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Milgard Manufacturing, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

November 12, 2014

MILGARD MANUFACTURING, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Liberty Mutual Insurance Company's ("Liberty") motion for reconsideration (Dkt. 90).

On August 21, 2014, Plaintiff Milgard Manufacturing, Inc. ("Milgard") filed a motion for a protective order against Liberty. Dkt. 31. Milgard sought an order requiring Liberty to return all improperly obtained work product. Id. at 12. Milgard also sought attorney fees under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(5). Id.

On October 1, 2014, the Court held a hearing to resolve discovery disputes between the parties. Dkt. 88. During the hearing, the Court ordered Liberty to return all documents that were improperly obtained. Dkt. 89 at 25. The Court also granted sanctions in the form of attorney fees. Id.

On October 15, 2014, Liberty filed a motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 90. Liberty argues that the Court committed manifest error by granting sanctions. Id. at 1. According to Liberty, Milgard did not make a good faith effort to meet and confer with Liberty as required by Local Rule 37(a)(1). Id. at 5. Liberty also contends that sanctions are inappropriate because Liberty did not act in bad faith and Milgard was not prejudiced. Id. at 6.

Motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Rule CR 7(h), which provides as follows:

Motions for reconsideration are disfavored. The court will ordinarily deny such motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.

Local Rules, W.D. Wash. LCR 7(h)(1).

Liberty fails to establish that the Court committed manifest error. In awarding sanctions, the Court implicitly found that Milgard satisfied the meet and confer requirement as to that discovery issue. See Dkt. 89 at 25. The evidence in the record further establishes that this requirement was satisfied. See Dkt. 32, Declaration of Paul J. Lawrence, Exs. A-D. Moreover, the Court has discretion to impose discovery sanctions. See Marquis v. Chrysler Corp., 577 F.2d 624, 642 (9th Cir. 1978). Here, Liberty improperly obtained work product by subpoenaing Milgard's experts without notice to Milgard. See Dkt. 89 at 18-21. Liberty failed to return this work product after repeated requests from Milgard. Id. During the hearing, Liberty could not explain why these documents had not been returned or destroyed. Id. at 25. The Court therefore found that sanctions were appropriate. Id. Nothing in Liberty's motion shows that the Court's decision was manifest error. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Liberty's motion for reconsideration.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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