United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Seattle Auto
Management, Inc., dba Mercedes Benz of Seattle
(“Mercedes of Seattle”) and Al Monjazeb's
Motion for Protective Order. Dkt. #13. Defendants move the
Court for a Protective Order prohibiting Plaintiff, Troy
Coachman, from obtaining information about Defendants'
financial position under Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Id. Plaintiff opposes the Motion.
Dkt. #16. Plaintiff further requests sanctions under Rules
26(c)(3) and 37(a)(5)(B). Id. at 7. For reasons
discussed herein, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART
Defendants' Motion. The Court also apportions
Plaintiff's sanctions request for attorneys' fees.
matter arises from an employment discrimination action
against Defendants Mercedes of Seattle and Mr. Monjazeb.
See Dkt. #1. Mercedes of Seattle is a car dealership
located in Seattle, Washington, and Defendant Monjazeb is the
owner of that dealership. Id. at 2. Plaintiff, Mr.
Coachman, was employed by Mercedes of Seattle from 2012
through January 2015. Id. at 3. Upon his termination
in early January 2015, he was working as the Director of
Finance. Id. Plaintiff claims that, after undergoing
laryngectomy surgery (removal of larynx) which required him
to speak using a prosthetic voice box, Defendant Monjezeb
wrongfully terminated his employment. See id.
March 2014, Mr. Coachman was diagnosed with vocal cord
cancer. Id. at 3. After undergoing chemotherapy and
radiation treatment, he returned to fulltime employment at
Mercedes of Seattle in July 2014 with no restrictions.
Id. Mr. Coachman's cancer returned, and on
September 19, 2014, he underwent laryngectomy surgery and now
uses a prosthetic voice box to speak. Id. at 3-4.
Before surgery, Mr. Coachman states that he arranged for a
three-month medical leave with Mercedes of Seattle's
human resource department. Id. On December 18, 2014,
Mr. Coachman's doctor medically cleared him to return to
work without restrictions on January 2, 2015. Id. at
4. Plaintiff informed Mercedes of Seattle's General
Manager, Jason Graham, and its General Sales Manager, John
Ramstetter, of his availability to return to work (on January
2, 2015). Id. Mr. Graham and Mr. Ramstetter informed
Plaintiff that, before returning to work, he needed to speak
with Defendant Monjazeb. Id. at 5. Plaintiff claims
that Defendant Monjazeb declined a meeting with him on
January 2, 2015, and Defendant Monjazeb did not offer to
of returning to work, Plaintiff was allegedly terminated by
Defendant Monjazeb via email on January 8, 2015. Id.
Plaintiff contends that he was fired because “[his]
voice prosthesis disabled him from working.”
Id. He further claims that Defendant Monjazeb never
met with him to discuss his return to work, failed to review
his medical records, and failed to explore reasonable
accommodations to allow him to complete his essential
functions as a finance director. Dkt. #1 at 6.
February 8, 2017, Mr. Coachman filed a six-count disability
discrimination and failure to accommodate Complaint against
Defendants for violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act As Amended (“ADAAA”) (42 U.S.C. § 12101,
et seq.) and the Washington Law Against
Discrimination (“WLAD”) (RCW 49.60). See
February 2, 2018, Mr. Coachman served a deposition notice and
request for production of documents on Mercedes of Seattle
under Rule 30(b)(6). Dkt. #16 at 3. That notice states,
“Plaintiff intends to examine the corporate
representative regarding the ‘financial ability of
Seattle Auto Management, Inc. to pay $100, 000 to $300, 000
in punitive damage.'” Dkt. #13 at 2. Plaintiff also
included a Rule 34 request for production of documents, which
requested the following:
5.1 The financial ability of Seattle Auto Management, Inc. to
pay $100, 000 to $300, 000 in punitive damages, including the
ability to explain and interpret the following financial
i. Income tax returns for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017; ii.
Annual reports reflecting the gross income for 2014, 2015,
2016, and 2017; and iii. Annual profit and loss statements
for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
5.2 The gross annual revenue produced by Troy Coachman used
to calculate his sales commission in 2013, and 2014,
inclusive of work under the ownership of Phil Smart,
including the ability to interpret and explain the data.
5.3 The gross annual revenue produced by Troy Coachman as
compared to that produced by the following individuals: Amy
Topping, Kris Capps, Andrew Argosino, and Joy Edward during
each month of 2014, including ...