United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Franciscan Health
System and Franciscan Medical Group's
(“Franciscan”) motion to compel (Dkt. 84). The
Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and
hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated herein.
August 31, 2017, the State filed a complaint against
Defendants Franciscan, The Doctors Clinic (TDC”), and
WestSound Orthopaedics, P.S. (“WestSound”),
asserting a per se violation of Section 1 of the
Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and the Washington Consumer
Protection Act (“CPA”), RCW Chapter 19.86; an
unreasonable restraint of trade in violation of 15 U.S.C.
§ 1 and the CPA; and violation of Section 7 of the
Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 18, and
the CPA. Dkt. 1 (“Compl.”). In general, the State
asserts that Franciscan's purchase of TDC and WestSound
has harmed competition for health care services on the Kitsap
December 29, 2017, Franciscan served Interested Party First
Choice Health Network, Inc. (“First Choice”) with
a document subpoena and deposition subpoena seeking documents
and testimony on a range of topics related to the State's
complaint. Dkt. 85-2. On January 26, 2018, First Choice
responded with ten general objections and twelve specific
objections. Dkt. 85-3. For the next two months, the parties
negotiated solutions to the requests and objections.
March 22, 2018, Franciscan filed the instant motion to compel
stating that the parties have reached agreement on some
issues and need direction from the Court on other issues.
Dkt. 84. On April 2, 2018, First Choice responded. Dkt. 90.
On April 5, 2018, Interested Parties Aetna, Inc., Cambia
Health Solutions, Inc, Regence Blueshield of Washington,
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, and United
Healthcare Services, LLC filed briefs requesting that the
Court defer ruling on some of the requests until all impacted
parties have an opportunity to resolve outstanding
objections. Dkts. 94-96. On April 6, 2018, Franciscan
replied. Dkt. 103.
Meet and Confer
motion for an order compelling disclosure or discovery must
include a certification, in the motion or in a declaration or
affidavit, that the movant has in good faith conferred or
attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make
disclosure or discovery in an effort to resolve the dispute
without court action. Local Rule 37(a)(1).
case, First Choice argues that the Court should strike
Franciscan's motion because Franciscan failed to meet and
confer before filing the motion. Dkt. 90 at 7. The parties
have been negotiating the responses and objections for
months. The Court concludes that such negotiations satisfy
the meet and confer requirement even in the absence of a
specific meet and confer regarding the limited contents of
the motion to compel. Therefore, the Court will address the
merits of the motion.
parties agree that the remaining disputes are requests for
production six and eight. Dkt. 90 at 9; Dkt. 103-1. These
requests are as follows:
6. All contracts and agreements, including the base contract
or agreement and any addendums, amendments, and exhibits,
between you and any Provider in the Relevant Area in force at
any point between January 1, 2014 and ...