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Head v. Disttech, LLC

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

September 7, 2017

ROMERO HEAD, as the court-appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of ROMEO A. HEAD, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTTECH, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' SECOND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants DistTech LLC (“DistTech”) and Jacques Wright's (collectively “Defendants”) Motion for Protective Order, Dkt. #46, and Plaintiff Romero Head's Motion to Compel, Dkt. #50. For the reasons stated herein, the Court generally denies Defendants' request for a protective order except as to one issue, GRANTS IN PART their Motion, and GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Compel.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The background facts in this matter have been summarized by the Court's Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Dkt. #29, and are incorporated by reference. On April 7, 2017, the Court entered a Protective Order “barring Plaintiff from seeking discovery related to Plaintiff's now-dismissed negligent hiring, training, retention, supervision and entrustment claims” but declining to rule “whether Defendant Wright's ‘driver qualification file, training file, discipline file (if any) and DisTech LLC Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Safe Driver requirements' are properly relevant to Plaintiff's remaining negligence claim.” Dkt. #36 at 3.

         On May 24, 2017, Defendants provided a Privilege Log stating that two incident reports subject to prior discovery were protected by the work-product privilege. Dkt. #51-1 at 3.

         On July 12, 2017, Plaintiff requested to depose eight DistTech employees, including a Rule 30(b)(6) corporate representative. Dkt. #47-1 at 1. Given the Protective Order above, on July 21, 2017, Defendants asked Plaintiff to identify the topics that would be covered during these depositions. Id. at 4-5. On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff responded, listing only six witnesses to be deposed about the following topics:

1. Virgil Davis - communication with Wright; purpose for his completing his [sic] incident report; termination of Wright; expectation that Wright would follow Company rules and policies; Preventability vs. Non-Preventability; Denials set forth in the Answer to the Plaintiff s Amended Complaint;
2. JR Pierce - communication with Wright; requirement that Wright was to complete two separate incident reports; purpose for the completion of incident reports; termination of Wright; expectation that Wright would follow Company rules and policies; Preventability vs. Non-Preventability; Denials set forth in the Answer to the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint;
3. Tammy Beres - communication with Wright; travel arrangements;
4. Head of Safety Department in 2014 - termination of Wright; requirement that incident reports would be completed in the ordinary course of business; expectation that Wright would follow Company rules and policies; Preventability vs. Non-Preventability; Denials set forth in the Answer to the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint;
5. 30(b)(6) Representative most knowledgeable regarding the Company's Accident Review Board and SPG/TCS Loss Prevention Manual Determining Accident Preventability Guide -Preventability vs. Non-Preventability; Denials set forth in the Answer to the Plaintiff s Amended Complaint; and,
6. Head of Training February 2014 - expectation that Wright would follow Company rules and policies; Preventability vs. Non-Preventability; Denials set forth in the Answer to ...

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