United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the parties' joint Local
Civil Rule 37 submissions (Dkt. Nos. 54, 65). The Court has
thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the
relevant record, and hereby ORDERS that:
Court has previously set forth the facts of this case, and
will not repeat them here. (See Dkt. Nos. 32, 76.)
Since beginning discovery, a series of discovery disputes
have arisen. (See Dkt. Nos. 54, 65.) On March 25,
2019, in accordance with Local Civil Rule 37, the parties
filed their first joint motion for discovery (“LCR 37
Submission No. 1”), which included two discovery
disputes. (Dkt. No. 54.) Justifying the Court's faith in
the parties' ability to resolve discovery disputes
without judicial intervention, the parties have since
resolved one of these two disputes. (Dkt. No. 75.) The
remaining issue in LCR 37 Submission No. 1 is whether
Plaintiffs' adopted children's medical records
(besides C.M.'s, the adopted child at issue in this
litigation) are discoverable. (See Dkt. No. 54.)
April 18, 2019, the parties filed their second joint motion
for discovery (“LCR 37 Submission No. 2”). (Dkt.
No. 65.) LCR Submission No. 2 asks the Court to determine
whether 28 different privilege log entries asserted by
Defendant Michael Bosmann are indeed subject to either the
attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine.
(See id.) Plaintiffs assert that the privilege log
entries are ripe for in camera review. (See
Motions to Compel Discovery
Discovery motions are strongly disfavored. “Parties may
obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is
relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional
to the needs of the case . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). In addressing the proportionality of discovery, the
Court considers “the importance of the issues at stake
in the action, the amount in controversy, 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.” Id.
The Court has broad discretion to decide whether to compel
discovery. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen.
Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002).
LCR 37 Submission No. 1
parties' first joint submission, Defendant Bosmann seeks
the medical records of Plaintiffs' adopted children other
than C.M. (Dkt. No. 54 at 13-15.) Defendant Bosmann asserts
that these records are relevant for two reasons: (1) the
records may refute Plaintiffs' assertion that they are
unable to provide adequate care for C.M. because they may
show that Plaintiffs' other children suffer from equally
or more severe medical conditions; and (2) the records may
shed light on the amount of damages actually suffered by
Plaintiffs (for example, if Plaintiffs' other adopted
children's conditions have contributed to Plaintiffs'
claimed damages). (Id.) Plaintiffs oppose the
production of the medical records because: (1) the request
invades the privacy of them and their other adopted children;
and (2) Defendant Bosmann may obtain the information he seeks
through less intrusive means. (Id. at 15-18.)
Court is mindful of the extremely sensitive nature of the
medical records of Plaintiffs' other adopted children.
However, some of their medical history is relevant to whether
Plaintiffs have the ability to properly care for C.M. This is
because if Plaintiffs are able to care for equally or more
severe medical conditions of their other children, they may
be more capable of caring for C.M. than they indicate.
in mind the sensitive nature of the children's full
medical files, the Court ORDERS Plaintiffs to produce,
whether in the form of deposition testimony or a response to
an interrogatory, the following information about each of
Plaintiffs' other adopted children: (1) medical diagnoses
(except mental health diagnoses); (2) treatments related to
the aforementioned diagnoses; (3) prognoses; (4) a typical
week of care for each child (including schedule and cost);
and (5) any special care each child needs over the course of
a longer period of time (including schedule and cost). In
order to protect the confidential nature of this information,
the parties are ORDERED to submit a revised stipulated
protective order that covers the medical history and
information for each of Plaintiffs' adopted children
other than C.M., no later than 14 days from the entry of this
order. Plaintiffs shall comply with this order no later than
14 days after the Court enters the stipulated protective
LCR 37 Submission No. 2
parties' second joint submission, Plaintiffs seek in
camera review of numerous documents in Defendant
Bosmann's privilege log that he argues are either subject
to the ...