,
therefore, filed the instant motion to compel the outstanding
releases and responses to its requests for production numbers
23-30, 33, and 38. Id. at 5-6, 11-21.
discretion is vested in the trial court to permit or deny
discovery.” Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732,
751 (9th Cir. 2002); see also Crawford-El v.
Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 598 (1998). Parties are entitled
to discover non-privileged information that is relevant to
any party's claim or defense and is proportional to the
needs of the case, including consideration of the importance
of the issues at stake in the action, 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. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). The most recent amendments to the discovery rules
are meant to curb the culture of scorched earth litigation
tactics by emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the
discovery process “provide[s] parties with efficient
access to what is needed to prove a claim or defense, but
eliminate unnecessary or wasteful discovery.”
Roberts v. Clark Cty. School Dist., 312 F.R.D. 594,
603-04 (D. Nev. 2016).
Motion to Compel
party fails to provide requested discovery, the requesting
party may move to compel that discovery. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a). The burden is on the party resisting
discovery to show why a discovery request should be denied by
specifying in detail, as opposed to general and
boilerplate objections, why “each request is
irrelevant.” FTC v. AMG Servs., 291 F.R.D.
544, 553 (D. Nev. 2013) (internal citation omitted) (emphasis
added). This requires the party resisting discovery to show
for each request, irregardless of numerosity, how each of its
objections is applicable, by providing the relevant standard
for each objection and a meaningfully developed argument as
to how the standard has been met. See Green v. Baca,
226 F.R.D. 624, 653 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (rejecting blanket
claims of privilege as sufficient to address the applicable
standard); see also Kor Media Group, LLC v.
Green, 294 F.R.D. 579, 582 n.3 (D. Nev. 2013) (courts
only address arguments that are meaningfully developed).
asks the Court to compel Plaintiff to comply with numerous
requests for production that it propounded upon
Plaintiff. The Court considers each category of
requests in turn.
Request for Production Number 29 and Related Releases
Please produce copies of any and all documents related to the
2015 car accident you identified in your response to
Defendant's Interrogatory No. 18, including, but not
limited to, police report[s], medical records, property
damage records and photographs, insurance policies/claim
notes, including claim numbers and insurance carrier names,
as well as the owners of the policy of insurance. If you are
not in possession of these documents, please provide the
contact information for the carriers and execute the attached
release Exhibit “A.”
No. 16-24 at 8. Plaintiff objected to this request on the
grounds that it is irrelevant, overbroad, and unduly
submits that Plaintiff disclosed that she was in a car
accident in 2015 and, although she denies sustaining any
injuries or receiving treatment, it “should be entitled
to verify this information” through an accident report,
medical records, or the adverse insurance carrier. Docket No.
16 at 11-12; see also Docket No. 16-15 at 15.
Defendant further submits that information from the adverse
insurance carrier is relevant “[because] it contains
the property damage from the prior accident and [it will]
confirm whether or not Plaintiff [was] indeed treated as a
result of the 2015 accident.” Docket No. 16 at 12.
Lastly, Defendant asks the Court to compel information
regarding two slip and fall accidents in 2012, for which
Plaintiff was treated by Dr. David Worman, an orthopedist,
and a 2015 visit to a neurologist, whose name Plaintiff has
not provided. Id. at 7, 12.
response, Plaintiff submits that she was not injured in the
2015 car accident and did not seek treatment. Docket No. 18
at 8. Plaintiff further submits that Defendant's
“only basis for seeking [the] insurance file
is Defendant's assumption that Plaintiff is
lying.” Id. (emphasis in original). In reply,
Defendant submits that Plaintiff fails to address “why
she had a CT [b]rain scan in 2015.” Docket No. 19 at 5.
Defendant further submits that the requested information is
relevant because the prior accidents may or may not have
“contributed to Plaintiff's alleged injuries in the
subject litigation.” Id. at 6.
complaint alleges multiple injuries and physical impairments,
as well as future lumbar surgery, due to her alleged accident
at Defendant's restaurant. Docket Nos. 1 at 17-19, 16-18
at 35-37. Plaintiff's discovery responses indicate that,
due to two slip and fall accidents in 2012, she was referred
to Dr. Worman, an orthopedist. Docket Nos. 16 at 7, 16-16 at
5-8. Plaintiff has not, however, produced any medical records
related to these incidents or to her treatment with Dr.
Worman. Id. Plaintiff has also failed to produce
medical records related to a 2015 neurologist visit and CT
scan, as well as information substantiating her claim that
she was not injured in the 2015 car accident. Docket Nos. 16
at 7, 16-16 at 2-4.
records of injuries prior to an alleged accident are relevant
to the issue of whether the injuries existed at the time of
the accident and whether the accident caused or aggravated
the injuries. See Adele v. Dunn, 2012 WL 5420256, at
*2 (D. Nev. Nov. 5, 2012) (compelling the identity of the
plaintiff's health care providers, as well as medical
records of other accidents, from ten years prior to the
accident at issue, despite the plaintiff's opposition
that he had not been injured in the past ten years and that
medical records of other accidents do not exist, because the
“[d]efendant is entitled to reasonable discovery to
determine whether [the plaintiff] suffered from any
pre-existing condition contributing to the injuries at issue
in this case”); see also Martin v. Collier,
2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1411, at *6 (D. Nev. Jan. 4, 2012)
(“Certainly in the interest of justice the defendant in